When the Brits helped the Germans deporting Jews.

Queuing for evacuation

From 1940 to 1945 the Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to fall under German Occupation. During that period, local courts continued to function and to apply Island law. Lawyers, judges and government officials in Jersey and Guernsey continued to swear oaths of allegiance to the British Crown. But German anti-Semitic laws and other measures were introduced and became part of the legal system.

German and a Bobby

During the occupation of the Channel Islands by Nazi Germany during World War II, laws were imposed on the authorities that required registration. All non Guernsey and British foreigners (Aliens) had already been required to register with the police, but the records did not mention their faith. An advertisement appeared in the newspaper in October 1941 calling on all Jews to identify themselves.[3] The Germans issued identity cards to everyone, which listed their nationality and faith.

Jews identified in Guernsey and Sark

  • Elda Brouard née Bauer, 27/4/1884, British by marriage, born Italy
  • Elisabet Duquemin née Fink, 21/7/1899, British by marriage, born Austria
  • Auguste Spitz, 28/8/1901, German, born Austria
  • Therese Steiner, 22/4/191625 German, born Austria
  • Anny (Annie) Wranowsky, 22/4/1894, Czech but held German passport, living on Sark

Marianne Grunfeld, born in Poland in 1912, had studied horticulture at the University of Reading before going to work on a farm in Guernsey. She was identified in April 1942 as Jewish.Marianne Grunfeld

Therese Steiner, an Austrian, non-practicing Jew, who had come to the Islands from England ,and become trapped in the Islands by the invasion as she had been detained as an alien, amongst 30 enemy aliens who were arrested and detained in June 1940.She didn’t have a UK visa to go to the UK as required for immigrants from Germany and Austria (from 1938).

A qualified dental nurse, she was then employed as a nurse by the States of Guernsey, working at the Castel Hospital, She went, after 18 months to the German authorities to ask to contact her parents. This act alerted the Germans to the presence of Jews in the Island, resulting in anti-Jewish laws being forced through and ultimately led to Jews being deported.

 

The registration process, was the beginning of a systemized persecution, first all Jewish businesses had to display a sign stating the shop was “Jewish owned or “Jewish Undertaking”, then the business was subsequently “Aryanised” and turned over to non-Jews.

Jewish Undertaking

 

The Channel Island authorities in particular Bailiff Alexander Coutanche cooperated throughout this entire process, and to a great extent he even  administered much of it.

The Third Order’, registered in the Royal Courts of Guernsey on 17 June 1941 and of Jersey on 31 May 1941 as Regulation and Order No 307, redefined those persons considered to be Jewish.

Any person having at least three grandparents of pure Jewish blood shall be deemed to be a Jew. A grandparent having belonged to the Jewish religious community shall be  deemed to be of pure Jewish blood. Any person having two grandparents of pure Jewish blood who:

(A) … belongs to the Jewish religious community or who subsequently joins it; or

(B)… is married to a Jew or subsequently marries a Jew; shall be deemed to be a Jew.

Jewish star letter

There was a determined effort by the Germans to show their best side for propaganda purposes. The harsher treatment of France was not to prevail here. British goods that still remained in the shops were bought up by the Germans, who were unused to seeing so many luxuries. These stocks could not of course be replaced.

Singing “God Save the King” was a serious offence, yet no attempt was made to remove the “royal crest” from the courthouse. Newspapers were strictly controlled, printing the news according to Dr Goebbels. The editors left the curious Germanic English in news stories so that nobody would be deceived.

Message from King George to Bailiffs of Jersey and Guernsey

At first it was possible to listen to the BBC until later, when radio sets were confiscated. From then on many Channel Islanders risked imprisonment, deportation and even death to hear the BBC news on hidden radios.

The first group of three Jews were ordered to leave the Island in April 1942.The three, Marianne Grunfeld, Auguste Spitz, and Therese Steiner, were first sent to Saint-Malo, where they took up local employment, Marianne Grunfeld was reported to be living in Laval, France, until three months later when they were rounded up in a mass deportation of French Jews. They were sent directly to Auschwitz, where they all died.

Capture

The night before their deportation Therese Steiner and Auguste Spitz visited their friend Elisabet Duquemin, a fellow registered Jewish refugee from Vienna. Elisabet Duquemin remembered:

“They had a paper with them from the Germans that they had to report the next morning to be taken away to France and were in a terrible state of anxiety. They borrowed a suitcase from me and I never saw the poor girls again”

The remaining Jews on the Channel Islands were deported in February of 1943 sent to internment camps in France and Germany. Of course while the authorities in the Channel Islands helped the Germans deport the Jews, they had no certain idea on what their fate would be.

transportlist

It was clear however that no matter what their inevitable fate, their persecution under the Germans would most certainly be “unpleasant”, yet they did nothing to prevent the deportations.

The Normandy landings in 1944 heralded the final phase of the of the islands’ German occupation. By August St Malo surrendered and the islands’ supply routes were cut off.

For the next eight months, the local population and the 28,000-strong German garrison went close to starvation. Liberation finally came when an Allied task force headed by HMS Bulldog arrived off St Peter Port, Guernsey on 8 May, 1945.

Post from Jersey during the occupation

 

 

 

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Sometimes there was Honor

A RAF airman is buried with full military honors by occupying German soldiers, Channel Islands, 1943 (1)

Full military honors were granted by the Luftwaffe at the funerals of RAF sergeants Butlin and Holden who were shot down over Jersey, Channel Islands. It is thought this was to try to pacify the local population. The Luftwaffe behaved much differently than the SS or Wehrmacht. Much more chivalry.

A RAF airman is buried with full military honors by occupying German soldiers, Channel Islands, 1943 (3)

RAF Sergeants Butlin took off on an operation to Frankfurt at 23.15 hrs from RAF Burn in Yorkshire and ditched roughly 3 miles south-west of the Channel Island of Jersey after a call was made by Sgt. Odling for assistance. The body of observer Sgt. Holden was eventually washed up on St. Ouen’s Bay in Jersey on the 3rd June 1943. On the 5th June his and the body of a Sgt. Denis Charles Butlin lay in state in the Hospital Chapel with hundreds of islanders visiting the coffins to pay their last respects, prior to a service on the morning of 6th June. The coffins were then draped with the Union Jack before being taken to the cemetery. Hundreds of people lined the route but the Luftwaffe prevented them entering the gates of the cemetery.

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The Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi German forces for most of the Second World War, from 30 June 1940 until their liberation on 9 May 1945. The Bailiwick of Jersey and Bailiwick of Guernsey are two British Crown dependencies in the English Channel, near the coast of Normandy. The Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to be occupied by the German Army during the war.

A RAF airman is buried with full military honors by occupying German soldiers, Channel Islands, 1943 (4)

Anticipating a swift victory over Britain, the occupiers experimented using a very gentle approach which set the theme for the next five years, the island authorities adopted a similar attitude, giving rise to accusations of collaboration, however as time passed the situation got gradually worse ending in near starvation for both occupied and occupiers during the winter of 1944-45, liberation arrived peacefully on 9 May 1945.

Alderney camps-Nazi Concentration camps in Great Britain.

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The Alderney camps were prison camps built and operated by Nazi Germany during its World War II occupation of the Channel Islands. The Channel Islands was the only part of the British Isles to be occupied.

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The Nazis built four camps on Alderney. The Nazi Organisation Todt (OT) operated each subcamp and used forced labour to build fortifications in Alderney including bunkers, gun emplacements, air-raid shelters, tunnels and concrete fortifications.

The camps commenced operating in January 1942. They were named after the Frisian Islands.

Four labour camps were built, which were named after the German islands of Sylt, Borkum, Norderney and Helgoland.

The camps on Alderney were run from the Neuengamme concentration camp in German Anton Yezhel is one of the few forced workers who was sent to Alderney to have been pictured. Sadly, whether his survived the conditions in unknown.2F743D0F00000578-3363742-image-a-58_1450870271396

Lager Sylt, whose gates still stand today, housed the Jewish prisoners, who were treatment shocked the locals who remained on the Islands under the Nazis.

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Guernsey priest, The Reverend Douglas Ord, saw the prisoners from Sylt arrive in Guernsey in 1944.

He wrote in his diary: ‘Coming down from the harbour was a column of men in rows of five. All were in striped pyjama suits of sorts and their footgear varied from wooden sabots … to pieces of cloth bound round the feet. Others were barefoot.

‘There were more than the 1,000 of them – political prisoners brought away from Alderney. They were shaven-head and in varying degrees of weariness or lameness.

‘Scattered thorough the column among men of sub-human criminal type were others obviously intellectuals, men of superior calibre who had offended the brutal Nazi regime. It tore the heart to see the effects of this systematic and deliberate degradation of human beings.”2F73EA1200000578-3363742-image-a-9_1450342130877

Reverend Ord added: ‘At the head of the column marched five evil-visaged SS men armed with automatic guns. At the rear of the column and along its flanks on both sides and at a distance of about a dozen feet from each other were more of these brutes, similarly armed, and all on alert for any attempt at a break-away. I have never seen such brutality written on human countenances.

‘Occasionally a man would make the ‘V’ sign to us as he went by. All the emotions of pity, sympathy, sorrow, anger and horror surged through us as we watched.

‘All day long the stench of their poor, wretched, unwashed bodies and clothes hung about the route they had followed.’

While there were no gas chambers at Camp Sylt, the way the prisoners were treated led to the deaths of around half of the labourers brought to the island.

Documents compiled by British intelligence services trying to work out what was going on on the Channel Islands at the time laid bare the brutal conditions of life.

One report stated: ‘Too undernourished and exhausted to work efficiently, these men were mercilessly beaten by the German guard and frequently when they were too weak after a beating to stand up, they were clubbed to death or finished off with a knife.’

A report by British intelligence body MI19 said: ‘One such was crucified on the camp gates, naked and in midwinter. The German SS guards threw buckets of cold water over him all night until he was finally dead.

Another was caught by bloodhounds when attempting to stow away to the mainland. He was hanged and then crucified to the same gate. His body was left hanging on the gate for five days as a warning.

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More than 700 camp inmates lost their lives before the camps were closed and the remaining inmates transferred to France in 1944.

After World War II, a court-martial case was prepared against former SS Hauptsturmführer Max List, citing atrocities on Alderney. However, he did not stand trial,and is believed to have lived near Hamburg until his death in the 1980s