Before 1939: Installation of Totalitarian Regimes

 
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1 Description of the migration movement
2 Causes of migration
3 Consequences of migration
4 Reactions on migration


The European population had to deal with the consequences of war. No longer was war a case of two or three government-armies that met on the battlefield. Instead, citizens were victimised and, especially during the Second World War, large parts of Europe were occupied so that normal everyday life became completely impossible. From the mid-thirties onwards fascism had terrorised Europe and minorities were expelled or killed in the most brutal ways.

The urge to achieve national unity resulted in the generation of refugees. Fascism chased away socialists, anti-fascists and Jews from Germany and Italy in the 1930's. These refugees were sometimes welcomed in neighbouring countries, but in times of economic crises it was hard to find a safe place. Moreover, western countries increasingly closed their borders to immigrants.The most extreme urge for national unity was expressed by the national-socialists in Germany and led to the deliberate persecution of a whole "race": the Jews. From 1941 onwards they were systematically transported to Germany, occupied Poland and the Netherlands where many were imprisoned and eventually killed.

After the Second World War many displaced people had to find new homes. Eastern Europe was stirred by communism at the same time; inhabitants of newly communist countries were incarcerated within the nations' borders. Europe was divided into East and West and throughout the second part of the twentieth century, the Cold War determined European politics. A stream of migrants poured out from the newly communist countries in Eastern Europe into the West. The Soviet authorities tried to stop this stream by closing their borders so that people who wanted to leave had to escape at the risk of being shot. In 1956 and 1968, communist suppression of revolts in Hungary and Czechoslovakia were especially shocking to the Western world.

1. DESCRIPTION OF THE MIGRATION MOVEMENT

1.1 Who were they and from where did thy come: ethnic origin, geographical background, religion, adults, men or women, special qualities?
Western Europe
UK
Germany

* 1918 - 1945: German Jews, socialists, communists and artists left Germany and went to the Netherlands. 7000 legal Jews, 1500 illegal. {Luc}
* 1933 - 1940: 1 million Germans left Germany.
France, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain

* 1936 - 1939: 200.000 Spaniards left Spain, some went to Belgium.
Portugal, Italy, Greece

Eastern Europe

* 1920s - 1930s: Jews went from Poland, Hungary and Romania to Belgium. {Mor}
Poland
* 1880-1939: On a massive scale Polish Jews poured into France. Political grounds motivated this type of immigration. (Survey, 143)
* 1930s: Jews went from Russian-Poland to other places.
Russia
* 1933 - 1945: In the Soviet Union people were moved to other parts of the country or to camps.

1.2 How did they travel: transport, circumstances of travelling?

1.3 When?

1.4 How many?
Western Europe
UK

* 1939: A total of 239.000 foreigners over 16 years old were in England. In 1940, 30.500 Poles fought in the English Army and 3000 Polish civilians went to England. {Cath}
Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain

* In the 1920s and 1930s, Spanish refugees (50.000 Basks and 20.000 Catalans) went to France. {Leq}
* 1936 - 1939: 200.000 Spaniards left Spain, 140.000 went to France, 60.000 to the Maghreb.
Portugal
Italy
* 1922 - ...: 70.000 Italians left Italy
* In the 1920s and 1930s, Italian refugees went to France. {Leq}
* 1931: Italians to Southern France: 808.000
Greece

Eastern Europe
Poland
Russia

* 1926: 64.000 Russians went to France.
* 1932: 5 million Kulaks were brought to camps, some fled to China.
* 1937: 170.000 Corenes were moved to Asia, Germans, Tartars, Georgians, Caucasians, Kalmuks were moved to Siberia or Asia.
* 1926,1932 and 1959: Western Siberia: 6 million people in 1926 and 1932, 12 million in 1959. At the same time farmers (18 million in total between 1929 and 1939) were moved towards the industrial centres of European Russia, Leningrad, Moscow and cities near the Volga, Kiev, Kharkov, Donetz; the industrial centres of the Ural. Nomads in Khazakstan had to leave because of this immigration.

Balkan
Turkey
Armenia

* 1926: 65.000 Armenians went to France.

1.5 Permanent or temporary?

Western Europe
UK
Germany

* 1930s and early 40s: Most Jews that fled from Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe went away permanently.
France
Netherlands
* 1918 - 1945: The Germans that went to the Netherlands often did this temporarily. {Luc}
Belgium
* 1937: Some German Jews that went to Belgium moved on to the United States. The Germans deported most of the Jews who stayed in Belgium after 1940. {Mor}
Nordic countries

Eastern Europe

* 1930s and early 40s: Most Jews that fled from Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe went away permanently.
Poland
Russia

1.6 Where did they go to and where did they stay?

* 1937: 400.000 Jews went to Palestine, United States, England, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Latin America. {Sieny}

Western Europe
UK
Germany

* 1937: 8000 Jews from Germany and Austria came to Belgium in a legal way, an unknown number illegally. Total number of Jews in Belgium at that time 70.000. A large part of the Jews in Belgium was deported back to Germany or to Poland after 1940. {Mor}
* 1933 - 1940: 1 million Germans left Germany to go to France, Spain, England, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Some German socialists and communists went to Belgium. {Sieny} {Mor}
France, Netherlands and Belgium, Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain and Portugal
Italy

* 1922 - 1945: A small number of Italian anti-fascists went to Belgium. {Mor}
Greece

Eastern Europe
Poland

* 1930s: Jews went from Russian-Poland to other places, many them went through Germany. In 1933 there were still 98.000 of them in Germany. {Sieny}
Russia
* 1920 - 1958: People were moved from parts of the Soviet Union towards work camps in Siberia and other parts of the Soviet Union.

2. CAUSES OF MIGRATION

2.1 Circumstances that favoured migration
Western Europe
UK
Germany

* 1918 - 1945: The neutrality of the Netherlands in WWI and the tolerance favoured the migration of German refugees towards this country. {Luc}
* 1930s and early 40s: Jews had the opportunity to escape to countries that were not (yet) under the influence of Nazi-Germany. {Con}
France, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain and Portugal
Italy

* 1922 - ....: Italians had the opportunity to go to countries where national-socialism was not present. {Con}
Greece

2.2 Circumstances that hindered migration
Western Europe
UK
Germany

* 1933-1938: Although full employment, with a growing labour shortage, had been reached in the Reich by 1938, foreign employment in national socialist Germany increased only slightly during the years between 1933 and 1938. The main reason for this was the introduction of restrictive foreign-exchange controls, which made it difficult to transfer wages. (Survey, 134)
France
Netherlands
* 1930s: After 1930 many the labour migrants in the Netherlands were fired and send back home. {Luc}
Belgium and Nordic countries

2.3 Direct causes of migration
Western Europe
UK
Germany

* 1918 - 1940: Because of enormous inflation in Germany, many German girls went to the Netherlands to work as servants. {Luc}
* 1933 - 1940: Germans left Germany because of political, religious and racial reasons. Especially Jews, socialists and communists were not safe in Germany anymore. In 1933 the fire in the Reichstag building caused a large migration of left-wing Germans. Jews left Germany because of the Nazi-regime. {Sieny} {Mor}
* 1930s and early 40s: Jews left Germany and Austria because of the Nazi-regime, which oppressed Jews. After the regime had taken over the countries, the Jews first fled to like the Netherlands, France etc. Some Jews escaped again, this time to the United States. {Con}
France
Netherlands
* 1940: The Germans invaded the Netherlands, this caused the migration of some Dutch refugees to England. {Con}
Belgium
Nordic countries

Southern Europe
Spain

* 1920s: Spanish left Spain to escape the dictator Primo Riviera. {Leq}
Portugal
Italy
* 1922: Italians left Italy because of the fascist regime. {Mor}
Greece

Eastern Europe
Poland

* 1920s: Some Polish Jews went to Belgium not only for religious or political reasons but also because it was a prosperous country. Poland was very poor and anti-Semitism grew quickly {Mor}
* 1918 - 1933: Jews from Russia and Poland fled through Germany because of anti-Semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe. {Sieny}
Russia
* 1918 - 1933: Jews from Russia and Poland fled through Germany because of anti-Semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe. {Sieny}
* 1933 - 1945: Certain nationalities inside the Soviet Union were moved to Siberia and Asia because of the policy of Stalin. Some were considered enemies of the Soviet State, such as the Corenes who were considered traitors for the Japanese.

3. CONSEQUENCES OF MIGRATION</STRONG>

3.1 Short term consequences
Positive consequences
- for the migrants (first generation)
- for their new environment / native born
- for the country they left

Western Europe
UK, Germany, France
Netherlands
- for their new environment / native born

* 1918 - 1945: The Netherlands had to deal with a flow of refugees from Germany. This meant there had to be found practical solutions. Politically this meant that it was difficult to help the refugees and stay friends with German leaders. {Luc}
Belgium
- for their new environment / native born
* 1930s: Italians in Belgium influenced the communist movement in that country a lot. {Mor}
- for their new environment / native born
* 1940: Many of the anti-fascists that had come to Belgium joined the resistance there. Moroccans fought against the Germans. {Mor}
Nordic countries

Negative consequences
- for the migrants (first generation)
- for their new environment / native born
- for the country they left

Western Europe
UK
Germany
- for the migrants (first generation)

* 1930s and early 40s: Some Jews that escaped the Nazi-regime committed suicide, because they were homesick.
France, Netherlands, Belgium

3.2 Long term consequences
Positive consequences
- for the migrants (second and third generation)
- for the new environment
- for the country they left

Negative consequences
- for the migrants (second and third generation)
- for the new environment
- for the country they left

4. REACTIONS ON MIGRATION

4.1 Reactions of the receiving society on the immigrants
- official reaction
- reaction of the common people
- reaction of the common people

* 1930s and early 40s: In the countries to which the Jews escaped, some people treated them with hostility because of a fear that the Jews would take their jobs. The Jews were mostly labourers and shopkeepers. {Con}

Western Europe
UK
- official reaction

* 1939: Prevention of Violence Act passed. The Irish had to register at the police station if they were in England. During WWII, there were strong checks on Irish who came to work in England.
- reaction of the common people
* 1940: Jewish doctors were treated badly, they were a threat to English doctors. {Cath}
- reaction of the common people
* 1936: Irish were treated with more and more hostility, because of the growing IRA-activities.
- reaction of the common people
* 1914 - 1945: Africans and West Indians who went to England rarely reached a high economic or social level. The English who were very prejudiced against them discriminated against them.
- reaction of the common people
* 1940-1945: Irish were not popular because: Ireland was neutral in WWII, so it made money while England suffered. The Irish were said to be asocial, to drink too much and fight all the time. They presented a threat to English labourers. {Cath}
Germany
- official reaction
* 1933-1945: In the Nazi epoch, the Jewish community's development became savagely disrupted. The Nazi State began to organise the persecution of Jews as early as 1933. In 1935/6, the Nuremberg laws took such hostility a stage further. Then, following the anschluss and full German control of Czechoslovakia, Nazism's racial philosophies and policies become transplanted into the fertile soil of the greater Germany. (Survey, 149)
France
- official reaction
* 1930's ..: The government allowed fewer people to enter France as a reaction on this xenophobia. In 1936, there were 400.000 less migrants than in 1931. {Leq}
- reaction of the common people
* 1930s: In France, people no longer believed in total integration. The foreigners were too diverse for that. The crisis in the 30s caused growing feelings of xenophobia.
Netherlands
- official reaction
* 1900 - 1930s: Labourers that came to the Netherlands were treated well. They were much needed. In the 30s, they were fired and send away.
- official reaction
* The Dutch government wanted to keep immigrants out in the 1930s because of rising unemployment, the immigration of left-orientated refugees and the fear of insulting a "bevriend staatshoofd" (friendly head of state?). After the Anschluss measures became stricter. This policy was eased after the Kristallnacht, which showed radiant anti-Semitism in Germany. {Luc}
- reaction of the common people
* 1922: In Belgium, Italians were seen as aggressive people, due to conflicts and fights between fascist and anti-fascist Italians in Belgium. {Mor}
- reaction of the common people
* 1922 - ....: In Belgium, North-Africans were sometimes treated with hostility. Some Belgians distrusted them and treated them with contempt. This attitude worsened during the crisis in the 30s. {Mor}
Nordic countries

4.2 Reactions of the immigrants on their new environment
- integration / assimilation
- maintaining their own identity
- differences between first, second and third generation

Western Europe
UK
Germany
- integration / assimilation

* ...-1933: German Jews had long been assimilated by the time the Nazis came to power and by 1933 had evolved a distinctive German-Jewish identity. (Survey, 149)
France
Netherlands
- integration / assimilation
* 1918 - 1940: German refugees that went to the Netherlands had to adjust to the economic and social structure there. They were not allowed to cause political problems, so they adjusted and kept quiet. {Luc}
Belgium
- maintaining their own identity
* 1937: Jews in Belgium lived together. They did not really integrate or assimilate. Although one community, the Jews were divided in various religious and cultural groups. {Mor}
Nordic countries  

 

 

Dr. Marlou Schrover