John Bradley obituary


My father, John Bradley, who has died aged 93, was a specialist in japanese European and Soviet historical past and politics, contributing to greater than 20 titles, primarily on Czechoslovakia, his homeland, and Russia.

John taught within the division of presidency at Manchester College from 1963 to 1981. Throughout this time he printed articles and books together with The Illustrated Historical past of the Third Reich (1978), his bestselling work. Wishing to develop his extra-curricular actions, he then took early retirement.

After that, John loved greater than 40 years of residing at a gentler tempo, surrounded by his household. He continued to write down books in addition to instructing as a visiting professor on the Université de Bordeaux in 1983-84. The overthrow of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989 marked the realisation of a dream for him, however it got here too late, as his mother and father had died and he didn’t really feel he might begin there once more. In 1991-92 he taught politics at Palacký College Olomouc, Czechoslovakia, earlier than residing in Paris and London and finally settling in Bergerac, Dordogne, in 2004.

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John Bradley studied at Cambridge within the Fifties

John was born Jan Nejez in Brno to Maria (nee Racková), a cook dinner, and Jan Nejez Sr, a soldier and later chief controller of the Brno trams, who was arrested by the Germans for resistance exercise in July 1940. In 1949 the younger Jan grew to become a scholar chief and was expelled from the Réalné gymnasium at Královopolská, Brno, for anti-communist actions. Just a few months later he scouted the border for an escape route and was himself arrested and despatched to the Jachymov uranium mine, the place he befriended a guard and escaped with one other inmate, reaching West Germany in November 1949.

As an undocumented 19-year-old refugee, the multilingual Jan spent six months as an interpreter earlier than securing a journey doc for England on a five-year contract to work in a metal mill. He modified his identify to John Bradley to evade the eye of Czech secret providers. Recruited as a spy by MI5 in 1953, John was rapidly dropped when he refused to steal a goal’s letters.

To finish his training, he handed O and A-levels at North Western Polytechnic in Kentish City, London, and studied philosophy, Czech and Russian at Cambridge College, gaining a primary diploma in 1955 and an MLitt in 1958. Travelling to Cambridge on a bus sooner or later, he met Annie Barennes, a scholar from Bordeaux, and so they married in 1954. In 1964 he obtained a doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris with a historical past of the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia, 1914-20.

John is survived by Annie, his sons Christopher and Nicholas, daughters Marie-Helene and me, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


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