Macklin, Graham (2003) ‘A quite natural and moderate defensive feeling’? The 1945 Hampstead ‘anti-alien’ petition. Patterns of Prejudice, 37 (3). pp. 277-300. ISSN 0031-322X

In October 1945 an ‘anti-alien’ petition was launched in the London Borough of Hampstead that, under the pretext of securing homes for returning ex-servicemen, campaigned for the removal of the district's predominantly Jewish refugee population. By examining the nature of support and opposition to the petition Macklin's local case study provides further evidence to suggest that reactions to those who had fled Nazi terror remained complex. Those who did find sanctuary were characterized by the local press not as ‘deserving victims’, but as the cause of the problems created by their Nazi persecutors. A detailed examination of the rhetoric of the petition movement reveals how this defence of local amenities against ‘alien‘ encroachment can rightfully be defined as ‘antisemitic’. Following an analysis of the role of the local press, Macklin examines its impact on, and interaction with, local and central government policy regarding reconstruction and immigration, which continued to be dominated by the dogma that harmonious race relations necessitated the strict control of immigrants, regardless of the desperation of their plight. He concludes by examining the media's symbiotic relationship with extremist and fascist politics.

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