British Internment - Isle of Man

The men’s ‘camps’ comprised groups of requisitioned hotels/boarding houses, rendered secure by barbed wire and guarded. Internees in each hotel/boarding house determined their own leaders plus rotas for e.g. cooking and cleaning, and certain areas were designated for work/recreation. Women and children were similarly billeted, but with their respective landladies. Women had to help with the chores, and established a temporary camp school.

For more detailed information see: Manx National Library and Archives accessed July 2020)

The police came on the 13th of May- 12th of May rather, 12th of May, 1940... and... they said, “We have to take you in for the duration of the war.” I said, “Why?” “Well, because you are a - a foreign immigrant. You are actually a member of, of, of our... opponents, the Germans and the Austrians.” I said, “Yes, but I’m a Jew so that therefore that doesn’t exist. I’m here because I’m a Jew, and because of the fact that I’m not one of them.” That wasn’t good enough. That just wasn’t good enough. He took me in. I said, “My mother and father are in Bournemouth, and I would like to phone them- what’s happening to me.” “Well you can’t.” They did not let me talk to my parents. My parents only found out what happened to me afterwards when I wasn’t communicating with them they obviously went to the hostel and found out. That all of us were interned. And that’s what they called it, ‘an internment’.


@ AJR Refugee Voices 2020

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