Bill Williams
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‘Our remaining comrades in Czechoslovakia’
The Manchester branch of the KPD
in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
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In taking responsibility for refugees from Czechoslovakia, the Quakers were brought into contact with political refugees, Communists and Social Democrats, brought to Britain by the Czech Refugee Trust Fund. Some of them were experienced members of the German KPD who, following the emergence of the Nazi regime, had taken refuge in Prague. Some had been sent on what turned out to be unproductive missions to Germany for just this purpose. Arriving in Britain in 1938, their political skills enabled them to re-group and to work for the rescue of their comrades still trapped in Czechoslovakia. One such group of KPD members, helped by the Quakers, found its way to Manchester, where it sought to provide their comrades with a means of escape. In doing so, they concealed their Communist identities in the hope of enlisting the support of the Quakers and of influential Manchester liberals.

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‘Jews and other foreigners’

Manchester and the rescue of the victims of European fascism, 1933–1940


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