chess

 

Continental Britons Exhibition

Jewish Refugees from Nazi Europe

To mark both the sixtieth anniversary year of the Association of Jewish Refugees and the seventieth anniversary of the Jewish Museum, the two organisations joined forces in 2002 to present a major exhibition.


 

For a report of the opening of the exhibition, click here

To view the exhibition, click here

Continental Britons - Jewish Refugees from Nazi Europe relates the remarkable and compelling story of the Jewish refugees who fled Nazi persecution in the German-speaking countries before World War II and came to Britain.

Illustrated throughout with documents, photographs, personal memoirs, artefacts and art works, and with a concise and authoritative commentary, the exhibition followed the journey of the refugees - how they arrived, where they settled, their experience of hostels, foster families and internment as ‘enemy aliens’. It also touched on the dilemmas and challenges faced by all refugees, past and present, such as the loss of a secure home, the difficulties of adjusting to a new culture and the reception by British society.

The remarkable contribution made by the refugees to their adopted homeland - as scientists, musicians, publishers and artists – was a highlight of the exhibition, as was an audio-visual installation relaying personal testimonies. Contributors included Andrew Sachs (Manuel in ‘Fawlty Towers’), who emigrated to Britain from Berlin in 1938, Lord Claus Moser, Norbert Brainin of the Amadeus Quartet, Anton Walter Freud (grandson of Sigmund Freud), who arrived in the UK from Vienna in 1938, and photographer Wolfgang Suschitzky, also from Vienna. Continental café society was evoked by means of a reconstruction of the Cosmo Restaurant, and an illustrated map of the Finchley Road recalled the heartland of a thriving refugee community.

The refugees’ story is often known only sketchily even by their own children, and is little remembered by the wider community. With a wide-ranging associated programme of lectures, visits, films, concerts and discussions, this exhibition aimed to help fill these gaps.

Continental Britons was a highlight of the Jewish Museum’s seventieth anniversary year. It was sponsored by and created in partnership with the AJR. The related programme of events was organised in conjunction with organisations including the Wiener Library, Imperial War Museum, London Jewish Cultural Centre, Jewish Music Institute, Ben Uri Gallery, the Freud Museum and the Refugee Council.

Copies of the Continental Britons book are available to purchase from the AJR priced £7.50.


The Exhibition

Click on the thumbnails below to view each section of the exhibition as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document.
Please click the back button in your web browser to return to this page to view the next set of panels.

To view the whole exhibition in one PDF document (large 11MB file) please click here
 

Continental Britons
Continental Britons

one panel
What was left behind
What was Left Behind

three panels
Nazi Persecution
Nazi Persecution

two panels
The Search for Refuge
The Search for Refuge

one panel
Arrival in Great Britain
Arrival in Great Britain

four panels
Wartime
Wartime

one panel
Internment
Internment

one panel
Enemy Aliens
Enemy Aliens

one panel
War Service
War Service

one panel
Becoming British
Becoming British

three panels
Culture And Identity
Culture and Identity

three panels
German Jewish Heritage
German Jewish Heritage

three panels