- Great Britain
- The response of Great Britain to the German Jewish refugee crisis was a mixed one. Initially, it admitted few refugees from Germany, limiting the number to approximately 2,000 to 3,000, most of whom were professionals such as scientists and academics. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, however, Great Britain became one of the few islands of sanctuary for Jews, but with the proviso that they would not seek employment or public assistance in the United Kingdom. Somewhere between 50,000 and 80,000 Jewish refugees were given shelter there. Because of fears of alienating the Arab world should war occur, Great Britain, beginning in 1937, restricted immigration into Palestine, a policy that reached its climax with the White Paper of 1939, which limited Jewish immigration into Palestine to 75,000 people over a five-year period. With the outbreak of war in September 1939, all immigration into Great Britain and the British Empire ceased. Young adult Jewish immigrants were interned and sent to British overseas territories together with German nationals. During the war, along with its ally the United States, Great Britain adopted the policy of “unconditional surrender,” which eschewed any negotiations with Nazi Germany and prohibited bartering with German officials in exchange for Jewish lives. British policymakers also refused to revise the strategy, which held that the best way to save the Jews of Europe was to win the war. This strategy precluded the possibility of special air force missions that would have resulted in the bombing of Auschwitz or the railroad tracks leading to the death camp.See also Churchill, Winston Spencer.
Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. Jack R. Fischel. 2014.