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…

1920-1939 | Palestine | Refusing refugees

First British shots of the war targets Jewish refugees

1 September 1939 Before dawn on the 1 September 1939, Hitler’s Wehrmacht commenced the invasion of Poland, triggering Number 10’s declaration of war two days later. During those same early hours, a British police launch, patrolling the coast off Palestine to prevent the unwelcome arrival of fugitives fleeing Nazi persecution, opened fire with a Lewis…

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 | Refusing refugees

785 refugees drown after Britain insists Turkey refuse them overland passage

24 February 1942 On 24 February 1942, the S.S. Struma, a small 240 ton vessel crammed with 786 Jewish refugees, including over one hundred children, was sunk by a torpedo in the Black Sea. All but one of the passengers drowned.1 The sinking occurred after the British government pressured Turkey not to allow the refugees to…

1940-1949 | Backing terror operations | Palestine

MI6 ordered to sabotage ships carrying Jewish refugees to Palestine

14 January 1947 On this day in 1947, Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin ordered MI6 to sabotage ships in European ports which were taking Jewish refugees to Palestine and to deliberately contaminate their food and water supplies. Other methods to prevent their arrival in the British controlled mandate had been contemplated but the three miles of coastal…