Bill Williams
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‘The work of succouring refugees is going forward’
The Manchester Jewish Refugees Committee, 1939–1940
in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
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The decisive factor which drew provincial communities into the more systematic rescue of refugees was the escalating number of those seeking entry to Britain following the Anschluss (March 1938), the German occupation of the Sudetenland (October 1938), the Kristallnacht pogrom (9 November 1938), the British government's decision to facilitate the entry of unaccompanied children on the Kindertransport (21 November 1938) and the German annexation of Bohemia and Moravia (March 1939). As the sources of emigration multiplied and the Jews of Germany became finally convinced of the permanence of the Nazi regime and the centrality of its anti-Semitic intentions, Britain received around 70,000 refugees, of whom a little over one-tenth reached Manchester. As the number of refugees swelled, the London agencies of support, Quaker and Jewish, in danger of being overwhelmed by the case work and financial commitment involved, applied increasing pressure on provincial centres to share the load.

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‘Jews and other foreigners’

Manchester and the rescue of the victims of European fascism, 1933–1940


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