Bring me another Einstein

Matthew Reisz

  • American Pimpernel: The Man who Saved the Artists on Hitler’s Death List by Andy Marino
    Hutchinson, 416 pp, £16.99, November 1999, ISBN 0 09 180053 6

The terms of the Armistice of 1940 required the French to ‘surrender on demand’ anyone the Germans wanted to get hold of. Gestapo hit-lists were drawn up, but the chaos of defeat offered temporary protection for the thousands of refugees concentrated in Vichy France. Social democrats, communists, Surrealists and anarchists waited to be rescued, but it looked as if only a miracle, or a great power, could help them. In New York, the day after the Armistice, the Emergency Rescue Committee was formed by a group of European refugees and American academics and journalists, with the ambitious aim of saving ‘cultural Europe’.

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