Vi krossar fascister (We Fight Fascists)

Daniel Sonabend

Excerpts from Swedish Translation of Daniel Sonabend’s We Fight Fascists (Verso, 2019), about the 43 Group – an anti-fascist organisation formed by Jewish Ex-Servicemen in 1946 to fight Oswald Mosley and his post-war fascist followers:


1st May 1948: British politician and founder of the British Union of Fascists Oswald Mosley speaks at an anti-Communism rally at Hertford Road, Dalston, East London. (Pages 226-227)


In 1946, at a meeting at the Maccabi house, the 43 persons present founded Group 43 and agreed upon its aims and objectives: “1. To advocate the immediate passing of legislation to make Fascist and Anti-Semitic Organisations illegal. 2. To combat actively all Fascist and Anti-Semitic Organisations by: (a) Opposing their activities; (b) Publicly exposing them 3. To awaken and unite all sections of the public against the menace of Fascism. 4. To develop an organisation capable of communal defence. 5. To work and cooperate with all the other bodies combating Fascism and Anti-Semitism.”


“At the station Goldstein and Silver waited for hours in separate cells, until one after the other they were brought into the charge room, where they encountered the man Goldstein had reportedly attacked, head of ‘G’ Division, Superintendent Charles Satterthwaite. ‘Fucking Jew bastard!’ Satterthwaite shouted at Silver as he repeatedly beat him, while two of his officers held Silver against the wall. With Goldstein, Satterthwaite went for his face, which, according to Silver, was left ‘covered in a mass of blood’.45 The following morning both men were released on bail but came face-to-face with Satterthwaite in court a month later, when the superintendent denied assaulting the prisoner. He was believed, Silver and Goldstein were not and were both found guilty and given custodial sentences. Goldstein was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment; Silver got twenty-eight days.”



“AN UNBIASED WATCH — ‘You are quite sure that it is an unbiased watch you keep at these meetings?’ the defence lawyer at Silver and Goldstein’s trial asked Satterthwaite. ‘As police officers it is always an unbiased watch,’ responded the superintendent. The facts struggle to bear this statement out. In a survey of forty-nine cases where arrests were made at fascist meetings, historian Dave Renton found that anti-fascists were three times as likely to get arrested as pro-fascists. The question is why. Widespread anti-Semitism in the Metropolitan Police force is the simplest answer.”


“But to put this down to anti-Semitism alone in the Metropolitan Police is misguided; other biases were almost certainly in play. For one, the police were never convinced that the Group was apolitical and not secretly communist. Consequently, like their communist allies, the anti-fascist ex-servicemen were seen as radical agitators desperate to overturn the status quo. The conflation of the 43 Group and the communists is actually quite understandable. In 1942, 10 per cent of the CPGB’s 5,000 members were Jewish, and most of that 10 per cent lived in East London.56 In the confusion of a street battle, a police officer could be forgiven for confusing one type of anti-fascist with another.”


“In total just two fascists were charged, and both were subsequently let off by Magistrate Herbert Malone, who opined: ‘You are entitled to hold your views and express them in public, and anyone who stops you will be punished.’ This, On Guard observed, was a far cry from the advice Malone usually gave to anti-fascists, whom he never failed to warn away from fascist meetings. On Guard also pointed out the inconsistencies in the actions of the police, for whereas they always offered protection to fascist meetings, none had been provided for this meeting.”


“This lack of police protection for left-wing anti-fascists was the norm, which is why they often had to request protection from the Group, who were happy to oblige. When a large trade union meeting was to be held in York Hall in Bethnal Green, the Group were turned to once again. The Group sent about fifty members down, and they guarded all the entrances while the meeting progressed without interruption. The Group waited until all the leaders and trade unionists had left before departing themselves and heading to the train station.”



PDF excerpt of quoted pages:



Daniel Sonabend
Vi krossar fascister: historien om grupp 43
Trans. Bo Greider
Hansson & Bruce (Söderbokhandeln), Stockholm 2021

ANTIFA – Chasseurs de skins



Security of Others:

Police Violence and Police Support of Fascists:

Hardsubbed version (mainly) quoted above:

Higher res version on Youtube:



ANTIFA – Chasseurs de skins
Director: Marc-Aurèle Vecchione
66 min
France, 2008