Jewish Communists in twentieth-century Britain: the Zaidman Collection

Kushner, Tony
September 1990
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Fall90, Vol. 55 Issue 2, p66
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the deposit of the library and archive of Lazar Zaidman, whose collection on the Jewish involvement in the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) is a legacy to historians. In the 1930s- 1960s, many Jewish Communists were successful in local East End elections. Even as late as 1965 it is estimated that 10 per cent of the CPGB was Jewish. Yet, this ethnic aspect of communist adherence has generally been ignored by historians of the British far Left. The addition of Lazar Zaidman's collection to the Sheffield University Library calls for some comment. Zaidman, a man who operated essentially in an East End world, was an individual whose collecting habits, whilst a disaster in terms of household management in his lifetime and beyond, have left a tremendous legacy to historians. Little, if anything, it seems was intentionally destroyed in the way of leaflets, minutes, pamphlets, newspapers, books and the like.


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