With the rise of National Socialism, Albert flees to Paris in 1933, his wife and two daughters (Helga and Sonia) following shortly after. In Paris, Albert is readmitted to the KPD and writes a series of books warning of the dangers of Hitler, which are published in German, French and English.
In 1935 his daughter Sonia, my grandmother, is sent to England as a refugee.
On the outbreak of the Spanish civil war, Albert is one of the first Germans to arrive in Spain, and along with Hans Beimler, he forms the first International Brigade. By December 1936 he is chief of staff of the XIII International Brigade and in 1937 becomes head of the Comintern Historical Department in Albacete. However, with the defeat of the Nationalist forces, Albert returns to France in 1939.
In October he is arrested and interned at Bengy-sur-Craon and St Cyprien concentration camps. His wife and second daughter, Helga are sent to Gurs internment camp in the south of France and in 1940 Albert is sent to Camp de Milles near Marseille.