1900-1919 | Famine | Racism | South Africa

Africans starved to save the white garrison of Mafeking

[ 17 May 1900 ] On 17 May 1900, a British army relieved the besieged city of Mafeking during the Second Boer War. It led to street celebrations across Britain and the commander of the besieged garrison, Colonel Robert Baden-Powell, became a national hero.  B-P had ruthlessly maintained food stocks for British troops and European…

1500-1799 | Antisemitism | Racism

Widespread celebrations follow repeal of the ‘Jew Bill’

27 December 1753 In the summer of 1753, the Whig government passed a bill enabling Jews, who were already resident in Britain, to be naturalised without having to receive the sacrament at Holy Communion. With a general election scheduled for the following year, opposition politicians and newspapers promptly whipped up public fears that their ‘Christian…

1900-1919 | Palestine | Racism

Palestinians marginalised as their land is declared a future ‘national home for the Jewish people’

9 November 1917 On 9 November 1917, The Times published a letter, now remembered as the Balfour Declaration, which Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour had written a week earlier to Lord Rothschild. In it, he promised to back, ‘the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.’  Although it also stated that ‘nothing…

1900-1919 | Backing Apartheid | Racism

South Africa Act 1909 creates the legal foundation of Apartheid

20 September 1909 On 20 September 1909, the British parliament passed the South Africa Act, which laid the legal foundation for apartheid South Africa. Section 35 restricted voting rights in three of the four provinces in the newly created Union of South Africa to white males. Only in Cape Colony were black men to be…

1900-1919 | Racism

‘Hideous spectacle’ of ‘a negro in khaki with a white woman’

16 July 1919 On 16 July 1919, a letter, appearing in the Hull Daily Mail, typified the racist panic which gripped Britain over the presence of black soldiers. It also clearly demonstrated the importance which many British men attached to maintaining African subservience and ostracism in Britain’s African colonies. ‘Sir, this evening I had the unpleasant experience…

1940-1949 | Media propaganda | Racism

Propaganda and religious hatred provoke anti-Italian riots

10 June 1940 On the evening of 10 June1940, just hours after the outbreak of hostilities between Britain and Italy, anti-Italian mobs attacked shops, restaurants and other businesses owned by families of Italian origin. The violent assaults were widespread across London, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Belfast, Newcastle, Manchester and other cities. In the Soho and…

1920-1939 | Antisemitism | Churchill's crimes | Racism

Churchill blames the Bolshevik terror in Russia and Europe on jews

8 February 1920 On 8 February 1920, writing in the Illustrated Sunday Herald, Secretary of State for War Winston Churchill alleged that Jews could neatly be divided into ‘good and bad Jews.’ On the one hand, the ‘honourable’ Zionist and also ‘national Jews,’ who were loyal to their home countries, and on the other, the far…

1900-1919 | India | Racism

General – ‘The Indian is simply not fit to lead his men’

31 January 1915 On 31 January 1915, despite the hideous casualty rate suffered by commissioned British officers in the trenches on the Western Front, General Sir James Wilcox commanding the India Corps, refused to appoint Indian officers to lead his soldiers. ‘The Indian,’ he explained, ‘is simply not fit to lead his men against Europeans….

1920-1939 | Antisemitism | Churchill's crimes | Racism

Churchill – ‘The majority of the (Bolshevik) leaders are Jews.’

21 January 1920 On 21 January 1920, Winston Churchill, then Secretary of State for War, wrote to fellow minister Herbert A.L. Fisher. He was determined to defend himself against accusations that one of his recent speeches on the Jewish role in the Bolshevik movement may have contributed to the lynching of thousands of Jews in…

1950-1959 | Racism


FOREIGN OFFICE OFFICIAL – JEWISH REFUGEES DROWNING IS AN ‘OPPORTUNE DISASTER’ [ 17 December 1940 ] On 12 December 1940, the Uruguayan registered freighter Salvador struck reefs off the Turkish coast drowning 230 Jewish refugees, including over seventy children. BLACK WORKERS ‘MENTALLY SLOW’ CLAIMS GOVERNMENT REPORT [ 17 December 1953 ] Today in 1953, a report by…