Manchester and the Rescue of the Victims of European Fascism, 1933-40

496pp ILLUS 2011 LIST PRICE: £95.00 H641



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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 on a temporary basis in 1937 as fighting in the Spanish Civil War neared their home towns. Most were Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. The rest were Communists, Social Democrats, Pacifists, Liberals, Confessional Christians and Sudeten Germans. The present study seeks for the first time 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 refugees, it explores the work of those sectors of local society which 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. It considers reasons for their decisions to help and assesses their degree of success and the forces which limited their effectiveness.
< The distinctiveness of this work is indisputable and it sets the standard for a new kind of micro-historical approach to the subject. REVIEWS IN HISTORY>