Lazar Zaidman Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Printed and manuscript documents assembled by Lazar Zaidman relating to the Anti-Fascist movement in London and to the Communist Party of Great Britain during the period 1930s to 1950s, and to Jewish affairs during this period, including the origins of the state of Israel.

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection consists of printed ephemera and manuscript documents relating to the Anti-Fascist movement in London and to the Communist Party of Great Britain during the period 1930s to 1950s. There is also material on Jewish affairs during this period, including the origins of the state of Israel. A collection of pamphlets is included.

Lazar Zaidman (1903-1963) was a leading London Communist during the period of the 1930s to the 1950s. He was born in Jubilee Street in the East End to a Jewish family in 1903, but returned with his family to Rumania in 1912. In Rumania he became a revolutionary and spent 3 years in prison where he was tortured, losing an eye and an ear. In 1925 he was deported back to England. He settled in Hackney with his wife, Ray, and set up a valet shop (many of his speeches were written on the back of handbills for this shop). Zaidman was a presser by trade but was blackballed by the union, and was thus forced to run his own business. In the 1930s he was active with other Jewish Communists, and the Zaidmans' house in Hackney was used regularly for discussions and political meetings. A Jewish study group was based at the house consisting of Zaidman, Alf Holland, Chimen Abramsky, Izzie Pushkin, and Julie Jacobs. All were Communists active in the Jewish People's Council Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism - a group that coordinated anti-fascism in the East End during the 1930s. After the war Zaidman was prominent in the Workers' Circle movement and also in the National Jewish Committee of the Communist Party. although never a 'national' figure in the C.P.G.B. he was well-known and was close to more prominent individuals such as R. Palme-Dutt, Hyman Levy, George Rude, and Ivor Montagu. He died in 1963, and his funeral was attended by the leading Communist figures in Britain, an indication of the respect in which he was held.

Arrangement

By category

Conditions Governing Access

Available to all researchers, by appointment

Acquisition Information

Donated 1986

Note

Description prepared by Lawrence Aspden

Other Finding Aids

A manuscript list of the Papers is available, compiled by Dr Tony Kushner

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright: University of Sheffield Library

Related Material

East End Newspaper Reports; Hans Adolf Krebs Papers