Fred Uhlman was born in 1901 in Stuttgart, Germany, into a well-off middle-class Jewish family . In 1923 he graduated in Law at the University of Tubingen and became a successfully lawyer and an active member of the SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands). In 1933, two months after Hitler had become Chancellor, he left his native country - never to return - and settled in Paris.
After a period of hardship and economic difficulty he went to live in Spain but the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War forced him to move to England even if he had no money and could not speak the language. In 1940 , when the war seemed to be going badly in England, he was put into an internment camp on the Isle of Man together with thousands of the other German and Austrian refugees. He was released six months later. He recorded this experience in Captivity, a collection of sketches ad drawings. In the following years he became a much appreciated artist and exhibited his paintings throughout Britain. His work is represented in many famous public galleries, notably the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In 1960 he wrote his first autobiography, The Making of an Englishman, and in 1971 he published Reunion, which wa particularly ignoredin England at the time and became a worldwide success only a few years later, when it was translated and published abroad.