Facing up to the Fascists

Confronting the National Front in Bristol

Facing up to Fascists front cover
As the ultra-right tries to spread its message of hate, Colin Thomas reminds us that we have been here before. This is how the Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism resisted the National Front in Bristol in the 1970s and 80s – and won.

Hitler’s British Traitors

The Secret History of Spies, Saboteurs and Fifth Columnists

By Tim Tate
Regardless of the 2015 publishing date given, this book is currently (last checked December 2018) just available in hardback, and must have been withheld due to the ongoing release of new official documents, as these terminated only in 2017. 'Hitler's British Traitors' covers a subject that was largely considered either taboo or dismissed with contempt until recently, namely the idea that if Nazi Germany had managed to invade Britain, particularly when they had a potential capability to do so in […]

How did World War One end?

And how is this remembered?

The centenary of the end of WW1 in 1918 will be widely commemorated across the country on Remembrance Sunday this year. However, the military style parades and ceremonies send a mixed message. On the one hand they are a moving display of mourning for the dead. On the other they tend towards a celebration of British military virtues, the heroic defeat of Germany and recent claims that WW1 was a 'just' or 'necessary' war. The popular memory in the UK of an allied 'victory' in 1918 leaves many […]

Lady Blackshirts: Suffragettes who became fascists

Part of Bristol Women's Voice, International Women's Day Celebrations in Room 1P04, City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR. Note: A crèche with two hour slots is available at the venue. During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (BUF). Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking members of the suffragette movement. This short talk looks at the politics of the time, why women may have been attracted to the BUF […]

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 members of the suffragette movement. The Smoke-Dragon and How […]

Lady Blackshirts

The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists

Lady Blackshirts Front Cover
During the 1930s 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 to 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 […]

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