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Fleeing from the Fuhrer: A Postal History of Refugees from the Nazis Hardcover – 1 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752461958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752461953
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

This extraordinary book tells the story of refugees from Nazi Germany through the form of letters, envelopes, postcards and other ephemera exchanged across the miles, collected by William Kaczynski, whose own Jewish parents managed to reach the relative safety of the UK just before war broke out in 1939. They were not alone Hitler s rise to power led to the mass emigration of European Jews in the late 1930s. Many were initially interned in their host countries, including the co-author as a small boy. Others in occupied Europe were, as we know, deported to death camps where millions perished. Each letter or document here reveals a poignant story, but united they present an absorbing postal history of the Holocaust experience. --Family Tree Magazine

About the Author

William Kaczynski came to England with his family in 1939 as a refugee from Nazi Germany. He was interned, with his mother and brother for ten months in Rushen Camp on the Isle of Man. He retired in 1989 and has since amassed this important collection of Second World War postal history artefacts. He has written widely for philatelic publications and has worked closely with the British Library in compiling the collection featured. Co-author, Charmian Brinson, is Professor of German Studies at Imperial College, London. She is a founder member of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, and has published extensively on German speaking exiles in Britain. Both authors live in London.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
British historian Charmian Brinson has, together with one-time German refugee to England, William Kaczinski, published a book of letters, passes, and other documents - some official and others not - written and issued in the years between 1938 and 1950. Most were to or from German and Austrian Jews who fled Nazism, often one step ahead of the authorities, in their search for places of safety.

The years directly preceding the beginning of WW2 was the time of great activity of Jews who had previously disregarded the dangers of the Nazi take-over of Germany and, after the Anchluss of 1938, Austria. Many were able to gain entry to England and the United States - despite the "quota systems" - and were sponsored in their emigration by individuals like family members and by Jewish relief and other religious organisations. Letters and other documents went back and as families were split up as some left Germany and Austria, and others were not as fortunate and eventually perished. Some 10,000 or so children were sent to the UK by relief groups in the Kindertransports of 1938 and 1939, and we're shown their documentation as well as some correspondence. Most never saw their parents again, but were at least safe in England.

Another group of letters and documents were those sent to and from detainees who were interred in Alien Camps in the UK, Canada, and Australia. Refugees from the continent, they were sent to the camps during the early days of the war when the threat of German invasion of the UK was at its highest. One of the oddest examples of mail-tag was a letter sent to a detainee who had been moved from one internment camp to another to another and the letter kept being forwarded!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nevile on 27 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having met the author who was enthusiastic that I but the book 'on spec' I was happy with this method of buying
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By Krähennest on 14 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is is a very good book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
For a select reader... 14 Dec. 2011
By Jill Meyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
British historian Charmian Brinson has, together with one-time German refugee to England, William Kaczinski, published a book of letters, passes, and other documents - some official and others not - written and issued in the years between 1938 and 1950. Most were to or from German and Austrian Jews who fled Nazism, often one step ahead of the authorities, in their search for places of safety.

The years directly preceding the beginning of WW2 was the time of great activity by Jews who had previously disregarded the dangers of the Nazi take-over of Germany and, after the Anchluss of 1938, Austria. Many were able to gain entry to England and the United States - despite the "quota systems" - and were sponsored in their emigration by individuals like family members and by Jewish relief and other religious organisations. Letters and other documents went back and as families were split up as some left Germany and Austria, and others were not as fortunate and eventually perished. Some 10,000 or so children were sent to the UK by relief groups in the Kindertransports of 1938 and 1939, and we're shown their documentation as well as some correspondence. Most never saw their parents again, but were at least safe in England.

Another group of letters and documents were those sent to and from detainees who were interred in Alien Camps in the UK, Canada, and Australia. Refugees from the continent, they were sent to the camps during the early days of the war when the threat of German invasion of the UK was at its highest. One of the oddest examples of mail-tag was a letter sent to a detainee who had been moved from one internment camp to another to another and the letter kept being forwarded! The authors also write about refugees in China, Japan, Chile, Cuba; any ports in the storm of the Holocaust.

"Fleeing from the Fuhrer" is not a book for the casual reader. It's a well-written look at a tiny part of the horrors of WW2 and the way that lives were often tossed to the winds. Some came to rest in safe places, while too many others ended in death.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
History demonstrated through postal history 17 April 2012
By The Islander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a first-class work dealing with the period from 1937 through the end of WWII, from the standpoint of the (mainly Jewish) refugees, illustrated through examples of the envelopes and cards written by and to them. The author weaves his personal and family experiences into the mix, giving authenticity if more were needed.

Well-printed, illustrated in color photos of the examples, the book should be very useful to students of the period, historians seeking views of original material, and the collectors of postal history of the period. remarkable work.
I understand that it took a tedious amount of work to put it together and compile ... 15 Mar. 2015
By Elizaeth Haines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thought the book would be more interesting. I understand that it took a tedious amount of work to put it together and compile all the information.
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