50,000–80,000 mostly Jewish refugees.
Parliamentary monarchy; rising unemployment from 1930; declining standard of living. Officially declared foreign policy of safeguarding peace; emphasis on national self-interest. Summer 1940 until spring 1941: German air raids.
Conditions of entry:
Restrictive immigration policies; from May 1938 visa requirements for people from Germany and Austria; eased entry conditions after the November pogroms; entry ban on "enemy aliens" following the outbreak of war. Work permits only for shortage occupations.
The majority of the refugees entered Britain between November 1938 and September 1939. They were not allowed to claim any money from the state and were supported by aid organisations. After the November pogroms, about 10,000 Jewish children were allowed into the country as part of the “Kindertransports” ["children transports"]. They were taken in by foster families or put into homes. Numerous cultural associations enriched everyday life, including the Free German League of Culture, which initiated a much-praised exhibition against National Socialism. The emigrants were temporarily interned as "enemy aliens" in response to the Battle of France in May 1940; about 7,000 male internees were deported to Australia and Canada.