Merilyn Moos has been in touch to remind those interested in the history of refugees of her three important books, all published in the last 5/6 years, which all relate in different forms to her being the child of political refugees from Nazism. The first is a semi-autobiographical novel: ‘The Language of Silence’, then came the biography of her father Siegi Moos: ‘Beaten but not defeated’ (he was a highly active anti-Nazi, a well- known if somewhat dissident member of the KPD and a published writer about the role of agit-prop in revolutionary struggle: his life illustrates the little known grass roots anti-Nazi activism of the years between 1929-33), and finally ‘Breaking the Silence’ an ethnographic study of the effects on the ‘second generation’ of being the children of refugees from Nazism, based on in-depth interviews. She would be happy to send out review copies of these books to those interested in reviewing them, and is happy to also speak to interested groups about them or issues relating to refugees and history today.
The Language of Silence, set in London in the early 21st century, provides a remarkable exploration of the personal consequences of political events and resistance, and how these impact across four generations of one family. It is a novel of immense power, shocking in its portrayal of family life, which nevertheless inspires hope for the future.
Siegi Moos, an anti-Nazi and active member of the German Communist Party, escaped Germany in 1933 and, exiled in Britain, sought another route to the transformation of capitalism. This biography charts Siegi’s life, starting in Germany when he witnessed the Bavarian uprisings of 1918/19 and moving to the later rise of the extreme right. We follow his progress in Berlin as a committed Communist and an active anti-Nazi in the well-organised Red Front, before much of the German Communist party (KPD) took the Nazis seriously, and his deep involvement in the Free Thinkers and in agit-prop theatre. The book also describes Siegi’s life as an exile: the loss of family, comrades, his first language and ultimately his earlier political beliefs. Against a background of the loneliness of exile, the political and the personal became indissolubly intertwined when Siegi’s wife, Lotte, had a relationship with an Irish/Soviet spy. Lastly, we look into Siegi’s time as a research worker at the prestigious Oxford Institute of Statistics at Oxford University from 1938, becoming an economic advisor under the Labour Prime Minister, Wilson, 1966-1970, and how, finally, after retirement, he returned to writing.
There has been extensive research into the impact of the Holocaust on the children of survivors who immigrated to the US and Israel. But very little work in this space has looked at children whose parents fled Nazi persecution before the Holocaust. Even less attention has been paid to those who ended up in Britain from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.What was the impact on this second generation? How have the lives of these ordinary people been shaped by their parents’ dislocation? Using a series of interviews with members of the second generation,Breaking the Silenceis a qualitative, interdisciplinary exploration how their lives were shaped by their parents’ escape from persecution. It offers an insight into how the exile and fear of persecution of the parents and the deaths/murder of unknown relatives has left this generation both bereft of memories and haunted by the past.
There is some historical information relating to The Socialist Standard, which has been published by the Socialist Party of Great Britain since 1904, on a new blog that we have been asked to share with LSHG members (for clarification, the LSHG does not have a position on the current factional issue within the SPGB which warrants this new blog itself) - for more on the history of the SPGB see The Monument: The Story of the Socialist Party of Great Britain by Robert Barltrop.
'The Battle of Wood Green’ 40 years on. Assessing the impact of anti-fascism
London Socialist Historians Group Open Forum
Monday 24 April 2017, 5.30pm
Institute of Historical Research
IHR Seminar Room N304, Third Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
All welcome - no need to book in advance
The Battle of Wood Green took place on Saturday 23 April 1977. A National Front march left Ducketts Common to march down Wood Green High Road. They were opposed by 3000 anti-fascists and large numbers of Saturday shoppers. Although there had been street skirmishes before, this was the first serious disruption of an NF march.
All are welcome to attend and discuss the Battle of Wood Green and its effect on the future of anti-fascist struggle leading up to the present day - free / donations welcome
Dr Katrina Navickas
Places and spaces of protest in the early 19th century West Riding
Wednesday 5 April, 7:30pm, Diamond Jubilee Lecture Theatre, University of Huddersfield
Huddersfield Local History Society and the University of Huddersfield History present the fourth in a series of annual lectures focusing on aspects of the history of radicalism in the Huddersfield district.
The 2017 Luddite Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Katrina Navickas, Reader in History at the University of Hertfordshire. Not only has Dr Navickas written about many different aspects of popular protest and social movements – she provided the keynote lecture for Huddersfield’s bi-centenary Luddite Commemoration in 2012 - but she has also been investigating how digital mapping can reflect and further her research. Dr Navickas grew up in Rochdale and her most recent book, Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1948, just out in paperback, focuses on events in West Yorkshire and Lancashire.
In her Huddersfield lecture Dr Navickas will be exploring the protest spaces of the West Riding and will show how the county’s distinct topography and spaces within its towns shaped the democratic movements of the early nineteenth century.
The lecture will be introduced by historian Professor Tim Thornton, the University’s deputy Vice-Chancellor, who welcomes the way in which this annual lecture series is continuing to develop. He says: ‘Katrina Navickas promises to add a further new dimension to the already rich record of talks that have taken place under the banner of the Annual Luddite Memorial Lecture. Her focus on protest in spaces and places will be of interest to specialists and to a more general audience concerned with the region’s heritage, and is testimony to the continuing and highly productive relationship between Huddersfield Local History Society and the University’.
If you want to find out more about place and protest in the West Riding in the early 19th century, then do come along to Dr Navickas’ lecture at the University of Huddersfield on 5 April.
FREE ADMISSION, ALL WELCOME AND NO BOOKING REQUIRED
THE LABOURS OF ASA:
The contributions of Asa Briggs to Labour History
Lecture Theatre G.02, Maurice Keyworth Building,
Leeds University Business School, Saturday 6 May 2017
10.00 Greeting by Keith Laybourn and Quentin Outram
10.05 Malcolm Chase: ‘ Samuel Smiles (and Asa Briggs) and
10.50 John Belchem: ‘Beyond the Age of Improvement’
11.40 Joan Allen: ‘The progressive tradition & print culture at the fin de
siècle: The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore & Legend 1887-1891’
12.30-1.45 Lunch and EC of SSLH Executive Meeting
1.30 Poster presentations of five minutes each from PhD students
Ethan Hoskings ‘Partnership, Paternalism and Peace’
Hazel Perry – ‘Trades Councils’
John Kimberley – ‘Industrial Relations in Birmingham in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’
1.50 Eileen Yeo: ‘Rival Town Halls in Glasgow: Revisioning Asa Briggs’ work on ‘the urban public sphere’
2.30 Peter Ackers and Alistair Reid: ‘The Pluralist Traditionand civic society’
3.20 Hugh Gault: ‘The BBC, Seebolm Rowntree and social reform’
4.00 Stephen Yeo: ‘Remembering Asa Briggs’
The Asa Briggs conference will be held at G.02 Lecture Theatre in the Maurice Keyworth Building, Leeds University Business School, The University of Leeds, Moorland Road, Leeds, UK
This FREE conference is open to all.
To reserve a place or find out more please send an email to Dr Quentin Outram Q.Outram@lubs.leeds.ac.ukAnnual
Friday 19 May 2017 : On the evening before Levellers Day, John Rees author of 'The Levellers Revolution' will be speaking as part of the Levellers seminar at the CWU training centre at Alvescot Lodge for the Levellers Night seminar talking about ‘Scottish Covenanters, English Levellers, and “Popular” Revolutions in mid-17thC Britain’ with Laura Stewart, author of ‘Rethinking the Scottish Revolution’. Levellers’ Day 2017 will take place in Burford on Saturday 20 May 2017 - see here for more details