The Kuczynskis were a German-Jewish family of active anti-fascists who worked assiduously to combat the rise of Nazism before and during the course of the Second World War. This book focuses on the family of Robert and his wife Berta – both born two decades before the end of the nineteenth century – and their six children, five of whom became communists and one who worked as a Soviet agent. The parents, and later their children, rejected and rebelled against their comfortable bourgeois heritage and devoted their lives to the overthrow of privilege and class society. They chose to do this in a Germany that was rapidly moving in the opposite direction.
With the rise of German nationalism and then Hitler fascism, the family was confronted with stark choices and, as a result of making these choices, suffered persecution and exile. Revealing how these experiences shaped their outlook and perception of events, this book documents the story of the Kuczynskis for the first time in the English language and is a fascinating biographical portrait of a unique and radical family.
About the Author
John Green is a journalist and author who has written several political biographies. His particular area of interest is the history of East Germany.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: who are the Kuczynskis?
- Robert René – world pioneer of social statistics
- Jürgen follows in his father’s footsteps
- Ursula – the politically precocious child
- Life under fascism
- Working underground
- The exile years - England
- Ursula – a Soviet agent in the Oxfordshire countryside
- Jürgen joins the US army
- Back in Germany at last
- Ursula’s return to the GDR
- Life for Jürgen and Marguerite in the GDR
- Ursula reveals her past
- The sun sets on a dream – the end of the GDR
- The British Kuczynskis
- Children of the war
- The spying business and the role of MI5