The Black Book
In 1940 the Nazi Regime was planning the invasion of Britain in an operation codenamed Sea Lion. Plans were put in place for how to take the reigns of power and they were formalised into a book, the Informationsheft G.B, by the Gestapo. In this guide it contained information about all the current levels of power and influence in Britain: political parties, court systems, prominent media services: even the trade unions and the Freemasons. There were photos of many of the top British employees of the Secret Intelligence Services including details on their known whereabouts.
However the most interesting part of the Informationsheft G.B. was the appendix which was officially named the Sonderfahndungsliste G.B. (Special Search List of Great Britain), but was coequally known to the public as the Black Book. It was the list of people to be immediately arrested once the Germans had successfully invaded. The 2,820 names read like a who's who of intellectuals and political figures from the 40's and it contains a lot of my heroes.
Here's some of the interesting ones:
Winston Churchill, Clement Atlee, Neville Chamberlain were all predictably on the list. A notable absence however was David Lloyd George even though his daughter Megan Lloyd George was on it. Besides this list of former and future Prime Ministers, many of the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet were also in the book; none of which come as much of a surprise.
Slightly outside of the world of politics the book listed a lot of the writers and outspoken socialites who had publicly criticised the Nazi's in some way. For instance Noël Coward was on it for opposing appeasement, Sylvia Pankhurst (daughter of Emmeline) was an anti-fascist campaigner and Violet Bonham Carter (Helena's grandmother) was too.
Writers H. G. Wells (Socialist) and Aldous Huxley (Pacifist) were both there, as was the philosopher Bertrand Russell (Pacifist). Much of the Bloomsbury Group (a tight knit group of intellectuals from the start of the century) were on the list including Virginia and Leonard Woolf and John Maynard Keynes. They were all influential in their own rights and it is sad to think how much the world would have lost if all of these great humans had been incarcerated.