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Remembered Today:

Anti German Riots Liverpool


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Hi All

I have added a page about the riots to the Wartime Website

http://liverpoolremembrance.weebly.com/anti-german-riots.html

I am still tinkering with it and would welcome any information that anyone has.

I was shocked to find how little is recorded about such an event.

Thanks to all the people who helped and made this possible.

regards

Ant

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I have never thought that this could happen in England. There seems to be a blanket of shame covered over all these riots which remotely resemble the Kristallnacht riots

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George Armstrong Custer

I have never thought that this could happen in England. There seems to be a blanket of shame covered over all these riots which remotely resemble the Kristallnacht riots

Either you are surprisingly naive, Egbert, or you are deliberately courting controversy. Your analogy with Kristallnacht is ludicrous - not least because Kristallnacht was not a 'riot' but a State-sponsored anti-semitic pogrom. Do not confuse a step on the Nazi German state's road to attempted genocide with xenophobic outbursts from an element of British citizens against natives of an enemy country, domiciled here during a life or death war with their country of origin. Shameful though such outbursts may be, they bear not the remotest resemblance to what the Nazi state engineered on Kristallnacht.

George

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I have never thought that this could happen in England. There seems to be a blanket of shame covered over all these riots which remotely resemble the Kristallnacht riots

Not a comparison I'd make. These were not orchestrated by any political movement. Reading about various anti German riots (and Anti Italian ones in WW2) one is struck by a recurring phrase - "and all the contents looted". I suspect that there was a degree of some elements capitalising on the anti German feeling for a bit of plain criminality (we've seen something similar quite recently).

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Call me naive for the comparison! I used it because both occurances are ruthless and my comparison shall not distract from Nazi crimes, nor from the crime of the mobsters in Liverpool and other English cities then.

I bet we are on the same track that the internments on the Isle of Man (which I did not know either until now)as stated in Ant's website were state sponsored?

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Call me naive for the comparison! I used it because both occurances are ruthless and my comparison shall not distract from Nazi crimes, nor from the crime of the mobsters in Liverpool and other English cities then.

I bet we are on the same track that the internments on the Isle of Man (which I did not know either until now)as stated in Ant's website were state sponsored?

'Naive' would be a kindness.

I think the state-sponsored internments of German nationals for the duration of the war would pretty well match Germany's state-sponsored internment of British nationals.

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'Naive' would be a kindness.

I think the state-sponsored internments of German nationals for the duration of the war would pretty well match Germany's state-sponsored internment of British nationals.

So for you it is just a tit-for-tat reduction? If Imperial Germany commits crime against humanity by state sponsored internments, than the UK can do the same (do not forget the word UK state-sponsored)? So a democracy is fine to reciprocally apply the same measures as an authoritarian undemocratic state? Wow.

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I just read the other riots-against-British-German thread where Clive quoted with respect to UK state sponsoring:

Panayi, in his book The Enemy in our Midst: Germans in Britain during the First World War, says this:

“However, no national group has endured wholesale and nationwide attack similar to that against the Germans during the Great War. Violence broke out against them on five main occasions: August 1914, October 1914, May 1915, June 1916, and July 1917. The riots in this sequence resulted in the most widespread disturbances in twentieth-century British history as areas from Glasgow to Winchester and Liverpool to London experienced violence. During the events of May 1915 thousands of people faced arrest for public order and looting offences while innumerable properties suffered damage at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds. The incidents of this month resemble a Russian pogrom with the native population attempting to clear out aliens.”

“The First World War destroyed the German communities which had thrived throughout Britain during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. As we have seen, this destruction resulted from a combination of popular hostility and, largely consequent upon this, government measures. The latter had controlled the movements of alien enemies, closed down German restaurants, newspapers and clubs, and interned and repatriated over 35,000 Germans. The government also confiscated and forced the closure of German businesses. Large sections of the public and press, meanwhile, had developed its hostility towards enemy aliens to such an extent as to view them as pariahs. Such attitudes had led to widespread dismissal of German employees from their jobs and the destruction of their property by rioters. This combination of factors meant the disappearance of German London, German Bradford, German Liverpool and German Manchester.”

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So for you it is just a tit-for-tat reduction? If Imperial Germany commits crime against humanity by state sponsored internments, than the UK can do the same (do not forget the word UK state-sponsored)? So a democracy is fine to reciprocally apply the same measures as an authoritarian undemocratic state? Wow.

Internment of enemy aliens was first started by Napoleon about 1804. Since then it has been done by almost all belligerents and the basic rules are enshrined in international law - nothing to do with democratic or authoritarian.

Britain had not been in a war with a 'modern' state since the Crimean war during which the Russians put restrictions (amounting to house arrest) on British and French in Russia and France and Britain applied similar measures to Russians. With the outbreak of WW1 Germany, Britain, France etc all interned enemy aliens - quite normal and expected - don't be silly Egbert.

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I never wanted this to upset people or cause arguements.

As I wrote at the start of the webpage..........

" This page is here for the sole purpose of remembering the events that took place within our region, no right or wrong or judgements are being placed on any one group. looking back in hindsight and with reflection and not being het up in the heat of the moment as it was happening, we do look at things very differently and there was no reason to consider Germans who had made their homes here voluntarily as any differently as the indigenous population, but things just happened the way they did out of fear of the unknown rather than anything else with no proper reason. "

I can understand why Egbert would feel shocked by this as he never knew anything about it. It was 96 years ago and we were at war, It was a different and crazy world. Please people do not argue over this, we are all friends here.

My ancestors lived in the streets where most of the Lusitania crew came from,the uprisings started there, blame me...I am only joking.

I believe we should learn as much as possible about our history. This happened in my city and that is why I want to remember and record it.

Lets all get along.

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It is an ugly business. I wonder if the German civilians in Liverpool fared worse than some of the Belgian civilians in the early part of the war?

It may be unfair to compare the two but it does serve to illustrate that whenever there is armed conflict, unspeakable wrongs occur.

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I am trying to imagine the headlines in the press if the government of the day allowed enemy aliens complete freedom. One might as well close down the security services for a start, spies, saboteurs and agents would have a field day. That would apply to any country. To pretend to compare a free democratic country like Britain with a totalitarian dictatorship like Germany is a nonsense. Put more water in it, Egbert.

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Internment of enemy aliens was first started by Napoleon about 1804. Since then it has been done by almost all belligerents and the basic rules are enshrined in international law - nothing to do with democratic or authoritarian.

Britain had not been in a war with a 'modern' state since the Crimean war during which the Russians put restrictions (amounting to house arrest) on British and French in Russia and France and Britain applied similar measures to Russians. With the outbreak of WW1 Germany, Britain, France etc all interned enemy aliens - quite normal and expected - don't be silly Egbert.

Centurion, I buy that! Thanks for enlightenment, you never stop learning. I always was convinced that Germany acted utterly wrong and illegal with their internments. Now I learn that it was legal according to international law. Do you happen to know when this international law/rule was finaly abandoned, was it still in place in WW2?

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Centurion, I buy that! Thanks for enlightenment, you never stop learning. I always was convinced that Germany acted utterly wrong and illegal with their internments. Now I learn that it was legal according to international law. Do you happen to know when this international law/rule was finaly abandoned, was it still in place in WW2?

As far as I know it is still permissible in time of formally declared war to intern enemy aliens. In essence even Human Rights legislation seems to recognise this. However these days we seem to have conflict without formal declarations. Falklands, Grenada, First and second Gulf War, Afghanistan, Libya no formal declaration.

The rules were quite precise as to who could be interned and how. Even in WW2 almost everybody with the exception of Japan and the Soviet Union adhered to the basics. One of my Aunts was in France when it fell but because she was married to an American citizen was not interned as she had dual nationality and they were able to leave via Spain.

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So for you it is just a tit-for-tat reduction? If Imperial Germany commits crime against humanity by state sponsored internments, than the UK can do the same (do not forget the word UK state-sponsored)? So a democracy is fine to reciprocally apply the same measures as an authoritarian undemocratic state? Wow.

Just come back to this. By reading further posts, I see a glimmer of understanding is beginning to dawn. :rolleyes:

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Thanks for the link to that website Ant,fascinating stuff. My home town too.

Hi Peter and thanks.

I have put it up on a few Liverpool forums and the response has been good. Many people say they never knew about this, others had heard about it. It is an event people believe should be recorded.

I would be interested to find out about any British people who were living in Germany during the war. If anything turns up I will add something to the page.

Ant

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As well as in London, Liverpool and Manchester the Lusitania sinking provoked (or was the excuse for) riots in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein. Some buildings were burnt to the ground. There was also a riot in Freemantle known as "the night of stones"

In December 1914 there was an anti German riot in Valparaiso sparked by reports of German commerce raiders and/or U boats interfering with Chilean merchant ships.

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For German Internment of British Nationals see (for a starter)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruhleben_Prisoner_of_War_Camp

I came across this when I found that Sir Roger Casements made efforts to extract some of the Irish born internees from Ruhleben.

That site gives you a number of the better known internees and links to further reading

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