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.
‘struggle’ which J’accuse! proposed,
any more than, at the same period, he favoured a confrontational response
to the British Union of Fascists. The earliest refugees to reach Manchester
did not do so through Laski’s mediation. They were German- Jewish industrialists anticipating a Nazi attack on their enterprises and German-Jewishacademics dismissed from German universities.
J’accuse had given a special place to Jewishacademics, highlighting their
contributions to German science and culture and depicting their harassment and dismissal as the most evident indication of
who gave it most thought was a German Jewishacademic
writing at the very end of the last century. His name was Georg Simmel
and he was not at all sure that the general use of money had been all
to the good.1 For one thing, it replaced the subjective appreciation of
Betting in the dark87
objects, goods, services, with an objective valuation of them in terms
of their monetary value, and in the process had often debased them. It
quantified, as he put it, the qualitative. It equalized what was essentially
unequal and not truly to be compared. At the same time, the use
of rescue. It seems
otherwise inexplicable that Jews were not represented on the Lancashire
Industrial Development Council, which included so many representatives of the business community and local authorities, or that Manchester
University’s mechanism of assisting displaced academics, like the Academic
Assistance Council, was anxious not to define a major part of its task as the
rescue of Jewishacademics. The Jewishness of Hitler’s victims, however much
the source of their persecution, was not seen as conducive to their rescue.
Members of the Manchester Rotary
Shifting racial and gender identities in Caucasia and Middlesex
on the run for four years. 10 Finally settling in New Hampshire, Sandy and Birdie change their names and pose as the widow and daughter of an invented Jewishacademic called David Goldman. Two years later, Birdie flees New Hampshire in search of her father and sister, and finds them, at last, in California. Middlesex has a much broader geographical and temporal scope. From a contemporary (2001) vantage point, forty-one-year-old Cal, currently living in Berlin, narrates his life story. 11 Books 1 and 2 cover 1922 to 1960, describing Cal’s grandparents’ (who are
delegates obsessed with their
search for an end to contact with Jews in Israeli universities successfully passed a
resolution smearing Jewish professors and lecturers by accusing them of being
“complicit” in the conflict’ (ibid., p. 68). And no doubt, through MacShane’s vision
of the world, Jewishacademics who voted for this resolution are self-hating Jews, as
are the Israeli academics who supported the boycott call.
40 K. Moore, P. Mason, and J. Lewis, Images of Islam in the UK (Cardiff: Cardiff School of
Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, 2008), p. 15.
rabbis and British Jewishacademics.
46 D. Taylor, British Chief Rabbis, 1664–2006 (London 2007), 390.
47 Jacobs, Helping with inquiries, 138. Cosgrove arrives at the same conclusion: Cosgrove, Teyku, 347.
From 1945 to the Jacobs Affair
48 T. Endelman, ‘Practices of a low anthropological level: a shehitah controversy of the 1950s’ in Kershen (ed), Food in the migrant experience
(Aldershot 2002), 89.
49 Ibid., 79.
50 Ibid., 78–79.
51 Ibid., 79.
52 Ibid., 88.
53 Ibid., 89.
54 Ibid., 90.
55 Ibid., 90–91.
56 Ibid., 86.
57 J.H. Hertz, Afﬁrmations of Judaism (Oxford
crystallisation of the absurdity of
urban alienation’ (Self, 1996a, 154). Allen’s famous and prolific use of
the ‘bathetic let-down’ (158) would seem to be the one-liner equivalent
of the comically deflating effect that Self so often builds up at length
in his writing. One particular story by Allen, ‘The Kuglemass Episode’
(Allen, 1980) – where a Jewishacademic is transported into the world
of Emma Bovary and his textual appearance is witnessed by people
reading Flaubert’s novel – comes in for particular praise from Self,
who argues that ‘this kind of conceit goes far further
, griddling what we study into safe and discrete
categories’ (Orsi 2005: 61) in ways that closed down my conversations with these
students? As Justin had peppered his speech with Hebrew names and references
to Jewish traditions, he had assumed a shared horizon of understanding between
us. My discomforting alienation from this language was reflected in my failure to
correct his assumption or to ask him to translate. My silence reflected my sense of
shame about my lack of fluency in relation to this world, which recurred in conversations with students as well as with Jewish
romantic.88 Adler did not seek to raise the
status of non-Jewish culture to such a high theological level, but he did
appreciate its value and found pleasure in it himself. Like his father,
Adler entered the non-Jewishacademic world and received a PhD. He
praised the ‘blossoms of art and the fruits of high intellectual culture’
which the ancient Greeks gave to the world, despite the religious objections Adler had to Greek civilisation.89 Although Finestein is not absolutely accurate that Adler’s sermons were ‘almost as likely to contain
English or classical literary