“After Auschwitz, there were no laws.”
September 5, 2017 6:35 AM   Subscribe

Vidal Sassoon: Anti-fascist warrior-hairdresser. Towards the end of his life, the famous hairstylist recounted his days as part of the 43 Group, a group of Jewish British ex-servicemen who fought the fascist organisations they encountered at home on their return from the Second World War. The UK was the only country in Europe other than Franco's Spain to allow fascist parties after 1945.

After his time in the 43 Group, "Sassoon was one of hundreds of volunteers who ended up in Israel in 1948 fighting the Egyptians as part of the Israel Defence Force. On the day he left, his mother told him he was doing the right thing. But she had always dreamt that he was going to be a hairdresser."

A 6-part BBC/NBC TV series about the 43 Group was in production in late 2015, written and produced by Erik Jendresen of Band of Brothers, but its current status is unclear.

Mefi Sassoon obit thread and the 43 Group previously.
posted by rory (7 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
That straight razor wasn't just for those peppy '60s bobs.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:44 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


Wow, that previously thread on the 43 group from '08 contains the exact debate we were having last week here about antifa.

Thanks for these links! Always loved this about Vidal Sassoon.
posted by latkes at 8:04 AM on September 5 [14 favorites]


The UK was the only country in Europe other than Franco's Spain to allow fascist parties after 1945.

Not to derail, but I don't think that's really true. I'm certainly no authority, but just to mention a few cases that come to mind, how would you describe Salazar's party in Portugal? In Italy the MSI, as I understand it was originally more or less explicitly a postwar continuation of fascism, and was at one time the fourth largest party. Irish fascists were publishing a newspaper, Aiséirí, from 1946 right up into the seventies.
posted by Segundus at 9:16 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


Not a derail at all, it's a good point. I was a bit too loose and uncritical in paraphrasing a quote from the "6-part BBC series" link, from 43 Group member Morris Beckman: "In 1946, there were only two countries in Europe that allowed fascist parties - us and Franco’s Spain." Maybe that was true in 1946, but not subsequently? But then, Salazar spanned those years.
posted by rory at 9:36 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Wait, that debate is apparently still relevant?
posted by tully_monster at 11:15 AM on September 5


how would you describe Salazar's party in Portugal

It was the only party allowed in the constitution, dissidents were persecuted (opposing parties were born and the only reason we joined NATO was because mr. fall-of-chairs was scared of the commies.
So, yeah, facha. A good dog-whistle to catch them is when someone mentions they were nationalist, but weren't authoritarian (and so, not fascist) which is a load of bollocks.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:02 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


lmfsilva: "A good dog-whistle to catch them is when someone mentions they were nationalist"

These are also the people who start a phrase "I'm not racist, but..."
posted by chavenet at 1:53 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


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