Lord Baldwin Fund for Refugees

We have been given kind permission by the EMI Archive Trust to reproduce here the start of one of the main fundraising drives for the Kitchener camp and other refugee rescues in 1938-1939.

In December 1938, Stanley Baldwin’s Fund for Refugees was launched during the British Broadcasting Company radio broadcast that can be heard in this clip.

By July 1939, The Lord Baldwin Fund had raised over £500,000, as recorded in here in Hansard: https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/lords/1939/jul/05/refugee-problem.

A number of families have sent in a photograph that seems to have been distributed quite widely – of Jonas May, Kitchener camp Director, accompanying then-Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang.

Kitchener camp, Archbishop of Canterbury and Jonas May, Kitchener camp director, 1939
Kitchener camp, Archbishop of Canterbury and Jonas May, Kitchener camp director, 1939

The archbishop visited Kitchener camp and gave a speech to the refugees, which – from accounts in diaries and letters received by this project – made a great impression on the men.

Archbishop Lang also gave a broadcast in support of Baldwin’s fundraising drive, which can be heard in British Pathé footage – for which, please follow the link below.

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/archbishop-of-canterbury-2

Kitchener camp, Peter Weiss, Autobiography, Archbishop of Canterbury visit
Kitchener camp, Peter Weiss, Visit and speech by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Some extracts from letters and diaries sent in to the project – which describe and comment on the visit by the Archbishop – are extracted below.

From the diary of Moshe Chaim Grünbaum
From the collected letters of Werner Gembicki
“On Monday the Archbishop of Canterbury is coming to see us, a great honour for the camp.”
From the collected letters of Werner Gembicki
“I have great difficulties in the conversation with the English people … Good speakers like Lord Reading, Mr May or the Archbishop of Canterbury I can understand very well.”