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From Refugees to Internees / Fragile Roots dossier

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This reading tells refugees what to do and what not to do while in Britain.

An advisory published by the Bloomsbury House outlining to German refugees the “DO’s and DON’T’s” of living in Britain during the war.

– Photo: The Wiener Library, Published by the Central Office for Refugees in Bloomsbury House


DO’s for Refugees

DO talk English as much as you possibly can. Bad English is preferable to German. The average person does not know what nationality you are by your English accent.

DO make appointments if you have to see any member of the Committees, otherwise you may be kept waiting for a long time and greatly inconvenience other people.

DO obey police regulations and all instructions given to you by officials of the Committees. It is in your own interest.

DO make sure that no lights show anywhere outside your house from sunset to sunrise.

DO be as quiet and modest as possible. If you do not make yourself noticeable other people will not bother about you.

DO be as cheerful as possible. Everyone sympathises with you in your difficult position. A smiling face makes them still more your friend.

DON’T’s for Refugees

DON’T talk German in the streets, in public places or any place where others may hear you. You will learn English more quickly by talking it constantly. And there is nothing to show the man in the street that you are a Refugee and not a Nazi.

DON’T go to any of the Committees unless you have a definite reason for doing so. They have a great deal to do and callers only hinder their work.

DON’T listen to the thousand and one rumours which fly about. The only authentic information is given over the wireless and in the newspapers.

DON’T join groups or crowds of people in the streets and elsewhere. Crowds cause panic in Air Raids.

DON’T telephone asking for your passports. If they are with one of the Committees they will be returned to you as quickly as possible. If they are with the Home Office the same thing applies.

DON’T ask if your friends and relatives can be brought into the country whether or not they have permits. No one can at present immigrate to this country.

DON’T telephone saying your letter has not been answered. It will be answered as soon as possible.

DON’T go outside a radius of 5 miles from your home without Police permit. It is against the law for you to do so and any breach can be severely punished.

DON’T discuss the political situation in public.