Nearly the new world: refugees and the British west Indies, 1933-1945

Newman, J.F. (1998) Nearly the new world: refugees and the British west Indies, 1933-1945. University of Southampton, History Department, Doctoral Thesis , 282pp.


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This thesis examines the role of the Caribbean as a place of refuge, internment and transit for
Jewish refugees from Europe during the interwar and Second World War period. It
approaches the subject from the different perspectives of the British Government, West
Indian colonies, refugee organisations and refugees themselves. It is divided into three parts,
the first examining local, national and international concerns of the British Government
towards its colonies in the Caribbean. It explores how these concerns impacted on the
development of immigration policy in the British West Indies, and how the Colonial Office
managed to steer a course between protecting West Indian interests and following
Government directives over its refugee policy.
The second section traces the vital role played by British, American and European Jewish
refugee organisations. It explores their practical involvement in directing refugees to the
West Indies, in negotiating entry for refugees with invalid travel documents, and in providing
maintenance. It also explores how the West Indies took on greater significance for refugee
bodies as the war progressed. Whilst concentrating on their involvement with the West
Indies, this section analyses the achievements and limitations facing voluntary refugee bodies
during this period.
The last section of this thesis considers the movement of refugees to the British West Indies,
analysing how much choice was involved in their destination. Particular attention is paid to
the experience of internment and attempts to establish Jewish communities. The reactions of
British West Indians to the question of Jewish immigration, and to the presence of Jewish
refugees is explored within the context of the social, political and economic situation of the
British West Indies in the 1930s and 1940s.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Digitized via the E-THOS exercise.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > History
ePrint ID: 43757
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:28

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