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Looking back on Jewish ‘anti-fascists’ in England (1945 – 1950).

Jewish anti-fascists

in England (1945 – 1950).

In 1945, after fighting the nazi’s and risking their lives for Britain, Jewish ex-servicement and women had every right to believe they had buried fascism for ever. But come back to England the could watch british fascists marching in the streets of London!


Fascism stands in contrast to Yiddishkeyt.

They Jewish anti-fascists felt that something had to be done.

They formed an English anti-fascist group “the 43 Group” after World War II.

They did this when, upon returning to London, they encountered British fascist organisations

such as Jeffrey Hamm’s “British League of Ex-Servicemen” and Oswald Mosley’s

reformed British Union of Fascists, or BUF.

Oswald Mosely wanted to carry on where Hitler and Mussolini had left off.

On street corners his fascist speakers would proclaim ‘not enough Jews were burned at Belsen!’

The activities of these fascist groups included anti-semitic speeches in public places,

inciting racial hatred, and from the rank-and-file fascists, violent attacks on London Jews and

Jewish property. Group 43 members broke up far-right meetings, infiltrated fascist groups, and

attacked the fascists in street fighting.

The 43 Group, became a ferocious, bloody group which in five years destroyed the Mosleyites and

everything they stood for.

Watch the video:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/jan/27/holocaust-memorial-day-43-group-public-event

The methods used by the “43 Group” were evidently pure fascist methods. Making fights instead of being peaceful and freindly isn’t a democratic way of behaviour. Terror to scare people and make them abstain from something isn’t a democratic method. Disturbing meetings and attacking other peoples right to free speech isn’t very democratic either. No doubt that the methods described in the video and used by the Jewish anti-fascist group 43 were clean cut fascist methods – used in a way that were almost identical with the fascist methods used by the british fascists – that the “43 Group” disliked and tried to defeat.

This historical event raises the question can you claim to be a democratic group, when you practise anti-democratic and even fascist methods? Can the Jesuit principle –  that the means is justified by the aim – justify that you battle – using the methods of the fascists that you don’t like because of their fascist behaviou?

It is a very serious question in the light of what nowadays happen sometimes in the Middle-east.

Just think of the relationship between the Palestinian minority in Israel – and the Israeli government, the relationship between Israel as a state – and the terror-organization Hamas Gaza. And of the threat 0r  possibility that Iran as a sovereign state is developing atomic bombs or uranium usable for making them.

Can a person, considering himself or herself a democrat, use fascist methods – and still be called a democrat?

If the answer is affirmative – under which circumstances are fascist methods okay to use by

democrats?

And under which circumstances are the use of fascist methods incompatible with the behaviour

of good democracy???


Looking back on the acts of Juda Maccabee and the Jewish anti-fascists in London 1945-1950

that is a question of relevance to Yiddishkeyt of today!

One comment

  1. Thanks, it’s a good question, and I’m not Jewish myself. But people standing up saying “not enough killed at Belsen” is crude, ignorant vicious incitement and hate speech. This is now outlawed in Australia anyhow.



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