A new life in Britain

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After the war, because some survivors found conditions so hostile in their native countries, many gathered in the parts of Germany then controlled by the USA and Britain. They were stateless with no home. Some tried to enter Britain as refugees.

The British government refused to allow mass immigration of Jewish refugees. The large majority of those that did manage to enter came under a scheme set up for relatives of Jews already living in the Britain. These refugees were subject to the condition that they would be cared for and supported by their families; this meant they would not be a burden on the British state.

In the main, the survivors were not encouraged to talk about the past.

Kity Hart-Moxon remembers:

“My uncle was at the quayside in Dover to meet us. His greeting was chilly, 'Welcome to England. Understand that in my house I don’t want you to speak about anything that happened to you. I don’t want to know and I don’t want my girls upset.’...

In September 1946 Britain was an uncaring society, unwilling to listen to survivors. The government too was unhelpful and even imposed restrictions on the type of employment survivors were allowed to take up. There were no government grants, no welfare payments and no counselling was offered to help survivors come to terms with their traumatic past. We were simply left to cope on our own.”

© Aegis Institute Testimony from Survival: Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Story (Quill/Aegis, 2003)