Jews and other foreigners

Manchester and the rescue of the victims of European Fascism, 1933–40

By Bill Williams

Jews and other foreigners


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8995-4
  • Pages: 432
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £22.99
  • Published Date: February 2013
  • BIC Category: History, Social & cultural history, HISTORY / Jewish, Refugees & political asylum, Relating to Jewish people & groups, Society & social sciences / Jewish studies, Society & social sciences / Refugees & political asylum


Drawing on a wide range of documentary and oral sources, including interviews with refugees, this book explores the responses in Manchester to those threatened by the rise of Fascism in Europe. By exploring the responses of particular segments of Manchester society, from Jewish communal organisations and the Zionist movement to the Christian churches, pacifist organisations and private charities, it offers a critical analysis of the factors which facilitated and limited the work of rescue and their effect on the lives of the seven or eight thousand refugees - Spanish, Italian, German, Austrian and Czech - who arrived in Manchester between 1933 and 1940.


the distinctiveness of this work is indisputable and it sets the standard for a new kind of micro-historical approach to the subject.'
Jennifer Craig-Norton, Reviews in History, December 2012

'This remarkable and important book is a major contribution to our knowledge'
Alan Crosby, Northern History, September 2012

Short-listed for 2012 The Portico Prize for Non Fiction

The book is distinguished by the exemplary thoroughness of its research. Williams displays a remarkable knowledge of Manchester Jewry, its communal institutions and organisations, its personalities, places of worship and, not least, internal divisions.



The Portico Prize for Non Fiction


1. Introduction: Jewish refugees in Manchester
2. 'Speak no evil': Manchester Jewry and refugees, 1933-37
3. 'Displaced scholars': Refugees at the University of Manchester
4. Refugees and Eccles cakes: Refugee industrialists in the Manchester region
5. 'Something ought to be done': Manchester Quakers and refugees, 1933-37
6. 'The forgotten refugees': Manchester and the Basque children of 1937
7. 'The work of succouring refugees is going forward': The Manchester Jewish Refugees Committee 1939-40
8. 'Serious concern': The Manchester Quakers and refugees, 1938-40
9. 'Our remaining comrades in Czechoslovakia: The Manchester branch of the KPD
10. 'Not because they are Jews': The Catholic Church in Salford and refugees
11. 'Inspired idealism': Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld and Manchester
12. 'The Harris House girls': Girls from the kindertransporte in Southport
13. 'A haven of safety': Refugees and the Manchester women's lodge of B'nai Brith
14. 'Outposts of Jewish Palestine': Young Zionist refugees in Manchester
15. 'The most difficult boys to handle': Refugees at the Stockport hostel, 1939-40
16. 'By the grace of the almighty': Refugees and the Manchester yeshiva
17. 'From slavery and persecution to freedom and kindness': Refugees at the Manchester Home for the Jewish Aged
18. 'Bright young refugees': Refugees and schools in the Manchester region
19. 'Humanitarianism of the greatest value': Manchester Rotarians and refugees
20. The saved and the trapped: Refugees and those they left behind
21. 'The Dutch orphans': War refugees in Manchester
22. Pacifism and rescue: The case of Lionel Cowan
23. Conclusion: The victims of fascism and the liberal city


Bill Williams is an Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Manchester.

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