Remembering the Adlers

At around £300,000, the Adler Legacy is one of the largest gifts gratefully received by the Region.  The project work is based in Oxford and builds on a successful Take Part initiative in the area, as well as many years of WEA community development work.  We have been able to employ a full-time Development Worker, and over the past couple of years have developed a successful Community Branch and provided activities for building volunteer support in deprived areas of Oxford City. There is an annual Adler Legacy event which includes a lecture and showcases of the WEA work in the area.  The first event was held on the 18th of May 2012 at Oxford Town Hall.  You can see some pictures from that event on our Facebook Page


About the Adlers

Fred and Catherine Adler were both lifelong socialists and trade unionists with a passion for equality and belief in the transformative power of education.  Cath's family were of German origin but she was born in Holland and came to England as a young girl at the outbreak of the First World War.  Cath was from an upper-middle-class family who moved to the USA when she was in her teens.  She decided to stay in the UK with her uncle who funded her through Oxford University in the 1930s.  She went on to teach for the WEA in Leeds and Hull during the war, and was appalled by the poverty she encountered. After the war she threw herself with added zeal into teaching adults, particularly trade union courses, and that's where she met Fred.  Fred, a Jew, came to the UK from Germany before the Second World War to escape persecution by the Nazis.  Her work became their life.  They returned to Oxford in the late 50s and Catherine took up a post as Staff Tutor in the University's Extra-Mural Department.  Throughout the 60s, at the height of the Cold War, they led trips to East Germany and Russia to study literature, language, culture, history and politics.  Her life - and this work in particular - inspired a short biography entitled Towards International Understanding.

The first work supported by the legacy was a joint project with Ruskin College to design and make a community mosaic for their new building in Headington, Oxford.  To ensure it involved people from all sections of the community the mosaic project ran sessions at a range of venues, from a children's centre to a sheltered home for the frail elderly.  Click here to view pictures of the mosaic bring made.


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