Peter [Perec] Rachman (1920?–1962), racketeer, was born at Lwów, Poland, son of David Rachman, a dental surgeon, who, together with his wife, vanished in the holocaust. After the Nazi invasion of Poland, Rachman was forced onto a road-building chain-gang and later captured by Russians, who starved him. He arrived in Britain as a stateless person about 1945–6. He endured menial jobs (including dishwashing at Bloom's kosher restaurant in Whitechapel) before setting up as a flat-letting agent.
He became the principal shareholder in Streatham Hill Playhouse Ltd which sold the Streatham Hill Theatre for £200,000 and contracted to buy the Golders Green Hippodrome for £130,000.