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A gendered opportunity

The book explores Jewish refugees’ contribution to British nursing. In the mid-twentieth century, nursing was a highly feminised profession and one that was unpopular with British women. By the late 1930s, with war imminent, the profession’s leaders and the British Government realised they would not have enough nurses to care for the nation’s sick and injured. Jewish women, desperate to escape Nazi persecution, would make ideal workers to bolster the country’s nursing workforce. Yet, as the book argues, hospitals were reluctant to employ Continental Jews. Using a range of oral and written personal testimonies, the book follows the lives of a number of refugees who sought work in Britain’s hospitals as nurses. It demonstrates that despite the suspicion of ‘foreign’ Jews, many hospitals realised they needed to increase their nursing numbers, and as the war progressed, more were willing to take these young women onto their staffs. In doing so they soon learnt they had cultured and intelligent nurses. At the end of the war, many refugee nurses took British citizenship, and most of the women whose narratives comprise this book remained in the profession. The aim of this study is to make sense of their reasons for choosing and staying in nursing, despite sometimes insuperable opposition. Through an analysis of the early racially based animosity they faced and their later important contribution to the profession, the book hopes to create a better space for migrant nurses in the twenty-first century.

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.

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The Nazi occupation of Alderney

The Nazi occupation of the small Channel Island of Alderney irreversibly altered the landscape and lives of both the contemporary population and the subsequent generations. The evacuation of the island’s 1,500 inhabitants in June 1940 paved the way for a period of occupation by the Germans that would last until May 1945. In 1941, Hitler issued an order to fortify the Channel Islands and make them an ‘impregnable fortress’; thus creating ‘Adolf Island’. This book seeks to collate and combine historical and archaeological data relating the occupation landscape in order to produce the definitive guide to the events that took place during this period. It addresses yet unanswered questions relating to the purpose of the occupation, the lives of the labourers, known and missing, and the post-war reaction to this legacy.

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Caroline Sturdy Colls
Kevin Simon Colls

investigatory records in which further named and unnamed individuals and groups who reportedly died or were executed are also referred to. Therefore, this chapter presents, for the first time, a more definitive account concerning the missing – who they were, what they experienced and how they died – and a revised minimum number of deaths. In doing so, as well as enhancing knowledge about the nature of Nazi persecution on Alderney, it is our intention to provide information that may benefit the families of the

in 'Adolf Island'
Ian Vellins

entering Britain as a result of Nazi persecution, this support was based on that leadership’s estimation that it would only need support for around 4,000. However, the German occupation of Austria in March 1938 and of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 dramatically increased the number of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution (increasing to about 55,000 arriving in Britain by 1939, at a cost to the Jewish community of more than £3,000,000) 69 and furthermore the outbreak of war prevented Jewish refugees from returning. As a result, British Jews were faced with providing long

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
The Kinder
Tony Kushner

1999, a plaque was unveiled at the House of Commons ‘In deep gratitude to the people and Parliament of the United Kingdom for saving the lives of 10,000 Jewish and other children who fled to this country from Nazi persecution on the 126 The Kinder Kindertransport 1938–1939’.44 From its earliest days, saved has been the description used to justify and then to celebrate the movement of refugee children to Britain. With its Christological connotations, the word emphasises the role played by the rescuers and tends to subsume the individuality of the rescued. The first

in The battle of Britishness
Carolyn Sanzenbacher

about it, were relegated to a subcategory of concern. Each of the reports, like Keller and Visser ’t Hooft, placed current antisemitic acts within the context of a National Socialist revolution. While none of the reports justified Nazi persecution of Jews in any way, all depicted the German state attitude as in some way explicable, each reciting claims about Jewish influence, disproportionate representation in universities and professions, lowering of moral standards, or involvement in socialist and communist parties. In

in Tracking the Jews
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Contextualising reconciliation
Lorena De Vita

’s faulty memory being on the Nazi persecution of German Communists instead. The fact that internal resistance to Hitler had been virtually non-existent was overlooked, as was the fact that many of the now East German citizens had been socialised in, and had believed in, Nazi Germany. 7 Instead, SED propaganda claimed the moral high ground by portraying West Germany as a hotbed of still fervent Nazis, now loyal citizens and servants of the Federal regime, colluding with Israeli monopolists to subjugate the Arab peoples in a quiet, but powerful, attempt to dominate the

in Israelpolitik
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Ecumenical Protestants, Conversion, and the Holocaust

Tracking the Jews analyses the beliefs, ideas, concepts, arguments and policies of the people who tracked the Jews in an unprecedented conversionary initiative during the years immediately before, during and after the Holocaust. From the rubble of World War I to the ashes of World War II, it reconstructs from more than twenty thousand pages of archival documents the vision and motives of ecumenical Protestant architects, builders and supporters of the initiative, as well as major opposers. The narrative moves in chronological time with unfolding events and developments, back and forth between Budapest, Warsaw, London, New York, Geneva, Berlin, Vienna and other locations on a landscape of rapidly accelerating Nazi persecution. In charting the path on which the conversionary initiative was becoming ecumenical expert on the ‘Jewish problem’, it locates and follows a second social-issue trajectory as the two intersect and converge in conversionary purpose on a war-laden refugee landscape. With Nobel Peace Laureates of 1930 and 1946 on either end of a richly populated field of involvements, it marks the path taken from a 1925 call for Christian experts on the Jewish problem to the 1948 World Council of Churches founding statement on Jews, which recognised the extermination of six million Jews, while calling attention to the ‘continuing presence of a people which did not acknowledge Christ’. In so doing it brings into focus on each end of its chronological structure the theological conception of the ongoing existence of ‘the Jews’ as an unsolved problem for Christianity.

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more nuanced insight into the evolution of the forced and slave labour programme, and the accompanying experiences of those caught up in it. We have sought to highlight the spatial and temporal fluidity of landscapes of Nazi persecution – something which was missing from the few publications that had examined the camp landscapes. 2 By addressing the multiple phases of camps and worksites, and demonstrating the relationships between the experiences of labourers and guards before and after their time

in 'Adolf Island'