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Educated at King Edward’s School in Birmingham, Roy Pascal was born on 28 February 1904. Becoming a Cambridge don, he was close to Maurice Dobb, and greatly assisted ther remarkable shift to the left that would dominate student politics during the 1930s.
He married Fania Polyanowski, who had studied literature and philosophy at the University of Berlin, in 1931. Her Wittgenstein: A Personal Memoir came out of her teaching Russian to the famous philosopher. Both Pascals were very friendly with him in this period.
The couple moved from Cambridge to Birmingham in 1939, where they lived at 17 Rotton Park Road, Edgbaston, when Roy was appointed the Chair of German at the university.
Although close to George Thompson (see separate entry) during the late 1940s and early 1950s, he seems to have dropped out of the Party during the cold war.
His name being associated with the Cambridge spies at this time did not help, although he was later supportive of left politics amongst the intelligentsia and focusing more on his own area of work. A prolific author, initially focusing on Nazism, he branched out into German Reformation, and then literature and novels.
Roy Pascal died on 24 August 1980.