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

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.

Refugees at the University of Manchester
Bill Williams

‘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-Jewish academics dismissed from German universities. J’accuse had given a special place to Jewish academics, highlighting their contributions to German science and culture and depicting their harassment and dismissal as the most evident indication of

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
Transnational resistance in Europe, 1936–48
Editors: and

This work demonstrates that resistance to occupation by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the Second World War has to be seen through a transnational, not a national, lens. It explores how people often resisted outside their country of origin because they were migrants, refugees or exiles who were already on the move. It traces their trajectories and encounters with other resisters and explores their experiences, including changes of beliefs, practices and identities. The book is a powerful, subtle and thought-provoking alternative to works on the Second World War that focus on single countries or on grand strategy. It is a ‘bottom up’ story of extraordinary individuals and groups who resisted oppression from Spain to the Soviet Union and the Balkans. It challenges the standard chronology of the war, beginning with the formation of the International Brigades in Spain and following through to the onset of the Cold War and the foundation of the state of Israel. This is a collective project by a team of international historians led by Robert Gildea, author of Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance (Faber & Faber, 2015). These have explored archives across Europe, the USA, Russia and Israel in order to unearth scores of fascinating individual stories which are woven together into themed chapters and a powerful new interpretation. The book is aimed at undergraduates and graduates working on twentieth-century Europe and the Second World War or interested in the possibilities of transnational history.

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The victims of Fascism and the liberal city
Bill Williams

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 Jewish academics. 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

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
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Susan Strange

who gave it most thought was a German Jewish academic 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

in Casino Capitalism
Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
Duncan Wheeler

per se, it ceased to be a targeted attack on fascism Spanish-style. The once apolitical Picasso’s conversion to Communism cannot be divorced from his experiences in France or his opposition to Francoism. That said, occupied Paris was not always inhospitable for ambitious artists and intellectuals. Jean-Paul Sartre was able to leave the Lyceé Pasteur and take up a professorship previously occupied by a Jewish academic at the Lyceé Concordet in the fashionable Opéra district. At a time of food shortages, the business of buying and selling modern art

in Following Franco
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Shifting racial and gender identities in Caucasia and Middlesex
Sinéad Moynihan

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 Jewish academic 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

in Passing into the present
Robert Gildea

the International Brigades brought wider experience to anti-fascists who had remained in Italy, but also acquired detailed information about how fascism had developed in Italy. A clear exemple of this is the story of Giovanni Pesce, a Piedmontese migrant who had worked as a miner near Alès in the Cévennes, and who joined the Garibadi Brigade in Spain when he was only eighteen. Arrested in Piedmont in 1940 and sent to Ventotene, he later recalled how he learned about anti-fascist resistance in Italy from the Jewish academic Eugenio Curiel, who had been arrested in

in Fighters across frontiers
Benjamin J. Elton

rabbis and British Jewish academics. 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 261 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

in Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the religious character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880–1970
Sarah Lonsdale

refugees and émigrés did not judge her’. After Hitler came to power in 1933 she helped bring out several Jewish academics, including the art historian Niklaus Pevsner, who lived in her house in Duchess Road for a while, and she wrote several articles for The Friend and the Birmingham Post on the impact of Nazism on German Jews. She was in Gottingen in May 1933 and reported for the Birmingham Post on the crowds of men waving swastika flags. Women were absent from the rally: ‘Hitler wants to revive the good old Germany, in which women stayed at home, rocking cradles

in Rebel women between the wars