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'Jewish Refugees from Germany and Austria in Britain, 1933-1970: Their Image in ‘AJR Information’'

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Jewish Refugees from Germany and Austria in Britain, 1933-1970: Their Image in ‘AJR Information’


Dr Anthony Grenville


January 2010


Published by London/Portland,OR: Vallentine Mitchell, Dr Grenville's book is the first historical study of the Jewish refugees from Hitler in Britain and is a detailed account of the identity and culture of the refugee community.  It provides in-depth analysis of the arrival and settlement of the Jewish refugees 1933–1970 and is based on systematic research in the refugees' own publication, AJR Information.  

Between 1933 and the outbreak of war in 1939, over 60,000 Jewish refugees from Germany,Austria and Czechoslovakia fled to Britain, and some 50,000 settled there. As yet no historical study of this group of immigrants exists, though they form one of the most high profile groups of refugees to have come to Britain in the twentieth century, both as survivors of the Nazi terror and as high-achieving contributors to British society. Grenville gives a detailed account of the first quarter-century of their settlement in Britain, from 1945 to 1970. 

He covers new ground by drawing on a rich source of contemporary material, the previously untapped monthly journal of the Association of Jewish Refugees, AJR Information, which started in January 1946.  The journal is the only contemporary source that provides material for a full-scale history of these refugees: when they established themselves permanently in Britain, how they adapted to British society and developed their distinctive 'Continental' identity and culture that characterized them in their adopted homeland.

After describing the arrival of the refugees and their experience of the Second World War, Grenville analyses such areas as relations between the refugees and the British, the development of a refugee identity, refugee culture, the economic and professional profile of the refugee community, and home- and family-building, within the historical context of post-war austerity, the consumer prosperity of the 1950s and the social changes of the 1960s.

978 0 85303 842 9 cloth £45.00; 978 0 85303 852 8 paper £19.95

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