1940-1949 | Refusing refugees

Foreign Office – send Jewish refugees to the interior of Guiana

26 December 1940 Today in 1940, a memo drafted by Richard Latham, an official in the refugee section at the Foreign Office, suggested that Britain should revive an earlier proposal to create a ‘second Jewish National Home’ in the interior of British Guiana,’ as a refuge for Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. It would, he reasoned,…

1940-1949 | Refusing refugees

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. Five days later, T.M. Snow, the head of the Foreign Office Refugee Section, who was anxious to halt the flow of persecuted refugees from Nazi occupied Europe, commented in…

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…

1940-1949 | Antisemitism | Churchill's crimes | Deportation

Churchill anxious to achieve faster deportation of Jewish refugees

3 June 1940 On 3 June 1940, Winston Churchill wrote a minute to the Cabinet Secretary asking anxiously: ‘Has anything been done about shipping 20,000 internees to Newfoundland or St. Helena ?’ Churchill added, ‘I should like to get them on the high seas as soon as possible.’1 Within weeks of the start of the…

1940-1949 | Divide and rule | India

Churchill – Hindu-Muslim feud ‘the bulwark of British rule in India’

2 February 1940 On 2 February 1940, during discussions in Cabinet, Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, strongly defended the status-quo in British India, blocking a proposal which would have allowed the subcontinent to draw up its own constitution once the war ended. He expressed shock when it was suggested that Hindus and…