The Enemy in Our Midst: Germans in Britain during the First World War

By Panikos Panayi | Go to book overview

1
The Victorian and Edwardian Background

The migration of Germans to Britain can be traced back to the fifth century and the invasion of the Angles and Saxons who established a series of states in all but the extreme western parts of the country. However, at least one source looks at individual Germans who entered the country with the Romans.1 Nevertheless, one of the most important recent studies, by Herman Kellenbenz,2 only goes back as far as the eleventh century when most German visitors to England were merchants of the Hanseatic League. This group settled in various east coast ports and concentrated in . By the early fifteenth century merchants from Nuremberg had also settled in London.3 Germans had also become important in mining by this time; during the late thirteenth century Richard II had brought people over to work in Cornwall. Germans played a particularly vital role in the development of mineral extraction during the Tudor period.4 By 1548 the German colony in London numbered about 5,000 people.5

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many Germans made their way to England in order to escape religious persecution. This began to happen under Henry VIII and continued under Edward VI. In 1550 the latter granted the use of the Austin Friars Church to German refugees. However, when Mary became Queen they dispersed and the Church served as an arsenal. But Elizabeth re-established the Church and many of the refugees returned.6

____________________
1
See, for example, G. Schönberger, ' Geschichte der Deutschen in England', in G. Schönberger (ed.), Festschrift zumt 70 Geburtstag von Freiherr Baron von Schröder ( London, 1937).
2
Herman Kellenbenz, ' German immigrants in England', in C. Holmes (ed.), Immigrants and Minorities in British Society ( London, 1978).
3
Ibid., p. 64.
4
W. Cunningham, Alien Immigrants to England (2nd edn, London, 1969), pp. 116, 122-3.
5
Kellenbenz, ' German Immigrants'. p. 74.
6
Ibid., p. 64; Cunningham, Alien Immigrants, pp. 147-8; G. Schönberger, ' Geschichte der Hamburger Lutherischen Kirche', in Schönberger (ed.), Festschrift, p. 65.

-9-

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The Enemy in Our Midst: Germans in Britain during the First World War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations Used in References x
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Victorian and Edwardian Background 9
  • 1 - The Victorian and Edwardian Background 9
  • Part I - The Official Reaction 43
  • 2 - Measures Against Enemy Aliens 45
  • 3 - Internment and Repatriation 70
  • 4 - The Experience of Internment 99
  • 5 - Measures Against German Business Interests 132
  • Part II - The Popular Reaction 151
  • 6 - Anti-German Sentiment: Spy-Fever, Anti-Alienism and the Hidden Hand 153
  • 7 - Anti-German Manifestations: Witch-Hunts, Boycotts and Movements 184
  • 8 - Anti-German Riots 223
  • 9 - Support for Enemy Aliens 259
  • Part III - Conclusion 281
  • Conclusion 283
  • Bibliography 292
  • Index 303
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