"Totally Un-English"? Britain's Internment of "Enemy Aliens" in Two World Wars

"Totally Un-English"? Britain's Internment of "Enemy Aliens" in Two World Wars

"Totally Un-English"? Britain's Internment of "Enemy Aliens" in Two World Wars

"Totally Un-English"? Britain's Internment of "Enemy Aliens" in Two World Wars

Synopsis

The internment of enemy aliens' by the British government in two world wars remains largely hidden from history. British historians have treated the subject - if at all - as a mere footnote to the main narrative of Britain at war. In the Great War', Britain interned some 30,000 German nationals, most of whom had been long-term residents. In fact, internment brought little discernible benefit, but cruelly damaged lives and livelihoods, breaking up families and disrupting social networks. In May 1940, under the threat of imminent invasion, the British government interned some 28,000 Germans and Austrians, mainly Jewish refugees from the Third Reich. It was a measure which provoked lively criticism, not least in Parliament, where one MP called the internment of refugees totally un-English'. The present volume seeks to shed more light on this still submerged historical episode, adopting an interdisciplinary approach to explore hitherto under-researched aspects.
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