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Refugees and schools in the Manchester region
Bill Williams

18 ‘Bright young refugees’: refugees and schools in the Manchester region One way in which young refugees might gain the right of entry to Britain was by offering proof of their acceptance by a British school, although they still required a British sponsor who would guarantee to cover the cost of their accommodation, their maintenance and such fees as the school demanded. Britain’s twelve Quaker boarding schools are said to have offered, between them, 100 scholarships to refugees, although some, like Peter and Hans Kurer, among the forty refugee scholars at Great

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
Refugee industrialists in the Manchester region
Bill Williams

4 ‘Refugees and Eccles Cakes’: refugee industrialists in the Manchester region In September 1967 Dr Heinz Kroch, the German-Jewish refugee from Berlin who thirty years earlier had founded the Lankro Chemical Company in Eccles, an industrial town of some 45,000 people four miles west of Manchester, was presented by the Mayor of Eccles with a casket and scroll to honour his admission to the Roll of Freemen of the Borough.1 It was an occasion notable, amongst other things, as the first on which the Freedom had been conferred on anyone who had not served on the

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
The Manchester Jewish Refugees Committee, 1939–1940
Bill Williams

7 ‘The work of succouring refugees is going forward’: the Manchester Jewish Refugees Committee, 1939–1940 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

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
Manchester and the Basque children of 1937
Bill Williams

6 The forgotten refugees: Manchester and the Basque children of 1937 In this city the cause of the [Spanish] Republic has been taken very much to heart; we have given our sons in surprising numbers, we have provided two ambulances and one and a half shipments of foodstuffs … money and gifts have poured into the many societies and groups organised for the purpose and Manchester people practically organised [in June 1937] the Watermillock home for the Basque child refugees … There are still [in March 1939] a few of these unhappy children in Manchester Catholic

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
Manchester and the rescue of the victims of European fascism, 1933–1940
Author: Bill Williams

Between 1933 and 1940, Manchester received between seven and eight thousand refugees from Fascist Europe. They included Jewish academics expelled from universities in Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy. Around two hundred were children from the Basque country of Spain evacuated to Britain on a temporary basis in 1937 as the fighting of the Spanish Civil War neared their home towns. Most were refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. As much as 95% of the refugees from Nazism were Jews threatened by the increasingly violent anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime. The rest were Communists, Social Democrats, Pacifists, Liberals, Confessional Christians and Sudeten Germans. There have been several valuable studies of the response of the British government to the refugee crisis. This study seeks to assess the responses in one city—Manchester—which had long cultivated an image of itself as a ‘liberal city’. Using documentary and oral sources, including interviews with Manchester refugees, it explores the work of those sectors of local society that took part in the work of rescue: Jewish communal organisations, the Society of Friends, the Rotarians, the University of Manchester, secondary schools in and around Manchester, pacifist bodies, the Roman Catholic Church and industrialists from the Manchester region. The book considers the reasons for their choices to help to assesses their degree of success and the forces which limited their effectiveness.

Michael Carter-Sinclair

, because of the partial requisition of public buildings, including schools, the government announced a temporary reduction in the weekly hours of education, including religious instruction, although this situation was soon reversed. 10 Refugees Constraints on the activities of priests, and the tasks that they were called to perform, were signs that the world had changed, but they were in reality minor. Far more significant changes were about to leave lasting marks on Vienna, on Christian Social thinking and on the outlooks of antisemites, especially when refugee

in Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites
The Catholic Church in Salford and refugees
Bill Williams

10 ‘Not because they are Jews’: the Catholic Church in Salford and refugees [The Quakers have] done golden deeds for the refugees here and the helpless victims of totalitarian brutality abroad … But why, in heaven’s name, do we time and again find these services of elementary good fellowship left only to the Quakers? Do no other religions feel any obligations …? Or are they all so sanctimonious that they can’t do a good turn without wanting to stuff a hymn or sermon down the recipient’s throat in return? From an article on the Manchester Quakers in the Manchester

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
The Manchester Quakers and refugees, 1938–1940
Bill Williams

8 ‘Serious concern’: the Manchester Quakers and refugees, 1938–1940 In the face of an increasing number of refugees reaching Manchester, the Quaker ISC could not justify any more than the Jewish community, what was at best a haphazard response to their needs. On 20 October 1938, the ISC declared itself ‘seriously concerned with the need to help the increasing number of Refugees in this country. We suggest that a panel of Friends be drawn up showing those able and willing to take refugees for varying periods.’ The causes of this sudden ‘serious concern’ are not

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
The Manchester branch of the KPD
Bill Williams

9 ‘Our remaining comrades in Czechoslovakia’: the Manchester branch of the KPD In taking responsibility for refugees from Czechoslovakia, the Quakers were brought into contact with political refugees, Communists and Social Democrats, brought to Britain by the Czech Refugee Trust Fund. Some of them were experienced members of the German KPD who, following the emergence of the Nazi regime, had taken refuge in Prague, from where, at least at first, they had cherished the hope of building an anti-Nazi existence in Germany. Some had been sent on what turned out to be

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
War refugees in Manchester
Bill Williams

21 ‘The Dutch orphans’: war refugees in Manchester Following the outbreak of war, when the flow of refugees from Nazi Europe came to an abrupt end, both major refugee committees in Manchester turned their attention to the task of supporting, morally and financially, some of the 8,000 refugees who had already arrived in the region. Recognising that the funds of voluntary agencies had been all but exhausted by the work of reception, and accepting, for the first time, direct responsibility for the welfare of refugees, the government now stepped in with increasingly

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’