Antisemitism and racism in Britain: assessing the reaction to and the legacy of Kristallnacht in Britain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter focuses on Mosley and his pre and postwar activities and affiliations. The sociopolitical realities present in those states as well as the dynamics of their relationship with Germany influenced their reactions; the prevalence of anti-Semitism within their populations also had an effect. Kristallnacht is retrospectively seen as a portent of the Holocaust. Cowling argues that Chamberlain felt he had to ignore events like Kristallnacht in order to maintain a good relationship with Adolf Hitler after the Munich deal was brokered. Parker also highlights the importance of Ogilvie-Forbes’s reaction to the events. The issue of naturalization also shows an acceptance of the idea that any Jewish refugees were still very much foreigners. Robert Skidelsky broke with Benewick’s interpretation of fascism and anti-Semitism in Britain, arguing that anti-Semitism was not central to Mosley’s politics despite his fascism. The official policy of Mosley’s postwar Union Movement (UM) was explicitly not anti-Semitic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationViolence, Memory and History
Subtitle of host publicationWestern Perspectives of Kristallnacht
EditorsColin McCullough, Nathan Wilson
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781134757770
ISBN (Print)9780415716321
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2014

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Modern European History


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