The Catalysts of 1938: European child evacuations as humanitarian innovation

Chelsea Sambells

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The year 1938 was a watershed in terms of how European nations addressed and defined their positions towards persecuted refugees. Germany’s Anschluss of Austria in mid-March, the failures of the Evian Conference in July, the Munich Agreement and subsequent occupation of the Sudetenland in September and October, and finally, the violent pogrom against German and Austrian Jews (Kristallnacht) in November 1938 created an unprecedented number of new ‘stateless’ refugees who could not rely on international laws for protection. As a result, individual nations were forced to confront and, importantly, balance four critical factors: restrictive federal legislation and policies towards refugees, the urgent needs of the persecuted individuals, the realistic capacity of local charities to support vulnerable groups upon resettlement and the public pressure (often conveyed in the press and media) to ensure swift, comprehensive action....
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Transnational History of Forced Migrants in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationUnwilling Nomads in the Age of the Two World Wars
EditorsBastiaan Willems, Michal Adam Palacz
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781350281097, 9781350281103, 9781350281110
ISBN (Print)9781350281073, 9781350281080
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2022

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