"The Hitler Emigres" is the story of those central Europeans, many of them Jewish, who escaped the shadow of Nazism, found refuge in Britain and made a lasting mark on the nations's intellectual and cultural life. The book features colourful portraits of some of Britain's most celebrated artists, architects, musicians, choreographers, film makers, historians, philosophers, scientists, writers, broadcasters and publishers - all skilfully woven into the wider context of British cultural history from the 1930s to 2003. The "Hitler emigres" were responsible for the Glyndebourne and Edinburgh Festivals, the film The Red Shoes, the magazine Picture Post, the Amadeus Quartet, and the architecture of the Penguin Pool at London Zoo. They included artists, architects, film makers, musicians, photographers, choreographers, historians, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, publishers and broadcasters.
Thus Nikolaus Pevsner became the great authority on English vernacular Church architecture and Geoffrey Elton the historian of the Tudors; Weidenfeld, Hamlyn, Maxwell, Neurath, Horowitz, Deutsch found publishing companies and introduced the British to cheaper colour printing, quality art books at affordable prices and international co-editions; while Ernst Gombrich writes about art history; Moser runs Covent Garden; Goehr and Solti conduct British orchestras; Korda and Pressburger make films; and Keller and Hoffnung make jokes. Many of the Hitler emigres became natural bridge-builders who helped enrich their new homeland with fresh insights from continental Europe. A number moved on to North America and elsewhere. Far from eliminating the cosmopolitan culture he abhorred, Hitler was instrumental in spreading it throughout the world.
Daniel Snowman was born in London in 1938. He has degrees from Cambridge and Cornell, and at the age of 24 became a Lecturer at the University of Sussex. He has spent much of his professional life at the BBC where, as Chief Producer, Features (Radio), he was responsible for a wide range of projects on cultural and historical subjects. His previous books include Fins de Siecle: How Centuries End 1400-2000 (with Asa Briggs), a history of twentieth-century America, a comparative study of British and US values, and critical portraits of the Amadeus Quartet and Placido Domingo.