By Bill Williams

Drawing on a variety of documentary and oral assets, together with interviews with refugees, this publication explores the responses in Manchester to these threatened by means of the increase of Fascism in Europe. By exploring the responses of specific segments of Manchester society, from Jewish communal companies and the Zionist move to the Christian church buildings, to pacifist firms and personal charities, it bargains a severe research of the criteria which facilitated and constrained the paintings of rescue and their impact at the lives of the seven or 8 thousand refugees - Spanish, Italian, German, Austrian, and Czech - who arrived in Manchester among 1933 and 1940.

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M. , with only the Friday afternoon free. There was no sleeping accommodation at the Yeshiva. The students were boarded out with carefully selected orthodox families, taking only their meals on the Yeshiva premises. On Sabbaths and Holy Days, however, in the style of European bocherim, students were expected to identify families which, as a mitzvah, would provide meals freely. Student discipline was solely in the hands of the HaYeshiva, with the single reservation that students were to be dismissed only with the approval of the committee.

60 It was not until October, after the District Grand Lodge had again ‘stressed the necessity of finding hospitality and assistance for German refugees’, and after the two Manchester lodges had been adressed by fleeing German Jews, that such private efforts began to give way to collective action by the Manchester Women’s Lodge. By early November steps were already being taken by the lodge president, Henrietta (‘Etty’) Myrans, to form a local ‘Hospitality and Advisory Committee’,61 and the process was completed on 4 December, when, at Myrans’ invitation (Sister) Schwab, a B’nai Brith representative on the German-Jewish Aid Committee at Woburn House, spoke to the lodge of ‘the necessity for a Hospitality Committee in Manchester’.

To depart would have meant a radical ideological shift which few of them were as yet prepared to make. 27 ‘Jews and other foreigners’ While Laski found difficulty with any action on behalf of refugees which seemed likely to injure the repute of the local community or which ran counter to the wishes of the British government for a rapprochement with Germany, there was one category of refugee whose evident respectability and whose potential contribution to British life was acknowledged by the government, to whom, while not taking the initiative, he was prepared to offer a degree of patronage: those German academics, most of them Jewish, who, from 1933, were being driven from their posts by the Nazi regime and whose experiences are the subject of the next chapter.

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