Remembering my father: From the Bavarian workers rising of 1918 to resisting the rise of the Nazis

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
My talk will draw on my father’s remarkable life in Germany up till 1933. I will use it to illustrate how the Nazis first built on the defeat of the 1918/19 Bavarian workers (and sailors) uprising, a consequence of the war, by the viciously anti-Communist Freikorps. My father, having observed the early Nazis and more aware than many on the left of how dangerous they were, was later deeply involved in the almost forgotten resistance to the Nazis pre-1933. He was active in a number of […]

Studio 2: Bristol Radical History Group highlights

Lady Blackshirts, The Smoke Dragon, Bristol's Aircraft Industry, From Wulfstan to Colston

                  A series of 10 minute 'taster talks' covering recently or soon to be published Bristol Radical History Group texts. These include: Lady Blackshirts: The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists [Rosemary Caldicott] During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, who considered themselves feminists, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking […]

Lady Blackshirts

The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists

Lady Blackshirts Front Cover
During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, who considered themselves feminists, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking members of the suffragette movement. Over 50 regional branches of the British Union of Fascists, with Women’s Sections, opened across the United Kingdom. The branches were established to promote and normalise the ultra-right and position fascism as an acceptable political choice within […]

Army of Shadows

By Joseph Kessel

By Joseph Kessel
Front cover of Army of Shadows
  My partner brought me this book for Xmas. It was priced at 2/6, about 12p in today’s prices. I hoped she paid more than that, but this classic is priceless. This copy was printed in 1959, but the original was written by Kessel in 1943, and it about the French Resistance to Nazi occupation. The German army had invaded France, and an armistice was signed near Compiègne on 22 June 1940. Life continued as normal at first, but the German war machine took more and more. France was partitioned […]

Siegi Moos and the Anti-Nazi Movement in pre-War Germany

Radical History Zone 2015 Poster
Siegi Moos was an active anti-Nazi 1928-1933 in Berlin, a time which ended with the Nazis gaining power and Siegi going underground, before escaping Germany altogether. Little publicity is given to anti-Nazi movement in Germany, which Siegi’s activities shed light on. Although many of the organisations which make up this movement were originally established or supported by the German Communist Party (KPD), they were in practice semi-autonomous. Indeed, the Red Front, a crucial - and from 1929, […]

Great Britain’s Greatest Beast

Those keen on heroes Often find they’ve feet of clay. Here’s one example: Someone who fought two world wars, England’s greatest Englishman, A national treasure Who rivals the Crown Jewels. Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. Churchill had a school-friend Called Aubrey Herbert Who, in 1915, wrote in his diary, “Winston's name fills Everyone with rage. Roman emperors killed slaves to Make themselves popular, He is killing free men To make himself famous.” Churchill enjoyed war. “A curse should rest […]

THIRTEEN ROSES ….. AND 43 CARNATIONS

Translation by Diarmuid Breatnach; original version published in Spanish in Rafael Narbona’s blog August 2013, also republished by kind permission in Rebel Breeze. On the morning of August 5th 1939 thirteen women were shot dead against the walls of the Eastern Madrid Cemetery. Nine were minors, because at that time the age of majority was not reached until twenty-one. Ranging in age from 18 to 29, all had been brought from the Sales women’s prison, a prison that was designed for 450 people and […]

Partisanas

Women in the Armed Resistance to Fascism and German Occupation (1936–1945)

By Ingrid Strobl
Partisanas: Women in the Armed Resistance to Fascism and German Occupation (1936-1945)
This book examines the parts played by women in the struggle against fascism across Europe. Strobl acknowledges the importance of so-called “passive” resistance such as hiding people, distributing leaflets and listening for information on radio Moscow and the BBC, which is perceived as the traditional role of women in the resistance. However this book looks as the women who broke away from this traditional role and took part in the armed struggle against fascism. As someone who didn’t know very […]

Physical Resistance: A Hundred Year’s of Anti-Fascism

Book Launch - Physical Resistance: A Hundred Year's of Anti-Fascism by Dave Hann Large-scale confrontations, disruption of meetings, sabotage and street fighting have been part of the practice of anti-fascism from the early twentieth century until the twenty-first. Rarely endorsed by any political party, the use of collective bodily strength remains a strategy of activists working in alliances and coalitions against fascism. In Physical Resistance famous battles against fascists, from the […]

Morris Beckman And Britain’s Secret War

Miscellaneous 2010
Bristol Radical History & Bristol Antifa join us for an astounding a talk by author Morris Beckman about the hidden history of how British Jewish ex-servicemen fought back against those trying to reconstitute fascist groups after WWII. The '43 Group' took it's name from the number of people at the founding meeting, one of whom was Morris Beckman (who had served on a Flower class corvette during the war). The movement grew to include many hundreds of men and women, including a 17-year-old […]

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