HILDE MEISEL (July 31, 1914 – April 17, 1945) was a German
socialist and journalist who published articles against the Nazi
regime in Germany. While in exile in England, she wrote under the
pseudonym Hilda Monte, calling for
German resistance to
magazines, books and in radio broadcasts. She acted as a courier and
repeatedly undertook secret operations in Germany, Austria,
* 1 Early political influences
* 2 Nazi era begins
* 3 How to conquer
* 12 Meisel\'s literary work
* 12.1 Books and brochures * 12.2 Articles in the Sozialistische Warte
* 13 See also * 14 References * 15 Further reading * 16 External links
EARLY POLITICAL INFLUENCES
Meisel was born to Rosa and Ernst Meisel, the younger of two
daughters in a middle-class, German Jewish family in
According to the
Meisel attended the
NAZI ERA BEGINS
In 1933, the Nazis seized power and Meisel began getting active with
German Resistance . In 1934, she interrupted her art studies and
began taking courses in national economy at the
Meisel became active with the ISK established friendships with
political contacts in different countries. Writing under the pseudonym
"Hilda Monte", she brought like-minded comrades in Germany
information. She also acted as a courier and smuggled literature into
Germany and helped those under threat by the
As the situation with Litten deteriorated when he went to Dachau concentration camp in October 1937, Meisel began to work intensively to secure his release. She corresponded with other supporters and arranged to publish an article in the Manchester Guardian on January 26, 1938, "In Dachau Camp. The Tragic Case of Hans Litten". These efforts were without success; Litten committed suicide just days later on February 5, 1938.
To avoid being deported, Meisel entered into a marriage of convenience with the English caricaturist and cartoonist John Olday in 1938. In so doing, she became a "British subject by marriage", allowing her to carry out her work in England more easily and Meisel developed a busy career as a journalist, writing articles for The Vanguard, Sozialistische Warte, Left News and Tribune .
HOW TO CONQUER HITLER
Writing as Hilda Monte, Meisel and
Fritz Eberhard published How to
In order for her name to be pronounced properly by English-speaking readers, Meisel modified the spelling of her name from Hilde to Hilda. In her German manuscripts, however, she continued to use the original spelling. On occasion, because of circumstances where there was fear about using her real name, it was abbreviated or she used "Hilda Olday".
Fritz Eberhard mentioned his association with Meisel in exile in England. The outbreak of the war was a turning point in my work in exile. I separated myself from the organization, from the ISK at that point. After that, I was not political, but rather worked with unions; so then, in England, I was a political loner. My admission ticket, to speak, to a more tolerable and fertile life in exile was a book, which I had written with Hilde Monte very soon after the war began because of previously ongoing preparations. She left Germany just one day before the outbreak of war, but had previously been in England. She had recently experienced the psychological situation of the population in Germany. This book, How to conquer Hitler, gave advice on the economic and psychological war against Hitler. This book had magnificent reviews; the book is a rarity, since most of the edition happened to be in a warehouse at the port when it was destroyed by Nazi bombs. Even if, as a result, the book never became very widespread, some important people did know of it, and so many doors opened for me.
LEAVES THE ISK
In autumn 1939, feeling that the ISK was not being militant enough against the Nazis, Meisel left the ISK along with Fritz Eberhard and Hans Lehnert (1899–1942). Even during the war, Meisel kept trying to go to Germany.
SENDER DER EUROPäISCHEN REVOLUTION
In early 1940, Meisel and Eberhard were appointed to be advisors with the Gillies Committee , under the direction of William Gillies. They were to develop concrete plans to set up a "black propaganda " radio station. Called the Sender der europäischen Revolution ("European Revolution Broadcasting Station"), it first went on the air October 7, 1940.
After the Gillies Committee was dissolved in 1941, she continued working till 1943 with the unionist Walter Auerbach , the lawyer Otto Kahn-Freund and Eberhard to form a discussion group that would work in the fight against National Socialism in Germany.
On assignment by the Minister of Economic Warfare , Hilde Meisel worked with the Central European Joint Committee, which was set up by émigrés to Great Britain to for propaganda and to analyze news and information coming from Germany.
HELP GERMANY TO REVOLT!
GERMAN EDUCATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION
In 1942, Meisel worked with Fritz Borinski , Werner Milch, Minna Specht , Walter Auerbach, Werner Burmeister , Fritz Eberhard and Otto Kahn-Freund to establish the German Education Reconstruction , a project of the "Union of German Socialist Organisations in Great Britain " launched to plan and prepare a reorganization of the system of education and upbringing in postwar Germany.
Founded in spring 1941 at the request of the British Labour Party,
the Union was a consortium of German Socialist refugees from several
German political parties,
Sopade , the Socialist Workers\' Party of
Neu Beginnen and the ISK . They set themselves to work on
the downfall of the Hitlerian system and to work with the Allies to
defeat Hitler. They also discussed the conditions and work of a future
united socialist party in Germany, exchanging ideas on a common
objective so as not to repeat the mistakes of the
Meisel also appeared on the broadcasts of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) geared toward German workers, was worked with the education program of the British forces, and toward the end of the war, got involved again with the ISK group in London.
One surviving radio manuscript, written in mid-December 1942, deals with the murder of European Jews. What is happening today in Poland, the cold-blooded extermination of the Jewish people, this is being done in your name, in the name of the German people. Show evidence of your solidarity to these people, even if it requires courage - especially if it requires courage.
THE UNITY OF EUROPE
Originally, Meisel worked on the book, The Next Germany. A Basis of
Discussion on Peace in Europe with Walter Auerbach, Fritz Eberhard,
Her ideas and comprehensive approaches to the economic integration of Europe were then published in her own book, "The Unity of Europe". Among other topics, it covered the economic requirements of a postwar Europe. Many German university students have written their diplom theses using this book.
Both books were published in 1943. The "Sozialistische Mitteilungen: News for German Socialists in England" wrote, In a short chapter of her new book, The Unity of Europe (published by the Left Book Club ), Hilda Monte debates the status of Germany in a new Europe; in principle, in the same sense as The Next Germany, published around the same time. Monte's highly readable book is rich in factual material and instructive discussion of the political and economic problems in Europe's future. It stresses, in particular, the recent opposition of the highly industrialized West and agrarian southeastern Europe; the export difficulties on the one hand, rural poverty on the other, crises, tensions and which involved uncertainty and was one of the causes of the war.
SECRET MISSION TO SWITZERLAND
In summer 1944, Meisel was recruited for the "Faust Project" of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), who were looking for some 200 agents to obtain military and political news from Germany. The OSS held several training programs for the participants in a small private house outside London. The teachers were members of the U.S. Army, including several immigrants. The participants were briefed on practical aspects of everyday life in Nazi Germany, such ration cards , how to acquire an apartment and other bureaucratic requirements they'd need to navigate in order to find work. At the end of the course, they were trained in parachuting. Because the pending trips were secret, they were forbidden to talk to their friends about their plans.
In September 1944, Meisel and Anna Beyer flew to
They were transported by French farmers in an old open wagon to an
unused tunnel, where they were met by an English officer. He helped
them reach Thonon-les-Bains, where they stayed four weeks, until they
were picked up by Rene Bertholet . Surreptitiously, they crossed the
Shortly thereafter, Meisel and Beyer traveled to the
Near the end of the war, Meisel, Beyer, Hanna Bertholet and Anne Kapius received an invitation from the American headquarters in Bern to discuss returning to Germany to engage in acts of sabotage, but they declined. A little later, Meisel made contact with Karl Gerold , who later became editor of the Frankfurter Rundschau , to establish Austrian resistance groups in Ticino.
On April 17, 1945, while trying to cross the border illegally from
Germany into Liechtenstein, Meisel was shot when she made a dash for
the frontier at
There are two streets named after Hilde Meise, Hilda-Monte-Straße in
Bergkamen and Hilda-Monte-Weg in the Bergedorf quarter of Hamburg.
There is a memorial dedicated to Meisel in Feldkirch and a
Much of what is known about Meisel's life in England came from her husband, whose recollections were embellished. In 1946, she was identified as the mastermind behind the 1939 Bürgerbräukeller assassination attempt on Hitler's life, though convincing evidence of this is unverifiable.
MEISEL\'S LITERARY WORK
BOOKS AND BROCHURES
As Hilde Meisel:
* Gedichte Hans Lehnert - Europäische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg (1950)
As Hilda Monte:
* How to conquer Hitler, with
Fritz Eberhard . - Jarrolds, London
ARTICLES IN THE SOZIALISTISCHE WARTE
(Pen name used is given in brackets)
* Der Griff nach der Saar, Vol. 9, 1934, No. 8 (December), pp. 192–201 * Krise und Ausbeutung, Vol. 11, 1936, No. 1 (January), pp. 13–16 * Neues Labour-Programm, Vol. 12, 1937, No. 10 (May 15, 1937), pp. 220–222 * Evolutionaerer Kommunismus, Vol. 13, 1938, No. 12 (March 25, 1938), pp. 267–270 * Die wirtschaftliche Unabhaengigkeit der CSR, Vol. 13, 1938, No. 26 (July 1, 1938), pp. 603–609 * Ungarn vor der Wahl, Vol. 13, 1938, No. 28 (July 15, 1938), pp. 658–662 * Die Erschliessung Polens, Vol. 13, 1938, No. 36 (September 9, 1938), pp. 845–848
* ^ Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschland, Der Freiheit
verpflichtet. Gedenkbuch der deutschen Sozialdemokratie im 20.
Jahrhundert. Schüren, Marburg (2000), p. 227. ISBN 3-89472-173-1 (in
* ^ A B Thomas Tretzmüller, "Sozialistische Europapläne während
des 2. Weltkriegs am Beispiel des Internationalen Sozialistischen
Kampf-Bundes und der Socialist Vanguard Group" University of
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 215368704 * GND : 117133590
Links: ------ /wiki/German_people