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Arnold Spencer Leese (1878–1956) was a British fascist politician. He was born in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England and educated at Giggleswick School.

After qualifying as a veterinarian, he moved his practice to British India, where he became an expert on the camel. He worked there for six years before becoming Camel Specialist for the East Africa Protectorate of the British Empire. He would remain an animal lover and teetotaller throughout his life.

He published numerous articles on the camel and its maladies, the first appearing in The Journal of Tropical Veterinary Science in 1909. He had the honour of a camel parasite being named after him: Thelazia leesei.

He joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps of the British Army at the start of World War I and served on the Western Front and the Middle East. Captain Leese returned to England where he continued his practice, retiring and publishing a book, The One-Humped Camel in Health and in Disease (1928), which would remain a standard work in India for fifty years.

Leese was an antisemite for much of his life, a prejudice reportedly kindled by his disgust for kashrut, a set of laws dictating the correct form for preparing food and slaughtering animals. He developed conspiracy theories relating to a perceived Jewish threat to the British Empire, and became involved with fascist groups from 1924. His anti-semitism was hysterical in its intensity, and he even accused rival fascists of being soft on Jews.

As a member of the British Fascists he was elected a councillor in Stamford, Lincolnshire that year, along with fellow fascist Henry Simpson. In his autobiography, Leese wrote "We were the first constitutionally elected Fascists in England".

By 1928, having become disillusioned with the British Fascists, Leese became a founding member of the Imperial Fascist League.

By 1933, he found his own Imperial Fascist League being eclipsed and overtaken by Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists. He greatly resented Mosley and dubbed him a "kosher fascist". He utilised materials distributed by the Welt-Dienst news service headed by Ulrich Fleischhauerand wrote for it.

Leese's anti-semitism earned him a prison sentence in 1936 when he was indicted along with fellow IFL member Walter Whitehead on six counts relating to two articles published in the July issue of The Fascist (the IFL newspaper) entitled "Jewish Ritual Murder," which later appeared as a pamphlet. He was convicted and was jailed for six months in lieu of a fine for causing a public mischief. On his release he edited another pamphlet entitled "My irrelevant trial."

He was one of the last leaders of the fascist movement to be interned in the United Kingdom at the beginning of World War II under the Defence Regulation 18B.

Released on conditions in December 1943 because of ill health, Leese again returned to prison in 1947 for six months for his part in aiding escaping members of the Waffen SS.

In 1951, he published his autobiography Out of Step: Events in the Two Lives of an Anti-Jewish Camel Doctor.

After the war, Leese also published his own magazine, Gothic Ripples, which was largely concerned with attacking the Jews. A mentor of the young Colin Jordan, Leese left Jordan his Holland Park house (74 Princedale Road, London W11) upon his death (although his widow retained the use of it (usufruit) as a sanctuary), which, known for a short spell as Arnold Leese House, would become Jordan's base of operations.


LC Control No.: 72802168
Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Personal Name: Leese, Arnold Spencer, 1878-1956. [from old catalog]
Main Title: Igirisu seikai ni okaru Yudayajin no seiryoku
Published/Created: Dairen : Mantetsu Chōsabu, Shōwa 13 [1938]
Related Names: Minami Manshū Tetsudō Kabushiki Kaisha. Chōsabu. [from old catalog]
Description: v. <1 > ; 26 cm.
Notes: Cover title.
Issued as a confidential document (stamped)
Subjects: Jews--Great Britain--Biography.
Jews in public life--Great Britain.
Series: Yudaya mondai shiryō ; dai 13-< >-shū [from old catalog]
LC Classification: DS135.E6 A1412
LC Control No.: 46029653
Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Personal Name: Leese, Arnold, 1878-1956.
Main Title: My irrelevant defence; being meditations inside gaol and out on Jewish ritual murder
by Arnold S. Leese ... London, The I. F. L. Printing and Publishing Co., 1938.
Published/Created: Chicago, Ill., Reprinted by Pioneer News Service, 1945.
Description: 3 p. l., 57 p. 22 cm.
Notes: "Bibliography of works supporting the blood libel accusation": p. 56-57.
Subjects: Ritual murder.
LC Classification: BM717 .L35 1945
Dewey Class No.: 296
Other System No.: (OCoLC)3556264
LC Control No.: 53025974
Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Personal Name: Leese, Arnold Spencer, 1878-1956. [from old catalog]
Main Title: Out of Step; Events in the Two Lives of an Anti-Jewish Camel Doctor
Published/Created: Guildford [Eng., 1951]
Description: 74 p. illus. 22 cm.
LC Classification: SF613.L4 A3
LC Control No.: 2001373913
Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Main Title: Judaism in Action.
Edition Information: [New and enl. ed.]
Published/Created: [S.l. : s.n.], 1964.
Related Names: Leese, Arnold, 1878-1956. My irrelevant defence.
Related Titles: Protocols of the wise men of Zion.
Description: 3 v. in 1 ; 22 cm.
Contents: Judaism in action -- My irrelevant defence / by Arnold S. Leese -- The Protocols and world revolution.
Notes: Cover title.
Second work originally published: London : I.F.L., 1938; 3rd work originally published: Boston : Small, Maynard & Co., c1920.
Includes bibliographical references and index to 1st work.
Subjects: Antisemitism.
Judaism--Controversial literature.
LC Classification: DS145 .J78 1964
Dewey Class No.: 305.892/4 21

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