Michael Reid Anti-Fascism Collection
Scope and Content of the Collection
Appeals, calls to action, declarations, newspapers, notes, notices, poems, and resolutions by a variety of anti-fascist organizations in Chicago and United States that formed after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. Groups such as the Chicago Committee to Aid Victims of German Fascism, the Provisional United Front Anti-Fascist Committee (Chicago), the National Committee to Aid Victims of German Fascism (New York City, New York), the International Relief Committee for Victims of Hitler Fascism, and the Communist Party U.S.A. (Opposition), Chicago Branch, Deutschen Branch International Labor Defense, and Deutschen Arbeiter Klub, all aimed to mobilize members and workers and assist victims and survivors of Nazi persecution.
Some of the materials relate to the Reichstag fire and the Reichstag Fire Trial, also known as the Leipzig Trial. The Reichstag Fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag Building (which housed the German Parliament) in Berlin, Germany on February 27, 1933 just one month after Adolf Hitler had been sworn in. Immediately four men were arrested, and in July they were indicted on charges of setting the Reichstag fire. The Reichstag Fire Trial or Leipzig Trial, which occurred from September 21 to December 23, 1933, was widely publicized and commented on, as seen in this collection of materials with anti-fascist organizations in Chicago and throughout the United States participating in attempts to free the accused. The men indicted were: Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch council communist who was in the end tried, convicted, and executed for the Reichstag fire, Ernst Torgler, the last chairman of the Communist Party of Germany or Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (KPD) faction in the German Reichstag before being stripped of his party membership and leadership positions as a result of surrendering himself (he later worked for the Nazis, and in the 1950s tried to rejoin the communist party but was rejected so he joined the Social Democratic Party), Georgi Dimitrov, a Bulgarian Communist who lead Communist International and became Bulgaria's first communist leader (1946-1949), Blagoy Popov, a Bulgarian Communist and member of Communist International who moved to Moscow after the trail and got caught up in the Stalinist purges and as a result spent seventeen years in a Gulag until he was rehabilitated in 1954, and Vasil Tanev, a Bulgarian Communist and member of Communist International, he moved between Communist Russia and Bulgaria, and after the trial he was considered a hero upon his return to Russia.
Additionally, some of the materials also relate to Ernst Thälmann or Thaelman who was the leader of the KPD during much of the Weimar Republic. The Gestapo arrested him and his personal secretary in 1933 and held him in solitary confinement for eleven years. He was shot/ murdered in the Buchenwald concentration camp on Adolf Hitler's orders in 1944. Additionally, although not involved in the Reichstag fire itself, he was informed by communist functionaries about it and the sudden arrests.
As seen in this collection of materials, various anti-fascist groups in Chicago organized to free political prisoners in Germany and speak out against fascism.
- Creation: 1933-1934
- Reid, Michael, 1947- (Person)
Materials are English, French, German, and Yiddish.
Conditions Governing Access
The Michael Reid Anti-Fascism Collection is open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Michael Reid Anti-Fascism Collection is the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.
Biography of Michael Reid
Michael Reid was born in 1947. He founded Michael Reid Design in Chicago, and is an independent researcher and private art dealer. He studied art and theatre at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and he also studied film and communications at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He taught filmmaking at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
0.2 Linear Feet (1 box and oversize, loose materials)
Appeals, calls to action, declarations, newspapers, notes, notices, poems, and resolutions by a variety of anti-fascist organizations in Chicago and United States that formed after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. Groups such as the Chicago Committee to Aid Victims of German Fascism, the Provisional United Front Anti-Fascist Committee (Chicago), the National Committee to Aid Victims of German Fascism (New York City, New York), the International Relief Committee for Victims of Hitler Fascism, the Communist Party U.S.A. (Opposition), Chicago Branch, Deutschen Branch International Labor Defense, and Deutschen Arbeiter Klub, all aimed to mobilize workers and assist victims and survivors of Nazi persecution.
Arranged alphabetically by material type(s), except for the newspapers which are oversized and at the end.
Collection Stack Location
1 39 3, 1 43 12
Gift of Michael Reid, 2018.
Samantha Smith, 2018.
- Chicago Committee to Aid Victims of German Fascism (Organization)
- Dimitrov, Blagoĭ (Person)
- Dimitrov, Georgi, 1882-1949 (Person)
- Independent Communist Labor League (U.S.) (Organization)
- International Relief Committee for Victims of Hitler Fascism (Organization)
- National Committee to Aid Victims of German Fascism (U.S.) (Organization)
- Provisional United Front Anti-Fascist Committee (Organization)
- Tanev, Vasil (Person)
- Thälmann, Ernst, 1886-1944 (Person)
- Torgler, Ernst, 1893-1963 (Person)
- Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 (Person)
Genre / Form
- Declarations -- 1901-1950
- Newspapers -- 1901-1950
- Poems -- 1901-1950
- Publicizing -- 1901-1950
- Resolutions (administrative records) -- 1900-1950
- Inventory of the Michael Reid Anti-Fascism Collection, 1933-1934
- Samantha Smith
- Language of description
- Script of description