We Fight Fascists
Daniel Sonabend, Harry Kaufman, Jules Konopinski
Jewish soldiers returned to Britain after WWII believing they had defeated fascism in Europe. Yet in London they faced a revived fascist movement, inspired by Oswald Mosley, stirring up agitation against Jews and communists. We Fight Fascists is the story of the 43 Jewish ex-servicemen and women – the 43 Group – who fought back. Their numbers quickly swelled as they were joined by gentiles and younger Jews, including hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, who used the tools of his trade – scissors – to beat the fascists.
Daniel Sonabend is a writer and historian who lives in London. He studied for his MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History at Cambridge University. For the past six years he has been researching the 43 Group and working to share its story, culminating in the publication of his first book We Fight Fascists: The 43 Group and Their Forgotten Battle for Post-war Britain.
Harry Kaufman was born in Walthamstow in 1931. Joining the 43 Group at just sixteen years old, he was for a long time the Group's youngest member. He left the Group in 1949 when he was called up for National Service.
Jules Konopinski was born in Breslau, Germany in 1930, and escaped to Britain with his mother in 1939. Jules joined the 43 Group when he was seventeen years old and developed a reputation for being a tough young fighter. In 1948 Jules left the Group for a year to fight in the Palmach during Israel's War of Independence.
Bidisha is a broadcaster, journalist and film-maker. Her latest publication is The Future of Serious Art (Nov 2020) and her latest film series, Aurora, launched in 2020 and is ongoing. Bidisha specialises in international human rights, social justice and the arts and offers political analysis and cultural diplomacy tying these interests together. She writes for the main UK broadsheets and presents and commentates heavily for BBC TV and radio, ITN, CNN, ViacomCBS and Sky News. Her fifth book, Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices of London (2015), is based on her outreach work in UK prisons, refugee charities and detention centres. Her first short film, An Impossible Poison, received its London premier in March 2018. It has been highly acclaimed and selected for numerous international film festivals. She is currently presenting the Hello Happiness audio series for Wellcome Collection, all about mental and physical health. Image cr Suki Dhanda