Our First and Last Book about Reinhold Alfred
ed. Richard Headicar [Category: People]
By the time of his death in 1993, Reinhold Alfred was widely acclaimed as the greatest living Hungarian poet, by virtue of his "first and last" book of poems, published some sixty years earlier. In the meantime he had been in succession a Zionist, a prominent communist revolutionary, a refugee from both the Nazis and the communists, with whom he had become disillusioned, and a skilful debunker of all political ideologies, engaged by the British government in the de-Nazification of German troops (see below). Later, living in England under the name Alfred Reynolds, he organised discussion groups and regularly attended Speaker's Corner in London, where he would engage visitors with piercingly intelligent conversation on politics, philosophy and religion. Towards the end of his life he revisited Hungary to enjoy his now established reputation as a poet.
This tribute is being edited by the well-known speaker Richard Headicar, who was himself strongly influenced by Alfred's ideas. In it, many people who knew Alfred personally describe their experience of him and how he influenced their lives. Further contributions are welcome, particularly from those who knew Alfred in Hungary. The eventual publisher has not yet been decided.
In order to read the Notes you will need a copy of Adobe Reader version 6.0 or later.
Note: The word 'de-Nazification' (or 'denazification' in American spelling) has two distinct meanings. In one it refers to the removal of Nazis from positions of authority within the new German state after World War II. In the other it means the activity of enabling individual Germans to free themselves from the Nazi ideology with which they had been indoctrinated. Alfred's activities belonged to the latter category.