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Refugee Children and the Emotional Cost of Internationalism in Interwar Britain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 January 2021


This article explores the complexity surrounding the politics and emotions of internationalism and humanitarian work in interwar Britain by using as a lens the public and official responses to assisting “refugee children.” Analysis of British responses to refugee emergencies after the First World War, the Spanish Civil War, and the Nazi persecution of Jews and other minorities suggests that attitudes shifted dramatically between the arrival of Basque child refugees in May 1937 and the Kindertransports in late 1938. Charities and refugee committees, many of them faith-based, had to negotiate the spaces between nation, ideology, and emotion to successfully raise funds for refugees. All appeals were to “save” children, and yet the responses and the amounts raised were vastly different. Campaigns to support almost four thousand Basque children proved politically polarizing and bureaucratic. In contrast, the immediate and widespread response to fund-raising to bring ten thousand children to Britain in 1938 suggests that a significant change in attitudes and fund-raising practices had taken place in a short time. Unlike the political divisions that hampered support for the Basque children, Britons from all walks of life appeared by 1938 to embrace the emotional and financial cost of internationalism in a way they had not only a year before.

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Copyright © The North American Conference on British Studies, 2021

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1 See, for example, Moore, Bob, Refugees from Nazi Germany in the Netherlands, 1933–1940 (Dordrecht, 1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Caron, Vicki, Uneasy Asylum: France and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1933–1942 (Stanford, 1999)Google Scholar; Baumel, Judith Tydor, Double Jeopardy: Gender and the Holocaust (London, 1998)Google Scholar.

2 Letter to W. G. Spiekman, assistant secretary, International Federation of Commercial, Clerical and Technical Employees, Amsterdam, from Trades Union Congress, 21 November 1938, Modern Records Centre, Warwick University (hereafter MRC), MSS 292/910 41/31. See also Weindling, Paul, “Medical Refugees in Britain and the Wider World, 1930–1960: Introduction,” Social History of Medicine 22, no. 3 (2009): 451–59Google ScholarPubMed, London, Louise, Whitehall and the Jews, 1933–1948: British Immigration Policy, Jewish Refugees and the Holocaust (Cambridge, 2001)Google Scholar; Abella, Irving and Troper, Harold, None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933–1948 (Toronto, 1982)Google Scholar. For Australia, see Blakeney, Michael, Australia and the Jewish Refugees, 1933–1948 (Sydney, 1985)Google Scholar; Bhatti, Anil and Voigt, Johannes H., eds., Jewish Exile in India, 1933–1945 (New Delhi, 1999)Google Scholar.

3 Aliens Order 1920 (Statutory Rules), MRC MSS 292/910.41/31; Legarreta, Dorothy, The Guernica Generation: Basque Refugee Children of the Spanish Civil War (Reno, 1984), xiiGoogle Scholar. Britain accepted large numbers of Belgian refugees in 1914 after the German invasion and occupation of Belgium.

4 The children were accompanied by ninety-five teachers, fifteen priests, and 120 adult volunteers in one ship, the SS Habana. Lagarreta, Guernica Generation, xii.

5 Fyrth, Jim, The Signal Was Spain: The Spanish Aid Movement in Britain, 1936–39 (London, 1986), 221Google Scholar. See also Qualls, Karl D., Stalin's Niños: Educating Spanish Civil War Refugee Children in the Soviet Union, 1937–1951 (Toronto, 2020)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Qualls, Karl D., “From Niños to Soviets? Raising Spanish Refugee Children in House No. 1, 1937–1951,” Canadian-American Slavic Studies 48, no. 3 (2014): 288–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

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7 German rail companies dubbed the trains full of children Kindertransports (children's transports). The term was soon adopted in Britain. Fast, Vera K., Children's Exodus: A History of the Kindertransport (London, 2011), 21CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8 There is a large literature on the Kindertransports. See, for example, Offenberger, Ilana Fritz, The Jews of Nazi Vienna, 1938–1945: Rescue and Destruction (Basingstoke, 2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (London, 2017); Fast, Children's Exodus; Welshman, John, Churchill's Children: The Evacuee Experience in Wartime Britain (Oxford, 2010)Google Scholar; Emanuel, Muriel and Gissing, Vera, Nicholas Winton and the Rescued Generation: Save One Life, Save the World (London, 2002)Google Scholar; Leverton, Bertha and Lowensohn, Shmuel, I Came Alone: The Stories of the Kindertransports (Lewes, 1996)Google Scholar.

9 “Britain Has Admitted 29,000 Refugees,” Leicester Daily Mercury, 13 June 1939.

10 Tusan, Michelle, The British Empire and the Armenian Genocide: Humanitarianism and Imperial Politics from Gladstone to Churchill (London, 2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Tusan, Michelle, “‘Crimes against Humanity’: Human Rights, the British Empire, and the Origins of the Response to the Armenian Genocide,” American Historical Review 199, no. 1 (2014): 47–77Google Scholar.

11 See Sasson, Tehila, “From Empire to Humanity: The Russian Famine and the Imperial Origins of International Humanitarianism,” Journal of British Studies 55, no. 3 (2016): 519–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Mahood, Linda and Satzewich, Vic, “The Save the Children Fund and the Russian Famine of 1921–23: Claims and Counter-Claims about Feeding ‘Bolshevik’ Children,” Journal of Historical Sociology 22, no. 1 (2009): 57–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Cabanes, Bruno, The Great War and the Origins of Humanitarianism, 1918–1924 (Cambridge, 2014)Google Scholar; Shaw, Caroline, Britannia's Embrace: Modern Humanitarianism and the Imperial Origins of Refugee Relief (Oxford, 2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

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14 See, for example, Kama Maclean, “The Fundamental Rights Resolution: Nationalism, Internationalism, and Cosmopolitanism in an Interwar Moment,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 37, no. 2 (2017): 213–19; and Sylvest, Casper, “Interwar Internationalism, the British Labour Party, and the Historiography of International Relations,” International Studies Quarterly 48, no. 2 (2004): 409–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

15 Stephanie Olsen, ed., Childhood, Youth and Emotions in Modern History: National, Colonial and Global Perspectives (Basingstoke, 2015); Ute Frevert et al., Learning How to Feel: Children's Literature and Emotional Socialization, 1870–1970 (New York, 2014).

16 Olsen, Stephanie, Juvenile Nation: Youth, Emotions and the Making of the Modern British Citizen, 1880–1914 (London, 2014)Google Scholar.

17 Zelizer, Viviana A., Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children (New York, 1985)Google Scholar.

18 Murdoch, Lydia, Imagined Orphans: Poor Families, Child Welfare, and Contested Citizenship in London (New Brunswick, 2006), 7CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

19 Zahra, Tara, Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands, 1900–1948 (Ithaca, 2008), 106Google Scholar.

20 Children were valued as the future of the nation by authoritarian and democratic nations. See McLean, Eden K., Mussolini's Children: Race and Elementary Education in Fascist Italy (Lincoln, 2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Olsen, Juvenile Nation; Donson, Andrew, Youth in the Fatherless Land: War, Pedagogy, Nationalism, and Authority in Germany, 1914–1918 (Cambridge, MA, 2010)Google Scholar; Reese, Dagmar, Growing Up Female in Nazi Germany, trans. Templer, William (Ann Arbor, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Kater, Michael H., Hitler Youth (Cambridge, MA, 2006)Google Scholar; Downs, Laura Lee, Childhood in the Promised Land: Working-Class Movements and the Colonies de Vacances in France, 1880–1960 (Durham, 2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

21 Welshman, John, “Evacuation and Social Policy during the Second World War: Myth and Reality,” Twentieth Century British History 9, no. 1 (1998): 28–53, at 49CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

22 Michal Shapira, The War Inside: Psychoanalysis, Total War and the Making of the Democratic Self in Postwar Britain (Cambridge, 2013), 67.

23 Shapira, War Inside, 21. See also Mathew Thomson, “Before Anti-Psychiatry: ‘Mental Health’ in Wartime Britain,” in Cultures of Psychiatry and Mental Health Care in Postwar Britain and the Netherlands, ed. Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra and Roy Porter (Amsterdam, 1998), 43–59.

24 See, for example, Luke Kelly, British Humanitarian Activity in Russia, 1890–1923 (London, 2017); Patricia Clavin, “The Austrian Hunger Crisis and the Genesis of International Organization after the First World War,” International Affairs 90, no. 2 (2014): 265–78.

25 Linda Mahood, Feminism and Voluntary Action: Eglantyne Jebb and Save the Children, 1876–1928 (London, 2009), 2.

26 Frank Prochaska, Schools of Citizenship: Charity and Civic Virtue (London, 2002), 1; Frank Prochaska, The Voluntary Impulse: Philanthropy in Modern Britain (London, 1988).

27 Charities aimed at saving destitute children were established by philanthropists like Mary Carpenter, Lord Shaftsbury, Dr. Barnardo, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Mahood, Feminism and Voluntary Action, 167–68. See also Maria Luddy, Women and Philanthropy in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Cambridge, 1995); Susan Pedersen and Peter Mandler, eds., After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain (London, 1994).

28 In 1920, in response to criticism that Save the Children cared only about “foreign” children, the organization formed home committees to raise funds for British children in need. Mahood, Feminism and Voluntary Action, 191–93.

29 See Harry Pollitt, “A Cry from Russia,” Monthly Report 590, Newcastle-on-Tyne United Society of Boilermakers and Iron and Steel Shipbuilders, 1921, MRC, 192/BM/4/1/48.

30 Labour Party and the Famine (London, 1919), MRC, 78/5/3/13.

31 Mahood and Satzewich, “Save the Children Fund and the Russian Famine,” 55–83, at 62. See also League of Nations Secretariat, Report on Economic Conditions in Russia: With Special Reference to the Famine of 1921–1922 and the State of Agriculture (Geneva, 1922).

32 Mahood and Satzewich, “Save the Children Fund and the Russian Famine,” 55–83, at 56.

33 Roman Serbyn, “The Famine of 1921–23: A Model for 1932–33?,” in Famine in Ukraine, 1932–1933, ed. Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Krawchenko (Edmonton, 1986), 147–70.

34 See Norah Curtis and Cyril Gilbey, Malnutrition: Quaker Work in Austria 1919–24 and Spain 1936–39 (London, 1944) chap. 1.

35 “Child Misery in Vienna,” Friends Relief Mission, fund-raising leaflet, 1919, Library of the Society of Friends, London (hereafter LSF).

36 Martin Ceadel, introduction to Pacifism in Britain 1914–1945: The Defining of a Faith (Oxford, 1980), 26.

37 “A Way to Assist in Austria's Reconstruction,” Friends Relief Mission, fund-raising leaflet, 1921, LSF.

38 In June 2017, an exhibition at the Friends Meeting House, London, of the photographs of starving Austrian children taken by members from 1919 to 1926, illustrated the organization's historic commitment to international humanitarianism.

39 Many interwar feminists supported internationalism as a means to peace. See Beryl Haslam, From Suffrage to Internationalism: The Political Evolution of Three British Feminists, 1908–1939 (New York, 1999); Mrinalini Sinha, Donna Guy, and Angela Woollacott, eds., Feminisms and Internationalism (Oxford, 1999).

40 The Children's Charter became the basis of the United Nations Declaration in 1948. Mahood, Feminism and Voluntary Action, 194–95.

41 The founding members of the Central British Fund for German Jewry were Lionel and Anthony de Rothschild, Lionel Cohen, Sir Robert Waley Cohen, Sir Osmond d'Avigdor Goldschmid, Simon Marks, Leonard Montefiore, Harry Nathan, Dr. Chaim Weizmann and chief rabbi Dr. Joseph Hertz.

42 Fast, Children's Exodus, 12–13.

43 John Presland, A Great Adventure: The Story of the Refugee Children's Movement (London, 1944), 2. The Inter-Aid Committee for Children from Germany was affiliated with the Save the Children Fund and chaired by Sir Wyndham Deedes.

44 Bill Williams, “Jews and Other Foreigners”: Manchester and the Rescue of the Victims of European Fascism, 1933–40 (Manchester, 2011), 10. By September 1939, there were approximately fifteen thousand German Jewish domestics in Britain, of whom five thousand were brought by the Ministry of Labour. Pamela Joy Shatzkes, “Anglo-Jewish Rescue and Relief Efforts, 1938–1944” (PhD diss., London School of Economics and Political Science, 1999), 104.

45 Williams, “Jews and Other Foreigners”: Manchester, 15.

46 Shapira, War Inside, 13.

47 Welshman, Churchill's Children, 15–16. Rabbi Schonfeld enrolled 350 Kindertransport children in his Orthodox Jewish secondary schools. Fast, Children's Exodus, 63. Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld (1912–84) was also the presiding rabbi of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregation, president of the National Council for Jewish Religious Day Schools, and executive director of the Chief Rabbi's Religious Emergency Council. Schonfeld was personally involved in escorting groups of Jewish children from the ghettos in Poland to Great Britain.

48 Marion A. Kaplan, Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (Oxford, 1998), 116. A small number of children also went to the United States to live with extended family members. See also Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz, Never Look Back: The Jewish Refugee Children in Great Britain, 1938–1945 (West Lafayette, 2012), chap. 2.

49 Louise London has written extensively on this topic. See Louise London, “British Government Policy and Jewish Refugees 1933–45,” Patterns of Prejudice 23, no. 4 (1989): 26–43; Louise London, “Jewish Refugees, Anglo-Jewry and British Government Policy, 1930–1940,” in The Making of Modern Anglo-Jewry, ed. David Cesarani (Oxford, 1990), 163–90; Louise London, “British Reactions to the Jewish Flight from Europe,” in Britain and the Threat to Stability in Europe 1918–45, ed. Peter Catterall and Catherine Morris (Leicester, 1993), 57–73; Louise London, “Refugee Agencies and Their Work, 1933–39,” Journal of Holocaust Education 4, no. 1 (1995): 3–17; Louise London, “Whitehall and the Refugees: The 1930s and the 1990s,” Patterns of Prejudice 34, no. 3 (2000): 17–26.

50 “Golder's Green—British Union of Fascists,” Hendon and Finchley Times, 5 April 1935, 13. In December 1936, the British Union of Fascists announced that eight more candidates planned to stand for Parliamentary election. See “British Union of Fascists,” Scotsman, 3 December 1936, 18. The organization was eventually outlawed in July 1940. See “British Union of Fascists Outlawed,” Hull Daily Mail, 11 July 1940, 4. For a more detailed history of the British Union of Fascists in London, see Thomas P. Linehan, East London for Mosley: The British Union of Fascists in East London and South-West Essex, 1933–40 (London, 1996),

51 The earliest fascist groups in Britain were the British Fascisti, founded by Roth Linton-Orman in 1923, the National Fascisti, founded in 1924, and the Imperial Fascisti, founded in 1929. Bret Rubin, “The Rise and Fall of British Fascism: Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists,” intersections 11, no. 2 (2010): 323–80.

52 Thomas Linehan, “‘On the Side of Christ’: Fascist Clerics in 1930s Britain,” Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 8, no. 2 (2007): 287301, at 288.

53 British women were also involved in the anti-Semitic violence. See Julie V. Gottlieb, Feminine Fascism: Women in Britain's Fascist Movement, 1923–45 (London, 2003).

54 Rubin, “Rise and Fall of British Fascism,” 366. See also “Fascists at Olympia,” Times (London), 8 June 1934, 16; Keith Hodgson, Fighting Fascism: The British Left and the Rise of Fascism, 1919–39 (Manchester, 2014); D. S. Lewis, Illusions of Grandeur: Mosley, Fascism and British Society, 1931–81 (Manchester, 1987).

55 Rubin, “Rise and Fall of British Fascism,” 371.

56 Council for British Jewry, “Report for 1936,” cited in Kevin Patrick Finbar Myers, “Englishness, Identity and Refugee Children in Britain, 1937–1945” (PhD diss., Coventry University, 2000), 212. By 1933 there were approximately 350,000 Jews living in Britain, 200,000 of whom lived in London and 150,000 in the East End of London. Rubin, “Rise and Fall of British Fascism,” 371.

57 “Germany 1934,” Yearly Proceedings of the Society of Friends, 1934–1936, 63, LSF. A Friend in Frankfurt was arrested and accused of high treason but later released after five weeks; see “Germany, 1934,” 64.

58 The Friends Foreign Mission Association was the missionary organization in Britain, and the Friends Council for International Service was dedicated to assisting victims of war and natural disaster. In 1927, the two organizations joined to form the Friends Service Council. The Friends Service Council won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947.

59 Germany Emergency Committee, Report to the Meeting for Sufferings and Friends Service Council, 1934, Yearly Proceedings of the Society of Friends, LSF, 86.

60 Germany Emergency Committee, Report to the Meeting for Sufferings, 5th Month, 1937, LSF, 107.

61 Presland, Great Adventure, 2. This committee preceded the Refugee Children's Movement.

62 Aliens Order, 1920 (Statutory Rules), MRC, MSS 292/910.41/31.

63 Harry Defries, Conservative Party Attitudes to Jews, 1900–1950 (London, 2001), 140.

64 See, for example, Ross McKibbin, Parties and People: England, 1914–1951, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2011); John Stevenson and Chris Cook, The Slump: Britain in the Great Depression, 3rd ed. (London, 2009); Stephen Constantine, Unemployment in Britain between the Wars (London, 1980); Max Cohen, I Was One of the Unemployed (London, 1945).

65 Anna Freud and her staff established two war nurseries in Hampstead and employed sisters Sophie and Gertrude Dann. Both were trained nurses who came as refugees to Britain and worked as domestics in April 1939. Anna Freud employed the Dann sisters as nurses in her war nurseries in 1941. Shapira, War Inside, 68–69.

66 See Sue Bruley, The Women and Men of 1926: A Gender and Social History of the General Strike and Miners’ Lockout in South Wales (Cardiff, 2010); Keith Laybourn, The General Strike: Day by Day, 2nd ed. (Stroud, 1999).

67 Anti-Semitism was identified as a significant problem in Britain as late as 1943 by the Council of Clergy and Ministers for Common Ownership, despite knowledge of the atrocities meted out to Jews in Germany and the occupied territories. See L. J. Bliss, Christians and Anti-Semitism (Birmingham: 1943).

68 The National Archives (hereafter TNA), MEPO 2/3097, Details of the Jarrow March sent from the Ministry of Labour to the Home Office, 26 September 1936. See also Ellen Cicely Wilkinson, The Town That Was Murdered: The Life-Story of Jarrow (London, 1939); Laura Beers, Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist (Cambridge, MA, 2016).

69 These holidays were not necessarily paid holidays. See Sandra Dawson, “Working-Class Consumers and the Campaign for Holidays with Pay,” Twentieth Century British History 18, no. 3 (2007): 277–305.

70 “Spanish Civil War,” Mid-Ulster Mail, 8 August 1936, 5. See Philip Williamson, Stanley Baldwin: Conservative Leadership and National Values (Cambridge, 1999); Stuart Ball, Baldwin and the Conservative Party: The Crisis of 1929–1931, (New Haven, 1988).

71 Baldwin and his government also were dealing with what became the abdication crisis after the death of George V in February 1936.

72 Mr. A. H. Findlay recommended support for the non-aggression pact signed by Britain, the USSR, and Franco, in his address to the Trades Union Conference in Plymouth in September 1936. See “Spanish Civil War,” Belfast News, 8 September 1936, 11.

73 Tom Buchanan, The Spanish Civil War and the British Labour Movement (Cambridge, 1991) 30. See also Tom Buchanan, “‘A Far Away Country of Which We Know Nothing?’ Perceptions of Spain and Its Civil War in Britain, 1931–1939,” Twentieth Century British History 4, no. 1 (1993): 1–24.

74 Brian Shelmerdine, “The Experiences of British Holidaymakers and Expatriate Residents in Pre-Civil War Spain,” European History Quarterly 32, no. 3 (2002): 367–90.

75 Thomas R. Greene, “The English Catholic Press and the Second Spanish Republic, 1931–1936,” Church History 45, no. 1 (1976): 70–84; James Flint, “‘Must God Go Fascist?’ English Catholic Opinion and the Spanish Civil War,” Church History 56, no. 3 (1987): 364–74.

76 Left-leaning papers included the Daily Herald (London), Daily Worker (London), and the News Chronicle (London). See for example, “Democracy and the Empire Are at Stake,” News Chronicle, 8 August 1936; “Tomorrow May Be Too Late,” News Chronicle, 19 January 1937. Right-leaning papers included the Morning Post (London). See “Spain,” Morning Post, 21 July 1936; “Unparalleled Horrors of Spanish Civil War,” Western Daily Press, 14 September 1936; “Spanish War Atrocities,” Coventry Evening Telegraph, 20 August 1936, 1. Roman-Catholic papers include the Tablet (London) and the Catholic Herald (London) and the journals Dublin Review, Clergy Review, and Blackfriars.

77 The Trades Union Congress sponsored a “Save the Basque Children's Fund,” which raised £2,840 by the end of June 1937, including £500 from the Transport and general Workers Union and £300 each from the Postal Workers and Railwaymen. T. Buchanan, “The Role of the British Labour Movement in the Origins and Work of the Basque Children's Committee, 1937–9,” European History Quarterly 18, no. 2 (1988): 155–74.

78 For example, Frank Pitcairn, Reporter in Spain (London, 1936); Arthur Koestler, Spanish Testament (London, 1937). See also David Deacon, British News Media and the Spanish Civil War: Tomorrow May Be Too Late (Edinburgh, 2008); Herbert Rutledge Southworth, Guernica! Guernica! A Study of Journalism, Diplomacy, Propaganda, and History (Berkeley, 1977).

79 Welsh miners made up one of the largest contingents of the International Brigades. See Hywel Francis, Miners against Fascism: Wales and the Spanish Civil War (London, 2012). See also Richard Baxell, Unlikely Warriors: The Extraordinary Story of the Britons Who Fought in the Spanish Civil War (London, 2014).

80 Buchanan, The Spanish Civil War and the British Labour Movement, chap. 5. See also Lewis H. Mates, The Spanish Civil War and the British Left: Political Activism and the Popular Front (London, 2007).

81 Fearghal McGarry, “Irish Newspapers and the Spanish Civil War,” Irish Historical Studies 33, no. 129 (2002): 68–90.

82 Peter Anderson, “The Struggle over the Evacuation to the United Kingdom and Repatriation of Basque Refugee Children in the Spanish Civil War: Symbols and Souls,” Journal of Contemporary History 52, no. 2 (2017): 297–318, at 307.

83 The front page of the Times was devoted to the eyewitness accounts of its correspondent, George Speer: Times (London), 28 April 1937, 1, and 29 April 1937, 1. See also Tony Aldgate, “Guernica and the Gaumont British Newsreel,” Film and History 6, no. 2 (1976): 37–41.

84 Susana Sabin-Fernandez, “The Basque Refugee Children of the Spanish Civil War in the UK: Memory and Memorialisation” (PhD diss., University of Southampton, 2010), 113.

85 Letter to the editor, Duchess of Atholl, Conservative MP for Kinross and West Perthshire, and Ellen Wilkerson, Labour MP for Jarrow, Times (London), 1 May 1937.

86 Tom Buchanan, “Role of the British Labour Movement,” 155.

87 Legarreta, Guernica Generation, 101–2.

88 Sabin-Fernandez, “The Basque Refugee Children of the Spanish Civil War,” 114. While the BCC claimed to be nonpartisan, most of the members were ardent supporters of the Republicans and there was only one Roman Catholic member who resigned after a few weeks.

89 The Holidays with Pay Committee formed in 1937 estimated the working-class wage at £250 per year, or almost £5 per week. Sandra Trudgen Dawson, Holiday Camps in Twentieth-century Britain: Packaging Pleasure (Manchester, 2011), 11.

90 Richard Ellis in Cloud, Yvonne, The Basque Children in England: An Account of their Life at North Stoneham Camp (London, 1937), 19Google Scholar.

91 Ellis in Cloud, 22.

92 Ellis in Cloud, 24.

93 Bell, Adrian, Only for Three Months: The Basque Refugee Children in Exile (Earls Barton, Northamptonshire, 2007), 27Google Scholar.

94 Cloud, Basque Children in England, 28.

95 Bell, Only for Three Months, 64.

96 Catholic archbishop Hinsley claimed that he was railroaded into caring for the refugees. Quoted in Anderson, “Symbols and Souls,” 310.

97 Quoted in Benjamin, Natalia, ed., Recuerdos: Basque Children Refugees in Great Britain (Oxford, 2007), 16Google Scholar.

98 Bell, Only for Three Months, 13.

99 Anonymous evacuee, quoted in Sabin-Fernandez, “The Basque Refugee Children of the Spanish Civil War,” 120. Other refugees had good experiences in Britain. See Davies, Hywel, Fleeing Franco: How Wales Gave Shelter to Refugee Children from the Basque Country during the Spanish Civil War (Cardiff, 2011)Google Scholar.

100 The event was organized by Yvonne Kapp. Robeson visited several socialist areas of Britain several years earlier and was viewed as a champion of the working classes. See Sparrow, Jeff, No Way but This: In Search of Paul Robeson (Sydney, 2017), chap. 6Google Scholar. See also Balaji, Murali, The Professor and the Pupil: The Politics and Friendship of W. E .B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson (New York, 2007)Google Scholar.

101 Francis, Hywel and Smith, Dai, The Fed: A History of the South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century (Cardiff, 1998)Google Scholar.

102 Legarreta, Guernica Generation, 99–100.

103 Mates, Lewis H., The Spanish Civil War and the British Left: Political Activism and the Popular Front (London, 2007), chapter 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

104 Gray, Daniel, Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War (Edinburgh, 2008), 111–13Google Scholar.

105 The Basque children returned to Spain in the summer of 1938. Gray, Homage to Caledonia, 114–15.

106 “1,500 at Special Caird Hall Concert by Dundee School of Music,” Dundee and Montrose Courier, 17 June 1937.

107 Modern Orphans of the Storm: The Story of the Refugee Basque Children, directed by Basil Charles Wright and Ian Dalrymple (Realist Film Unit and Victor Saville Productions, 1937).

108 Save Spanish Children (1937) Marlborough, Wiltshire: Adam Matthew Digital,

109 Myers, “Englishness, Identity and Refugee Children,” 121–22.

110 Myers, 125.

111 Tragedy of Civil War: Basque Civil War Refugee Children Arrive at Southampton, [director?] (British Pathé, 1937).

112 See The Tablet (London), 22 May 1937, 728, and New Statesman and Review, 24 May 1937, 1.

113 The Duke of Wellington was chairman of the Basque Children's Repatriation Committee. Franco also demanded the children be returned to Spain. See Bell, Only for Three Months, 15. This was part of growing right-wing politics in Britain. See Worley, Matthew, Oswald Mosley and the New Party (Basingstoke, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

114 Quoted in Anderson, “Symbols and Souls,” 311.

115 “First War Refugee to Return: Basque Committee to Ensure Child's Safety,” The Nottingham Journal, 9 July 1937, 16. The refugee was an unnamed girl who went to Ligo, Portugal, not Spain.

116 Report of Repatriation Committee; Report on Joint Meeting of the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief and Basque Children's Committee on 28 October 1937, Trades Union Congress, MRC, 292/946/39/53, 2–3.

117 Michael Alpert, “Humanitarianism and Politics in the British Response to the Spanish Civil War, 1936–9,” European History Quarterly 14, no. 4 (1984): 423–40.

118 “The Basque Children,” letter to the editor, Times (London), 29 January 1938.

119 Many Basque children returned after the fall of Bilbao to Franco's forces in July 1937. See Legarreta, Guernica Generation, 211–21; 470 Basque children remained in Britain until the end of the Second World War. Bell, Only for Three Months, 9.

120 See Williamson, Stanley Baldwin.

121 “Poland's Troops Take Possession of Teschen Territory—Hitler's Triumphal Entry into Sudetenland Today,” Nottingham Journal, 3 October 1938, 1.

122 Nicholas Winton was a member of this committee. See Laura E. Brade and Rose Holmes, “Troublesome Sainthood: Nicholas Winton and the Contested History of Child Rescue in Prague, 1938–1940,” History and Memory 29, no. 1 (2017): 3–40.

123 Aliens Order 1920 (Statutory Rules), MRC, MSS 292/910.41/31. The Alien Acts of 1905, 1919, and 1920 removed unconditional asylum in Britain. All immigrants without a Ministry of Labour permit or visible means of support were given temporary status.

124 Other leading organizations included the British Committee for the Jews of Germany and the Movement for the Care of Children from Germany.

125 “Fashion World to Aid Refugees,” Daily Record and Mail (Glasgow), 11 May 1939, 13.

126 “The Refugees: Appeal by Lord Baldwin,” Times (London), 9 December 1938.

127 “Looting Mobs Defy Goebbels,” Daily Express (London), 11 November 1938, 1; “Germany's Day of Wrecking and Looting: Gangs Unhampered by the Police,” Manchester Guardian, 12 November 1938.

128 “The Problem of Jewish Refugees: A Case for British Lead,” letter to the editor, Times (London), 12 November 1938.

129 “Germany and the Jews: Strain upon British Friendship,” Archbishop's Appeal, letter to the editor, Times (London), 11 November 1938.

130 Williams, “Jews and Other Foreigners”: Manchester, 15.

131 “Fashion World to Aid Refugees,” 13.

132 In October 1938, children at St. Anne's School raised money for the mayor of Grantham's Czech Refugee Fund. See “School's Donation to Mayor's Fund for Relief of Czech refugees,” Grantham Journal, 29 October 1938, 11.

133 TNA, FO 371/22538, Letter from the British Foreign Office to the Netherlands Legation, 29 November 1938.

134 “Sad Jewish Refugees Arrive in England,” Gloucester Citizen, 2 December 1938, 6.

135 “Weymouth and Czech Refugees,” Berkshire News and General Advertiser, 8 November 1938, 3.

136 “Children Help Czechs,” Daily Herald (London?), 31 October 1938, 13; “Czech and Sudeten Refugees,” Scotsman, 29 October 1938, 15; “Round Czech the World Today—Refugee Children Flying to London,” Leicester Daily Mercury, 12 January 1939, 13.

137 “Lord Mayor's Czech Refugee Fund,” Birmingham Daily Gazette, 25 October 1938, 2.

138 TNA, FO 371/24085, British Foreign Office circular, dated 23 November 1938.

139 Dawson, Holiday Camps, 93–94. A second camp at Pakefield, near Lowestoft, was opened to accommodate the hundreds of children that arrived from Europe. See Presland, Great Adventure, 6.

140 Hannah Booth, “I Was Three, Making the Journey Alone’: Ursula Kantorowicz Travels on the Kindertransport, 1939,” Guardian, 29 July 2016, .

141 Williams, “Jews and Other Foreigners”: Manchester, 148.

142 “Hospitality to Refugees: Finding Homes for Children,” Times (London), 6 January 1939.

143 Quoted in Myers, “Englishness, Identity and Refugee Children,” 213.

144 The vicar of Gillingham held a town meeting to discuss housing refugee children. See “Refugee Children at Gillingham?” Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News, 20 January 1939, 5. Selsey, a small village in West Sussex, accommodated forty children: thirty-two girls and eight younger brothers. See “Selsey Gossip,” Chichester Observer, 14 January 1939, 8.

145 “Czech Refugee Children,” personal ad, Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 13 May 1939, 1.

146 More than seventy thousand Jewish refugees eventually came to Britain. Approximately fifty thousand stayed. Williams, “Jews and Other Foreigners”: Manchester,” 142. The last Kindertransport left Prague on 2 August 1939.

147 For more on Butlin, see Dawson, Holiday Camps.

148 TNA, MH 55/689, Report by Women's Voluntary Services, 12 January 1939. The observers also believed that the Butlin company was profiting unduly from the catering arrangements but that allowing the company to cater was the easiest solution in the immediate crisis.

149 German Jewish Aid Committee, While You Are in England: Helpful Information and Guidance for Every Refugee (London, 1939), 1012Google Scholar.

150 Presland, Great Adventure, 7. By the end of 1939, Barham House was transformed into a permanent hostel, but Westgate was closed, as all the orthodox young men were placed in either training schemes or homes.

151 Advertisement, Lord Baldwin Fund for Refugees, February 1939, Holocaust Educational Trust, Emphasis in original. By May 1939, Lord Hailey, chairman of the Coordinating Committee for Refugees, told the International Rotary Association at a conference in Brighton that he feared that the “ring was closing” against refugees leaving Europe. See “Ring Closing against Refugees,” Shepton Mallet Journal, 12 May 1939, 2.

152 “Refugee Training near Ripon,” Leeds Mercury, 28 March 1939.

153 Dundee Evening Telegraph, 26 July 1939.

154 “The Refugee as Domestic Help,” Yorkshire Post, 11 March 1939, 6.

155 “Help the Refugees—Scottish Christian Council Appeal,” Edinburgh Evening News, 3 February 1939, 7.

156 “‘Mother's Day’ for Refugees’ Fund,” Eastbourne Gazette, 24 May 1939, 22.

157 “Refugees Learn English ways,” Manchester Evening News, 1 July 1939, 8.

158 “Czech Students Celebrate Day of Independence—Moving Reading of Refugee's Poetry,” Express and Echo (Exeter), 20 November 1939.

159 “Foreign Scouts: Another Busy Day in North Staffs,” Evening Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent), 1 August 1939, 1.

160 “Boy Refugee Sees Father after 3 Years,” Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 30 August 1939. The young boy was also reunited with his mother after seven months of separation.

161 “Boy Refugee Drama,” Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 25 February 1939, 4.

162 “Refugee Hanging in Wardrobe Mystery,” Leicester Mercury, 22 May 1939, 8.

163 “The Refugees,” Edinburgh Evening News, 12 January 1939, 6.

164 “Doctors Angry over Competition of Foreigners—‘Let Down’ by Ministry, Union Calls for Action,” Star (London), 7 July 1938, MRC, 292C/840/3/7.

165 TNA MH 55/709, Letter to the Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health from Medical Officer of Health, Borough of Hampstead, 16 February 1939.

166 Voluntary organizations attempted to place refugees in jobs or training schemes. See Williams, “Jews and Other Foreigners”: Manchester, 10.

167 Defries, Conservative Party Attitudes, 140.

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