2.3 Work

Hampelfigur von Hanns W. Lange Jumping jack of Hanns W. Lange
Wooden jumping jack of Hanns W. Lange, Isle of Man internment camp, 1941/42. // For many internees, making things with their hands or offering some kind of service were means of self-assertion. The furrier Hanns W. Lange used his craftsman's skills to make toys during his internment on the Isle of Man.

German Exile Archive 1933–1945 of the German National Library, TNL Hanns W. Lange, EB 2000/055, thanks to Petra Dorman, Photograph: Anja Jahn Photography

2.3 Work

Whether or not it was possible to continue in a previous occupation in the country of exile depended on various factors. In some host countries it was difficult enough to obtain any work permit at all. In some lines of work, qualifications from Germany or Austria were not recognised in the country of exile.

This fundamentally altered the work situation for many emigrants. They had to change their occupation, carry out menial work, or accept support from aid organisations in order to survive.

Those whose work was closely linked to the German language or to specific structures in Germany often found it difficult to continue in their occupation. Yet in some cases, exile also presented new and unexpected career opportunities.