Jon Kimche

Jon Kimche (17 June 1909 – 9 March 1994) was a journalist and historian. A Swiss Jew, he arrived in England at the age of 12, becoming involved in the Independent Labour Party as a young man. In 1934–35, he worked with George Orwell in a Hampstead bookshop, Booklover’s Corner, and he later managed the ILP's bookshop at 35 Bride Street, near Ludgate Circus. As chair of the ILP Guild of Youth, he visited Barcelona in 1937, where he again met Orwell.

In the early war years he contributed articles on military strategy to the ''Evening Standard'', and in 1942, on the recommendation of Michael Foot, was hired by Aneurin Bevan as ''de facto'' editor of the left-wing weekly ''Tribune''. (Bevan was nominally the editor but had neither the time nor the technical expertise to do the job, and Kimche was both an alien and a member of the ILP rather than the Labour Party, which ''Tribune'' supported.) He left ''Tribune'' to join Reuters in 1945 but returned in 1946, though by now his primary interest was in the Middle East—specifically, in the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. He was fired from his ''Tribune'' job after disappearing from the office in December 1947 to Istanbul to negotiate safe passage with the Turkish authorities for two ships sailing from Bulgaria with thousands of Jews aboard bound for Palestine.

From this point on, Kimche made a name for himself as a leftist, and as an analyst of Middle Eastern politics, writing several books and innumerable articles. He was for 15 years editor of the ''Jewish Observer and Middle East Review'' and was Middle East correspondent of the ''Evening Standard'' until 1973. He was one of the original senior members of the Next Century Foundation.

Kimche is the author of ''The Secret Roads: The "Illegal" Migration of People, 1938-1948'', Secker and Warburg, 1954. The book details the passages of Jewish refugees throughout Europe ''en route'' to Palestine. The Haganah, and in some cases Jewish youth groups, such as the Bricha, accomplished this. Kimche documents this group's activities in arranging for Jewish orphans to arrive from all over Europe to Marseilles in 1947 and board the Exodus, which was bound for Palestine. He also wrote several books with his brother David Kimche. Provided by Wikipedia
Author: Kimche, Jon.
Published 1964
Record Source: Published Materials