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Early Second World War internment camps in the UK, 1939-40
25 April 2021 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Dr.Rachel Pistol will be giving a talk which focuses on the often overlooked temporary camps on the British mainland which most of the so-called ‘enemy aliens’ passed through before being sent to the Isle of Man in 1940. Internees were held in prisons, holiday camps, racecourses, derelict mills and many other makeshift locations from anything from a few days to several months, and conditions were often terrible. This talk is being hosted by a US-based Isle of Man Internment Group, but is open to all.
Before so-called ‘enemy aliens’ arrived on the Isle of Man in 1940 they passed through a variety of temporary camps on the British mainland. On the outbreak of World War II, around 200 German and Austrian men were arrested in the belief they were a threat to national security. When tribunals began in September 1939, they classified Germans and Austrians into three categories: A (immediately interned), B (subjected to restrictions but at liberty) or C (genuine refugee from Nazi oppression); a further 600 men were interned immediately as category A. These men were, after some initial movements after arrest, housed in holiday camps in Clacton, Seaton and Paignton. When the order for mass internment was given in May 1940, men in categories B and C as well as women in category B were also arrested. Internees were held in prisons, holiday camps, racecourses, derelict mills and many other makeshift locations from anything from a few days to several months.
This talk will discuss some of the often overlooked transit camps involved in World War II internment.
Dr Rachel Pistol is a historian of immigration and Second World War internment in the UK and USA. Currently she is a Researcher at King’s College London and is the King’s team lead on the third phase of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). She is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. Rachel has published widely on Second World War internment in the UK and the USA including Internment during the Second World War: A Comparative Study of Great Britain and the USA (Bloomsbury, 2017). She has discussed Second World War internment on BBC TV and radio, Sky News and has written articles comparing internment with modern day issues that have appeared internationally including in Newsweek, The Independent and Huffington Post..”
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If you have questions that you want to submit in advance of the talk, please contact Tony Hausner