Knowing the Nazis, Inside and Out: Anti-Fascist Publishing in Austria, Germany and Britain, 1927-40
Eighty years after the outbreak of WW2, the British public is well informed about Hitler’s rise and fall. This history forms a key part of GCSE and A-Level syllabi, and is still a popular media topic. Less well documented are those Germans and Austrians who actively resisted the rise of National Socialism, both at home and from positions of exile. My project focuses on refugees who spread anti-fascist messages through the British media, based on their personal experiences of the Nazi Regime. Some wrote about their experiences of ‘protective custody’ and concentration camps, some depicted their work as part of underground resistance movements, and some former Nazis revealed what they had learned by their collaboration with the regime.
By exploring publishers’ archives for readers reports, authors’ correspondence and sales figures, my research shows how these works by refugees were received by ordinary readers and by the British government and Ministry of Information, who controlled the wartime propaganda effort.
This three-year project (2020-2023) is generously funded by the British Academy and Wolfson Foundation, and will form the subject of my first monograph.