March 1939 – extracts
“Arrival of the refugees
It is usually evening when the refugees arrive, struggling with their heavy trunks, sacks, rugs and coats over the churned up roadways which lead between the long, low huts …
It may from the outside present a rather bleak aspect: but directly the men come into the temporary dining room, they are greeted by the refugees already here as long lost brothers, and it is very touching to see the warmth and gladness of the welcome…
It is up to everybody fortunate enough to be here to work hard so as to enable this Camp to be got ready for those who are still unfortunate enough to be in Germany.”
The recreational side of the camp has already got going, and every evening in the Common Room the refugees will be seen playing ping-pong, chess, draughts, or billiards, or investigating the intricacies of darts, which they did not know prior to their arrival here; there is also a punch ball and boxing gloves for those so inclined …
During the weekend we had our first outing, when the large family, dividing into different parties, visited the village and strolled over the Golf Course to the sea, some even being fortunate enough to be taken out for car drives.
A further evidence of great kindness and friendship towards the refugees comes from the manager of the New Empire cinema, in Sandwich, who has extended an invitation to them to visit his Cinema in any evening they wish.”
“Numbers are as yet small: at the time of going to press there are eighty in Camp.”
The following article was been written by the camp doctor, “the only Italian refugee so far in Camp.”
“Our hospital is comparatively big: we have 25 beds, which is a good proportion for a proposed population of 3,500. But we have to consider that whereas in the normal conditions some people are able to stay in their own homes in bed when they have even a small temperature, it is not advisable that he should remain in one of our huts … [The] hospital is better arranged than the usual public hospital. Instead of one big ward, we have cubicles for single beds.
A temporary menu
Breakfast is porridge, bread and butter, and tea or coffee
No. 1 (lunches)
Sun Marmite soup Veg Fish cakes Fruit compote
Mon Stew Veg Plum duff
Tues Boiled cod Sauce Veg Bread pudding
Wed Boiled beef Veg Fruit compote
Thurs Fillets haddock Veg Treacle pudding
Fri Saveloys Mashed potatoes Jam tart
Sat Veg soup Mince meat Veg Apples
Above, some of the kitchen helpers – residents of the camp
No. 2 (suppers)
Sun Veg pie Bread and butter Cocoa
Mon Macaroni cheese Bread and butter Cocoa
Tues 1 egg Cheese Bread and butter Cocoa
Wed Pea soup Bread and butter Cocoa
Thurs Cheese Pickles Bread and butter Cocoa
Fri Fried fish Bread and butter Cocoa
Sat Pilchards Bread and butter Cocoa
April 1939 – extracts
Everybody here is very grateful to Mr Goodman of the Empire Cinema, Sandwich, who has been receiving as guest parties of 35 refugees four evenings every week, and has made each Refugee feel he is an honoured guest.
Through the good offices of Mr E Guy, Principal of the Thanet Technical Institute (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Kent_College), some eighty Professional teachers have formed themselves into a rota … I am sure I will be seconded by every Refugee here when I propose a Vote of Thanks to these good folk, who, after a tiring day teaching children, give up their precious spare time to make a long journey – for they come from all over Kent – to give these lessons.
More extracts to follow ...
Source: The Wiener Library for the study of the Holocaust, Doc 644, P03297, Reference only