Political Exile and Exile Politics in Britain after 1933 brings together a number of scholarly essays that shed light on a hitherto neglected aspect of the experience of German and Austrian refugees in Britain – their political activities in their country of refuge and how these were viewed (and used) by the British government and its Secret Service.
This volume does not claim to be exhaustive. However, it offers a range of case studies on various issues concerning political exile and the possibility of the continuation of political engagement in exile, even in the internment camps. Most of the contributions in this volume are based on archival material that has never been used before possibly because, like the MI5 files on Karl Otten which have only recently been declassified, researchers have not been able to access them.
Predictably, the majority of these essays show the political activities of men. The efforts of women which constitute the focus of three contributions therefore are all the more noteworthy.
“ Among the remarkable characters who people the pages of this intriguing collection of essays none is perhaps more memorable than Claud W. Sykes, whose very name seems somewhat improbable and whose career in espionage reads like an episode from the spy thriller
Spooks or a James Bond novel. A former actor, a collaborator of no less a writer than James Joyce, and a translator, in which capacity he translated the works of the minor German writer Karl Otten, Sykes was also, as files recently released by the British Security Services reveal, an MI5 agent.”
– Geoffrey Davis (Aachen), in
Newsletter of the International Feuchtwanger Society 13, 2013, pp. 51-52
Andrea Reiter: Political Exile and Exile Politics in Britain. Introduction
Susan Cohen: Eleanor Rathbone: MP for Refugees
Wolfgang L. Reiter: Wissenschaft im Exil: Die
Association of Austrian Engineers, Chemists and Scientific Workers in Great Britain Bernhard Kuschey: Der politische Weg Walter Wodaks: Von der Linksopposition über die KPÖ und das London-Büro zur SPÖ. Ein biographischer Beitrag zur Geschichte des österreichischen Linkssozialismus im britischen Exil
Günther Sandner: The German Human Climate and Its Opposite: Otto Neurath in England, 1940-45
Charmian Brinson: Women’s work: Rita Hausdorff in British Exile
Marian Malet: Beyond Dachau: Irmgard Litten in England
Tony Kushner: Finding Refugee Voices
Peter Pirker: Die politischen Beziehungen zwischen dem britischen Kriegsgeheimdienst SOE, dem österreichischen
Exil und dem Foreign Office
Jennifer Taylor: ‘Die geschworenen Feinde des nationalsozialistischen Deutschland’: the Aspirations and Activities of Socialist Politicians Interned in Huyton in 1940
Richard Dove: Flying and Spying: Claud W. Sykes, MI5 and the ‘Carl Otten Group’