World Jewish Relief

  • Cesarani, David (CoI)

Project: Consultancy

Project Details


I am currently acting as a consultant to World Jewish Relief (WJR), the successor organisation to the Central British Fund for Relief and Rehabilitation, the UK’s premier agency for the succour of Jewish refugees. WJR is the custodian of 70,000 case files, currently stored at the London Metropolitan Archive, pertaining to individuals who between 1933 and 1945 fled to the UK to escape Nazi persecution or who survived in Nazi-occupied Europe and were brought to Britain after the war. For each of person assisted by the Jewish Refugees Committee (under various names) or the staff of the JRC, after 1944 the Central British Fund for Relief and Rehabilitation, a registration slip was filled out and a case file was opened. These case files tell the story of how a person from Germany, Austria or Czechoslovakia became a refugee, when they reached the UK, what care and assistance they received, and often what became of them years later. With respect to the 700 children and youths brought to the UK after the liberation of the camps and several hundred ‘distressed relatives’, from across Europe, they record what happened to these Jews under the Nazis, the fate of their families, and their journey through ghettos, camps, and on death marches until their liberation. They are the first ‘histories’ of the Holocaust. Although the work of the JRC/CBF has been told before, these case files have never been available to researchers. They are a unique source and offer unprecedented insights into the fate of European Jews, the efforts of British Jews to aid them, and a chapter of British immigration history.
Effective start/end date1/01/11 → …