1st Edition

Jews, Labour and the Left, 1918–48

By Christine Collette, Stephen Bird Copyright 2000

    This title was first published in 2000. With the advent of the Second World War, fascism became inextricably associated with anti-Semitism. It is hardly surprising, therefore, to find that a significant number of Jewish people were politically inclined towards the left and were actively involved in socialist movements. The essays in this volume seek to arrive at an understanding of Jewish involvement in Labour movements outside Israel from the end of the First World War to the final stages of World War Two. This was a period which saw the creation of several international socialist institutions. Gail Malmgreen looks at the American Jewish Labor Committee and examines the interaction between trades unions and the Jewish community. Deborah Osmond, Christine Collette and Jason Heppell discuss the contributions made by Jews living in Britain to Labour politics, including the Communist Party of Great Britain and the Labour and Socialist International. The reactions and stances of the British Labour party in relation to Zionism and the Holocaust are the subjects of essays by Isabelle Tombs and Paul Kelemen. David De Vries's study of the position of Jewish white-collar workers in British-ruled Palestine provides another perspective on the complex web of relationships between British and Jewish identity, class, labour and politics. An invaluable bibliography by Arieh Lebowitz of sources for the study of Jewish interaction with the American and British Labour movements completes this important survey.

    Contents: Introduction, Christine Collette and Stephen Bird; Comrades and Kinsmen: The Jewish Labor Committee and Anti-Nazi Activity, 1934-41, Gail Malmgreen; White-Collar and Labour: Clerks and the Histadrut in British-Ruled Palestine, David De Vries; British Jewry and Labour Politics, 1918-39, Deborah Osmond; ’Le soleil du socialisme commence à se lever sur le monde’:The Utopian Visions of Labour Zionism, British Labour and the Labour and Socialist International in the 1930s, Christine Collette; A Question of 'Jewish Politics'? The Jewish Section of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1936-45, Jason Heppell; Szmul Zygielbojm, the British Labour Party and the Holocaust, Isabelle Tombs; Looking the Other Way: The British Labour Party, Zionism and the Palestinians, Paul Kelemen; Jews and the Trade Union Movements in the UK and US: Select Bibliographical Sources, Arieh Lebowitz; Afterword: Dresden Homecoming, Irene Wagner; Index.


    Collette, Christine; Bird, Stephen

    ’This book is profusely referenced and the chapters follow an excellent introduction by Stephen Bird and Christine (Collette)...a life-time’s reading.’ Labour Heritage, Spring Bulletin '... a welcome addition to the literature...' History