Mar 2008 Journal

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Second World War internee records for the Isle of Man

This is the second, and concluding, part of this article. The first part appeared in last month’s issue of the Journal.

The police records
In 1922 Tynwald (the Manx parliament) passed an act to impose restrictions on Aliens which, although slightly amended in 1926 and 1930, was in force for the entire war period. This act required Aliens aged 16 or over to register on arrival in the Island and listed the particulars to be furnished on registration as:

1. Name in full and sex
2. Present nationality and how and when acquired and previous nationality (if any)
3. Date and country of birth
4. Profession or occupation
5. Date, place and mode of arrival in the UK and date, place and mode of arrival in the IOM
6. Address of residence in the IOM
7. Address of last residence outside the IOM
8. Photograph (which if not furnished by the Alien, may be taken by the registration officer)
9. Government services, name of country served, nature and duration of service, and rank of appointments held
10. Particulars of passport or other document establishing nationality or identity
11. Signature (which if required shall be in the characters of the language of the Alien’s nationality) and finger prints if required (usually only if illiterate)
12. Any other matter of which particulars are required by the registration officer.

The cards produced under this act contain a wealth of information about internees, including, in most cases, a black-and-white photograph. The IOM police administered this system and the following are some of the main files from which details have been extracted:

Registration of Aliens; Registration of female/Austrian internees; Internees and movement permits; Escapes from internment camps; Permits for Aliens to leave camp to attend tribunals; USA visa applications; Rushen Women’s Internment camp administration records; Port Erin camp administration; Police occurrence books; Police charge books; Security files, Internees and special class internees such as IRA, Gestapo; Request for permission to visit IOM.

Details are entered in the lists in the following style:

From a female internee record card

Surname Christian Names IOM card
No. Date
Arrival in I.O.M Previous
Address or Camp
National Registration
Identity Card Reg. Cert. No./Identity Book Nat
Kitzler Jeanette Henriette (on R.C.) Janette (on list Acc. No. 9378 (part).
(actual name Jeanette) 2471 30.5.40 43, Randolph Avenue, W9 DNHQ 40/6 676612 issued 8.10.38 at Hatfield, Herts Ger/

Rushen Camp c/o Ballaqueeney, Port St. Mary. - Jewish. - Date of Birth 22.9.1905 in Vienna. - Occupation Domestic. - Last address outside of the UK, 8, Nussdorferstrasse. - Divorced. - German Passport No. 23224 issued Vienna 12.9.38. - 25.9.38 Conditional landing at Dover, 12 months in U.K. - 11.8.39 Con. cancelled. - 13.10.39 Reigate Tri. Exempt internment until further order. - Refugee from Nazi oppression. - Police Permit for the purpose of proceeding to Douglas, to come before the Home Office Advisory Committee, at the Court House. Dated Friday 28th February 1941. 9.45 a.m. (Box IOMC Movement Permits) - 2.5.41 Leaving IoM for 4a, Palatine Road, Manchester.

Mrs Jeanette Kitzler née Schacter was the first of her family to come to England in September 1938. She worked as a parlour maid at the home of Lord and Lady Hoke? of Berkhamsted. Her sister, Frieda Schacter, followed and her niece, Erika Klausner, came on the Kindertransport. Erika’s parents, Kathe and Herman Klausner, followed and were also interned on the Isle of Man. After release, she went to Manchester, then returned to London where her sisters lived. In London she met her husband, Vaclav Kult, a Czech national who joined the British Army. Following the birth of her first child, Carmen Elvira, she and her husband returned to Manchester. Following the death of this child, she continued her profession in dentistry with the Co-operative Society. She worked there until the birth of her second child, Miranda, in 1949. She remained in Manchester until 1970, when she paid the first of many visits back to her native Vienna, where she was able to find people she had known during her formative years, both Jewish and non-Jewish. She died from a heart attack in Vienna in May 1994.

The above information was supplied by her daughter, Miranda Nathans, and is used with her permission.

From an entry reporting the death of an internee

Schindler Margarete (on list) Margarethe (on R.C.) 2934 18.7.40 31, Leopold Street, Loughborough 757396 issued 28.8.39 at Bow Street. Ger

Rushen Camp. - Date of Birth 25.5.1892 in Ratibor. - Occupation Domestic. - Address of last residence outside U.K. Berlin, Ludwigskirchplatz 12. - Single. - German passport No. II5171/39/Z 14.8.39 Berlin. - 26.8.39 Con. landing at Harwich. - 6.12.39 Metro. Tri. No. 27. Exempted internment & special restrictions. - Refugee from Nazi oppression. - 27.6.40 Reg. Adv. Com. No. 3. To be interned until further order.- Refugee from Nazi oppression. - 9.10.41 Deceased. - Letters attached to R.C. - First dated 10 October, 1941 from? Wilson Deputy Commandant to Chief Constable, Douglas. Ref. DJW/BM. “Dear Sir, I have to report that Margarete Schindler, born 25.5.92 at Ratibor, Silesia, died here on 9th October, 1941, and to request that you would kindly send her police registration book immediately to the Police at the last place of Registration.” - Second dated 11th October, 1941 from Major Chief Constable (Douglas) to The Chief Inspector, Aliens Registration Office, Piccadilly Place, London, W1. Ref. WEC/ACU. “Dear Sir, Margarethe Schindler, R.C. 757396, Bow Street, 28.8.39. Enclosed please find Registration Certificate for the above named alien who died at the Women’s Internment Camp, Port Erin, Isle of Man, on the 9th October, 1941.” - Third a card No. 139. acknowledging the receipt of the letter dated 11th October From the Aliens Registration Office. No. 1214/10/41. Your Ref. WEC/ACU. - Buried in Jewish section of Douglas Cemetery. Headstone reads Margarete Schindler 9 October 1941.

It is to be expected that there would be a number of deaths within the camps either from natural causes or, in some cases, suicide. A number of graves of former internees have been removed to the German cemetery at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire.

How you can help us complete the lists
MNH Library wishes to receive details about any individual who was an internee on the Isle of Man in either world war (there was also a Jewish section of the Douglas camp in the First World War), especially correspondence and photographs, which we are happy to copy and return if you wish to retain originals. We have acquired fascinating memoirs in this way in recent years. Principal camps for German/Austrian refugees were the Onchan, Hutchinson Square, Central, Rushen and Ramsey ones.

Basic details sought are: nationality; date and place of birth; occupation; approximate date of arrival in UK; how long was the period of internment (some were only a few months, other several years)?

Summary of what happened to the internee on release - for example, did a male join the Pioneer Corps?

Any other internees known to you who were here at the same time. In some instances we have a note of wives and children, but not of the husbands as the men’s records have largely been lost.

Alan Franklin, Librarian
Manx National Heritage Library
Manx Museum
Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LY
Tel 01624-648042


Alan Franklin

previous article:The 1960s: The refugees and student radicalism
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