1918, Berlin, Germany — A huge crowd turns out for a Communist rally in Berlin. One person holds a large star-shaped placard emblazoned with a hammer and sickle.

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 organisations associated with the German Communist Party, such as the Red Front  who opposed the Nazis on the streets, sports organisations, humanist clubs and of course agit-prop theatre. We know the deadly end of this story but my father, unlike many of his comrades, lived to fight another day.

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