Hermann Knüfken (1893-1976)

Knufken, originally a sailor and an active anti-Nazi German trade-unionist, had an extraordinary life which stretched from revolutionary activities in the USSR, Germany and Belgium to being a citizen of the UK, working for the British intelligence service. That such a significant anti-Nazi is unknown here is all the more intriguing as he lived in the UK for over 30 years.read on...

Walter Loewenheim (1896-1977)

About twelve members of Neu Beginnen, a group formed in 1929 mostly by left-wing members, mostly ‘intellectuals’ of the SPD became exiles in Britain. Loewenheim, their main theoretician, unlike the others, remained in the UK.

Loewenheim first joined the Wandervogel (‘Wandering Bird’), the principal German youth group with around two million members, whose activities centred on hiking and nature and a Jewish youth group, the Judische Jugendbund.… read on...

Max Zimmering (1909-1973)


Max Zimmering was a youthful member of the Jewish ‘Blue and White’ youth movement and, in a typical transition, joined the KPD Youth Association in 1928. He wrote for the KPD paper: Die Rote Fahne and was its agit-prop leader in Dresden, where he lived.… read on...

John Heartfield (born Helmut Herzfeld) (1891 – 1968)

It is extraordinary that although John Heartfield was in exile in London for twelve years, he is hardly known about here, never mind celebrated. Probably the most famous of the German anti-Nazis artists, a founder of the Dadaist movement, a pioneer of photomontage and friends of Brecht, Ernst Toller, Georg Grosz and Piscator, who used art as a political weapon against the Nazis, he continued his anti-Nazi activities insofar as possible while in exile in the UK but it is as if he never had lived here.read on...

Willi Eichler (1896-1971)

Eichler was a leading member of ISK who campaigned tirelessly against the Nazis and for a united front, finally fleeing France to the UK in 1938. He deserves to be better known.

Eichler joined the SPD in 1923 but then became actively involved in the ISK, its chair and editor of Der Funke, its anti-Nazi paper.… read on...

Hans Vogel (1881-1945)

I am including a brief biography of Hans Vogel .including references (including footnotes)  to other Social Democrats refugees. It provides a window onto the Social Democrats exiles in the UK and their continuing bureaucratic orientation and ineffectiveness.

Vogel became an active Social Democrat from 1907.… read on...

Anna Beyer (1909-1991)

Beyer was an active member of ISK who briefly lived in the UK before emigrating to the US in 1941.Little is known about Beyer’s time in the UK.1

Beyer actively supported the work of the ISK in one of its largest bases in Frankfurt where she lived.… read on...

Dornemann, Luise (1901–1992)

Dornemann almost does not fit in here. Although she spent about ten years in the UK after fleeing Germany, almost nothing is known about her time here. But I am including her because she represents a political current otherwise not touched upon here: the issue of sexual politics under Weimar.… read on...

Martin Monath and the Trotskyist Alternative

an extract from Anti-Nazi Germans

Martin Monath was a Berliner of Jewish heritage who had been a leading member of the German section of the socialist zionist organisation Hashomer Hatzair. This organisation encouraged Jews to emigrate to Palestine to build a Jewish nation state, but they wanted the new country to have a socialist economy.read on...