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“Enemy Aliens” in Scotland in a Global Context, 1914–1919: Germanophobia, Internment, Forgetting

Abstract

After the outbreak of war, civilians of Central Power nationality were declared “enemy aliens” throughout the British Empire. Scotland serves as a representative case history to analyse patterns of public Germanophobia, ethnic minority displacement, internment and repatriation. The Stobs camp in the Scottish Borders region was one of the biggest camps in the Empire. Internees were affected by the depressive “barbed wire disease” and organised a plethora of activities. Those who were repatriated faced destitution in Germany. Neither in Britain nor in Germany have they been included in remembrance cultures. Within wider debates about the totalisation of warfare during the First World War, the article takes on a global perspective to argue in favour of a stronger emphasis on civilian suffering.

The author would like to thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Gerda Henkel Foundation for generous financial support. Original sources in German have been translated into English by the author.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Wilhelm Kröpke, Meine Flucht aus englischer Kriegsgefangenschaft 1916. Von Afrika über England nach Deutschland zur Flandern-Front (Flensburg: Soltau, 1937), 20.

  2. 2.

    “Interned German’s Affairs,” Glasgow Herald, December 2, 1914, 4; Walter Gellhorn to Capt. C. B. Dobell, July 11, 1916, The National Archives Kew (TNA), FO 383/293.

  3. 3.

    Kröpke, Meine Flucht, 39.

  4. 4.

    Panikos Panayi, Prisoners of Britain. German Civilian and Combatant Internees during the First World War (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012), 44.

  5. 5.

    Daniel Steinbach, “Challenging European Colonial Supremacy: The Internment of ‘Enemy Aliens’ in German East Africa during the First World War,” in Other Combatants, Other Fronts: Competing Histories of the First World War, eds. James E. Kitchen et al. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2011), 153–176; Mahon Murphy, “German Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees from the German Colonies in Captivity in the British Empire, 1914–1920” (PhD diss., London School of Economics, 2015).

  6. 6.

    Matthew Stibbe, “Enemy Aliens and Internment,” in 1914–1918 online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, accessed January 22, 2015, http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/enemy_aliens_and_internment; Richard B. Speed, Prisoners, Diplomats, and the Great War: A Study in the Diplomacy of Captivity (New York: Greenwood, 1990).

  7. 7.

    Murphy, “German Prisoners,” 23. Critical recent scholarship includes Timothy Winegard, Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), and Santanu Das, Race, Empire and First World War Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

  8. 8.

    Roger Chickering and Stig Förster eds. Great War, Total War. Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front 1914–1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

  9. 9.

    Heather Jones, “The Great War: How 1914–1918 Changed the Relationship between War and Civilians,” The Royal United Services Institute Journal 159 (2014): 84–91; Tammy Proctor, Civilians in a World at War, 1914–1918 (New York: New York University Press, 2010).

  10. 10.

    Panikos Panayi, ed., Germans as Minorities during the First World War: A Global Comparative Perspective (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014).

  11. 11.

    Stefan Manz, Migranten und Internierte: Deutsche in Glasgow, 1864–1918 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2003); Stefan Manz, “Negotiating Ethnicity, Class and Gender: German Associational Culture in Glasgow, 1864–1914,” Immigrants and Minorities 31 (2013): 146–170; Panikos Panayi, German Immigrants in Britain during the Nineteenth Century, 1815–1914 (Oxford: Berg, 1995). For current scholarship on immigration into Scotland see special issue of Immigrants and Minorities 31:2 (2013), ed. Terence McBride.

  12. 12.

    Panikos Panayi, The Enemy in our Midst: Germans in Britain during the First World War (Oxford: Berg, 1991).

  13. 13.

    “Restriction of Aliens,” Glasgow Herald, October 28, 1914, 8.

  14. 14.

    “Germany’s Scottish Airbase,” August 5, 1914, National Archives of Scotland (NAS), HH 31/6/25478/267.

  15. 15.

    “Germany’s Scottish Airbase,” August 24, 1914, NAS, HH 31/6/25478/267.

  16. 16.

    Scottish Field, December 1914; “Germany’s Scottish Airbase,” NAS, HH 31/6/25478/267.

  17. 17.

    Simon Potter, News and the British World: The Emergence of an Imperial Press System, 1876–1922 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

  18. 18.

    Tilman Dedering, “‘Avenge the Lusitania’: The Anti-German Riots in South Africa in 1915,” in Germans as Minorities during the First World War: A Global Comparative Perspective, ed. Panikos Panayi (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), 247.

  19. 19.

    Catriona Macdonald, “May 1915: Race, Riot and Representations of War,” in Scotland and the Great War, eds. Catriona Macdonald and Elaine McFarland (East Linton: Tuckwell, 1999), 145–171.

  20. 20.

    “Anti German Riots,” Glasgow Herald, May 17, 1915, 10.

  21. 21.

    See for example: “Letters to the Editor,” Glasgow Herald, August 14, 1914, 3; August 17, 1914, 3; August 29, 1914, 3; September 19, 1914, 3; October 1, 1914, 3.

  22. 22.

    Macdonald, “May 1915,” 156.

  23. 23.

    “Letters to the Editor,” Glasgow Herald, May, 17 1915, 5.

  24. 24.

    “Letters to the Editor,” Glasgow Herald, June, 9 1916, 3.

  25. 25.

    “Letters to the Editor,” Glasgow Herald, September 9, 1914, 3; October 21, 1914, 3; December 12, 1914, 3; March 10, 1915, 3; May 15, 1915, 3; April 3, 1916, 3; June 12, 1916, 3. Similarly, see letters to Scottish Field, February 1917, June 1915.

  26. 26.

    Quoted in Gerhard Fischer, “Integration, ‘Negative Integration,’ Disintegration: The Destruction of the German-Australian Community during the First World War,” in Alien Justice: Wartime Internment in Australia and North America, eds. Kay Saunders and Roger Daniels (Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 2000), 10; Andrew Francis, “To be truly British we must be anti-German”: New Zealand, Enemy Aliens and the Great War Experience, 1914–1919 (Bern: Peter Lang, 2012).

  27. 27.

    Panayi, Enemy.

  28. 28.

    Fischer, “Integration”; National Archives of South Africa (NAZA), CES-files; Dedering, “Avenge”.

  29. 29.

    Home Office circular to police authorities, October 20, 1914, TNA, HO 45/10727/255193/45; “Aliens in Britain,” Glasgow Herald, September 12, 1914, 6; “Dealing with Aliens,” October 23, 1914, 8; “Detention of Aliens,” October 24, 1914, 10; Johannes Bock, 6 Monate in englischer Gefangenschhaft. Erlebnisse eines Bremers (Bremen: Winter, 1915), 20–25.

  30. 30.

    Arno Singewald to Reichskommissar zur Erörterung von Gewalttätigkeiten gegen deutsche Zivilpersonen in Feindeshand, May 8, 1916, 25, Bundesarchiv Freiburg, PH 2/588.

  31. 31.

    Private papers Frederick McKay, Cumbernauld, not archived.

  32. 32.

    Arno Singewald to Reichskommissar zur Erörterung von Gewalttätigkeiten gegen deutsche Zivilpersonen in Feindeshand, May 8, 1916, 25, Bundesarchiv Freiburg, PH 2/588.

  33. 33.

    Chief Constable Fifeshire to Scottish Office, October 24, 1914, NAS, HH 31/10/25478/1107; Chief Constable Glasgow to Scottish Office, November 19, 1914, NAS, HH 37/1/25478/1372c.

  34. 34.

    “Alien Enemies,” Glasgow Herald, August 14, 1918, 3; “Enemy Aliens in Scotland,” Glasgow Herald, August 24, 1918, 4.

  35. 35.

    Circular Scottish Office to Chief Constables, November 12, 1914, NAS, HH 37/1/1372a; Chief Constable Stevenson/Glasgow to Under Secretary for Scotland, November 19, 1914, NAS, HH 37/1/25478/1372c; NAS, HH 37/1/25478/895, 2137a, 1444, 2606, 2225; Census of Aliens, July 1, 1917, 19, TNA, CAB1/26; “The Scottish Committee on Aliens,” Glasgow Herald, August 12, 1918, 6; “Alien Enemies,” Glasgow Herald, August 14, 1918, 3; “Enemy Aliens in Scotland,” Glasgow Herald, August 24, 1918, 3.

  36. 36.

    Stibbe, “Civilian Internment”; Zoë Denness, “Gender and Germanophobia: The Forgotten Experiences of German Women in Britain, 1914–1919,” in Germans as Minorities during the First World War: A Global Comparative Perspective, ed. Panikos Panayi (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), 71–98.

  37. 37.

    Panayi, Prisoners.

  38. 38.

    Judith E. Murray, “Stobs Camp 1903–1959,” Hawick Archaeological Society Transactions, (1988): 12–25; Julie M. Horne, “The German Connection: The Stobs Camp Newspaper 1916–1919,” Hawick Archaeological Society Transactions, (1988): 26–32; Stefan Manz, “New Evidence on Stobs Internment Camp 1914–1919,” Hawick Archaeological Society Transactions, (2002): 59–69.

  39. 39.

    Report John B. Jackson, February 27, 1915, RM 3/5402, 50, and Report American Embassy, German Division, October 26, 1915, RM 3/5579/73–74, both Bundesarchiv Freiburg; Report American Embassy, German Division, in Parliamentary Papers, misc. 30 (1916); letter Pastor Planer to Pastor Abraham, April 24, 1915, Tower Hamlets Local Library and Archives (London) (THLLA); Stobsiade, January/February 1919.

  40. 40.

    Stobsiade, for example December 1, 1915; April 8, 1916; November 26, 1916.

  41. 41.

    Report American Embassy, German Division, February 17, 1916, TNA, FO 383/162, 5.

  42. 42.

    Stobsiade; Christmas Show programme courtesy John L. Coltman, Hawick.

  43. 43.

    Stobsiade, September 5, 1915.

  44. 44.

    May 11, 1915, THLLA, TH 8662/68.

  45. 45.

    Stobsiade, September 5, 1915.

  46. 46.

    Parliamentary Papers, misc. 30 (1916), Report American Embassy, German Division, 16.

  47. 47.

    “News in Brief,” The Times, September 22, 1915, 5.

  48. 48.

    Walter Gellhorn to Capt. C. B. Dobell, July 11, 1916, TNA, FO 383/293.

  49. 49.

    Quotes in Panayi, Prisoners, 91; various Red Cross and consular files in Bundesarchiv Berlin (BArch), R901/83088 to 83090.

  50. 50.

    Stobsiade, April 8, 1916.

  51. 51.

    Report American Embassy, German Division, February 17, 1916, TNA, FO 383/162, 11.

  52. 52.

    Albert E. Rosenkranz, Geschichte der Deutschen Evangelischen Gemeinde zu Liverpool (Stuttgart: Ausland und Heimat, 1921), 211.

  53. 53.

    Kröpke, Meine Flucht, 36–39, 41.

  54. 54.

    Ibid., 37.

  55. 55.

    Interview with Otto Krueger, German Consulate New York, September 10, 1915, BArch, R 901/83090.

  56. 56.

    Inspection visit Fort Napier, November 9, 1917, NAZA, CES 97/ES70/1843/14.

  57. 57.

    Prisoner petition to Prime Minister of South Africa, January 14, 1918, NAZA, CES/UO5/ESC1-ESC25/198.

  58. 58.

    Telegram Governor-General to Secretary of State for the Colonies, August 21, 1917, TNA, FO 383/277; Panayi, Prisoners, 156–157.

  59. 59.

    Bohdan S. Kordan, Enemy Aliens, Prisoners of War. Internment in Canada During the Great War (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002).

  60. 60.

    Graham Mark, Prisoners of War in British Hands during WWI. A Study of their History, the Camps and their Mails (Exeter: The Postal History Society, 2007); Panayi, Prisoners; Manz, Migranten, 262–287.

  61. 61.

    Reinhard Nachtigal, “The Repatriation and Reception of Returning Prisoners of War, 1918–1922,” Immigrants and Minorities 26 (2008): 173–174.

  62. 62.

    Stobsiade, December 1918.

  63. 63.

    Nachtigal, “Repatriation,” 178. In contrast Brian Feltman, The Stigma of Surrender. German Prisoners, British Captors, and Manhood in the Great War and Beyond (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

  64. 64.

    Satzungen des Volksbundes zum Schutz der deutschen Kriegs- und Zivilgefangenen, Berlin 1918, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; Volksbund zum Schutze der deutschen Kriegs- und Zivilgefangenen, An die heimkehrenden Kameraden, leaflet without date and place, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich; Heather Jones, Violence against Prisoners of War in the First World War. Britain, France and Germany, 1914–1920, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 304; 340–341.

  65. 65.

    Ausschuss für vertriebene Reichsdeutsche aus Großbritannien, Irland und den britischen Kolonien 1916–1918, Bundesarchiv Koblenz, R57neu/1040/15.

  66. 66.

    Reich Officer for Military and Civilian Prisoners of War to Bavarian Home Ministry, September 9, 1919, Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Munich (BHSA), MA Inn 54008.

  67. 67.

    Württembergische Hilfsstelle für Auslandsdeutsche 1921, Bundesarchiv Koblenz, R57 neu 1036/11.

  68. 68.

    Bavarian Red Cross, Section Refugees from Abroad, May 27, 1919, MInn 54008, BHSA; also Münchner Neueste Nachrichten, October 17, 1919.

  69. 69.

    Minutes of federal liaison meeting to harmonise civilian prisoner support, Weimar, August 15, 1919, BHSA, MInn 54008.

  70. 70.

    Rainer Pöppinghege, “Kriegsteilnehmer zweiter Klasse? Die Reichsvereinigung ehemaliger Kriegsgefangener 1919–1933,” Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift 64 (2005): 391–423.

  71. 71.

    Interessengemeinschaft ehemaliger Kriegs- und Zivilgefangener München-West, Mitteilungsblatt, 1/3, June 1927, 3.

  72. 72.

    Deutscher Verein (German Club) Glasgow Minutebooks, Glasgow University Archives, DC 402/1/2, 133–136.

  73. 73.

    Murray, “Stobs Camp,” 18, 23.

  74. 74.

    For example, World War I “enemy aliens” in Birmingham, BBC Midlands Today News, August 7, 2014; “World War I at Home,” BBC radio series, episodes on Brocton Camp, Stobs Camps, Oldcastle Camp (Ireland), riots in Dumfries, accessed January 22, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01nhwgx; Matt Elton interview with Stefan Manz, “Behind the Wire: The Stories of Britain’s Great War Internees Revealed,” BBC History Magazine, December 2014, 9–10; Corinna Meiß, “Interned and Forgotten,” Discover your Ancestors, 4 (February 2015).

  75. 75.

    Public engagement project funded by AHRC, 2015–2016, Stefan Manz (Principal Investigator), “The Stobs Internment Camp and the Borders Region during World War I. Local Memories, Global Contexts.”

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Manz, S. (2017). “Enemy Aliens” in Scotland in a Global Context, 1914–1919: Germanophobia, Internment, Forgetting. In: Ewence, H., Grady, T. (eds) Minorities and the First World War. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-53975-5_5

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