The Kuczinski clan

Jurgen Kuczinski is better known than most left-wing German refugees, partly thanks to the book by John Green, the work by Prof Brinson and partly because members of the family clan keep his memory alive in both the UK and Germany.… read on...

HAGER, Kurt (also known as Felix Albin)

Kurt Hager lived in the UK between 1939 and 1946. But his main claim to fame is his Stalinism. Although an active and brave anti-Nazi in Germany and then Spain, he was always a Party man.

He joined the Communist youth organisation KJVD in 1929, the KPD in 1930 and the Red Front in Wurtemburg 1932.read on...

Edith Bone

Edith Bone kept her political life well hidden and it is difficult to find information on her, though the suspicion has been voiced that she became a ‘spy-master’ for the Comintern in the late 1930s.

Edith Bone was born Edit Hajós in 1889 in Hungary where she became a doctor.… read on...

German Left-Wing Exiles to the UK

A very small group of anti-Nazis escaped to Britain and even fewer settled here. While around 55,000 people fled Germany in 1933 alone, only about 2000 came to the UK: Britain gained from Germany’s loss; amongst the refugees were a galaxy of leading scientists and many cultural figures.… read on...

Wilhelm Koenen

After an early period of militancy, Koenen became more of an org man than most people included here, but his remarkable history is still illustrative of how far the German left’s roots lay in the revolutionary years and upheavals of 1918-1923, how difficult the British state made it for even a Reichstag deputy who was a Communist to get in to the UK and what a small sectarian fishbowl these anti-Nazi refugees jostled in.

read on...

Gunther Reimann, Rosa Leviné-Meyer and Ernst Meyer

Günther Reimann

Günter Reimann’s (1904–2005), born Hans Steinicke, to a Berlin Jewish bourgeois family, Hans adopted Reimann as a pen-name when he became economics editor for the KPD newspaper in about 1925. In 1923, he had already joined the KPD’s Youth League.… read on...

Hans Eisler

A musician who was student of Arnold Schoenberg and his 12-tone method, Eisler rejected that style for a simpler one, the better to express a working-class Marxist ethos. He is a better known figure than some of the exiles, not so much because of his time in the UK but because of his collaboration with Brecht, his infamous appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee and his return to E Germany where he wrote its national anthem.… read on...

Jan Petersen

Another figure who only came to the UK shortly before the outbreak of the war and left again soon afterwards but is certainly worthy of a mention- and should be better known – is Jan Petersen (originally Hans Schwalm). Peterson was one the leading member of the tiny ‘League of Revolutionary Proletarian writers’, re-established in 1934 by the KPD in the death-throes of the ‘Third Period’ and used it to publish material about life under the Third Reich.… read on...