The émigré legal scholars featured in this book who came from Germany to Britain (in fact all came to England) were Jews or of Jewish descent, and nearly all were escaping from Nazi persecution. Some were totally assimilated and were either not acknowledged Jews, or were practising Christians. All first studied law in either Germany or Austria, and all were men. This chapter outlines the legal framework as well as the political and cultural context in Britain during the time of the exodus of émigré lawyers from Germany. After sketching the position of the Jewish community in England in the later 19th and early 20th centuries, and anti-Semitism in Britain, British immigration policy and the legal framework in the inter-war years are discussed, along with the position of refugees before and after the outbreak of World War II. After 1905, Britain was less open than it had been to persecuted and poverty-stricken aliens, but remained an important destination for refugees from Europe during the 1930s, albeit within a policy framework designed to encourage re-emigration, mainly to Palestine and the United States.
Keywords: Britain; Germany; émigré legal scholars; lawyers; immigration; Jews; anti-Semitism; refugees; World War II
Chapter. 17069 words.
Subjects: History of Law
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