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Evacuees at Skelmorlie

Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

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Evacuees at Skelmorlie

Jewish refugees evacuated to Skelmorlie, Ayrshire, 1940s.

With the accession to power of Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party in 1933, life became increasingly difficult for Jews living in Germany. In the following years many tried to leave the country or sent their children abroad for safety. In Glasgow three groups - the Jewish Refugee Children's Aid Committee, the Women's Appeal Committee and the Women's Zionist Organisation - began fundraising to help refugees coming to Britain, as they were not entitled to state assistance.

Refugee children began arriving in Glasgow in 1934, including a group of ten orphans who were given a home in the Gertrude Jacobson Orphanage in Langside. In 1938, with the situation in Germany worsening, the first Kindertransports were organised to take children out of Germany. Some of these children found homes in Glasgow with families, in orphanages or in hostels organised by the local community.

After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 many Glaswegian children were evacuated to country areas because of the risk of German bombing raids on the city. Jewish children, including refugees, were evacuated to Skelmorlie in Ayrshire or Ernespie House at Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.

Reference: PHO.R.0001

Reproduced with the permission of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

asylum seekers, children, Ernespie House, evacuation, evacuees, Gertrude Jacobson Orphanage, immigration, Jewish Refugee Children's Aid Committee, Jews, Kindertransports, orphanages, refugees, Second World War, Women's Appeal Committee, Women's Zionist Organisation

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