Ridley Road #unitedkingdom


Adele Lester
 

As an Anglo-American, I can attest to the anti-semitic events shown in the first episode of this four part series.  However, it was filmed in Manchester rather than London and the real Ridley Road is a shadow of its former role in the daily life of the huge Jewish community living in the area at that time.   Colin Jordon was a virulent racist who caused extreme unrest in an area which has notoriously been a haven for incoming refugees (especially during the Pogroms when many thousands of Jews fled Europe in the early 1900’s.). --
Adele Schlazer Lester
Riverdale, New York

 


Jack Berger
 

I was told by a very reputable Englishman about an organization called the Jewish Action Committee of Britain (JACOB), that was active at least during WW II years, and stood as a fighting bulwark against the anti-Semitism in England.

Do not be lulled into complacency: England was the first European country to expel Jews in 1290 under Edward I. It was not until 1648, that Oliver Cromwell saw fit to let some of them back in.1648.

The anti-Semitic cancer is not operable.

Jack Berger
Mahwah, NJ


David Cantor
 

A few things to mention in order to create some balance.

The Jewish community in and around Ridley Road left of its own accord as it prospered, not on trains to death camps.

Kindertransport

The benign conditions for internees on the Isle of Man

Etc, etc.

David Cantor


Ian Charles
 

Indeed, David. Re the Kindertransport, I attended a recent exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Vienna where I read that 90% of the children escaping from Austria in 1939 came to the UK. The remaining 10% went to other European countries, and the USA which took very few. Sadly, many of those who went to other European countries principally France and Belgium ended up being murdered anyway after 1940 or were left to escape on their own.

As residents of the area surrounding Ridley Road, my family was delighted when they had the opportunity to 'migrate' to North West London
--
Ian Charles
London, UK


ab12cohen@...
 

The Kindertransport was not such an heroic rescue as it sounds. The UK government refused to allow any parents to come, so most of the children soon became orphans. At least 1000 of the older children were classed as enemy aliens and interned in the Isle of Man or sent to Canada, and they were all supposed to be sent back "when the crisi was over". Not much has changed.

Alan Cohen


David Cantor
 

Alan, for sure mistakes and bad judgements were made, Britain was fighting for survival almost alone.  However, the actions of the rulers of England over 700 years ago shouldn’t be mistaken as indicative of the population as a whole.  Englishmen, Irishmen and Jews, my father included, did all they could to thwart the madness of people like Oswald Molsey, unlike, well you know where.  I regret that someone living in New Jersey, part of the world that sat on its hands for two years, two months  before confronting fascism, and passing judgement is presenting a highly skewed point of view.

David Cantor


michaelhutchinson1945@...
 

Fascinating debate, and yes, there is some validity in all the comments so far. The late Martin Gilbert had some interesting things to say in his "The Holocaust: the Jewish tragedy", about the uphill battle that Winston Churchill faced in the House of Commons in London, especially during WW2, when confronted by the determined opposition he faced from Anthony Eden and senior civil servants when trying to do his damned best to rescue Jews from the Holocaust in mainland  Europe. And yes, the US arguably entered WW2 somewhat too late in relation to the playing out of the Holocaust. You also have to consider Britain's policies and actions - as colonial 'overseer' of the Palestine Protectorate - in relation to attempts by fleeing European Jews trying to enter eretz Israel, especially during WW2 and the years leading up to it.
--
Michael A Hutchinson
Gloucestershire, UK
michaelhutchinson1945@...


jbonline1111@...
 

A dear friend of mine and his mother and brothers managed to get out of Austria the same week the Germans arrived. I do not know if they were on the Kindertransport, but they ended up in Cardiff, Wales, where the three boys, my friend, the eldest, 9 years old, were in foster care for about a year while their mother got settled, got a job, etc.  Their father fought in the British Army.  My friend was so traumatized by this experience that he refused to share his story through the Shoah project, though he shared parts with me over time.  Still, he became a man of the world, living on and off in Israel, fighting in the War of Independence there and eventually moving the States with his American wife.  In other words, one did not have to be in a concentration camp or an internee to be badly traumatized for life. 
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Martyn Woolf
 

What is the connection to Ridley Road please?

 

Martyn Woolf

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 


Stephen Katz
 

I find highly regrettable, if not shocking, the parallel drawn between trauma allegedly suffered by a child rescued and resettled in safety in Cardiff with that suffered by persons doomed to concentration camps. Further, those resettled owe their lives to the people in Wales who took them in, and most of them were extremely grateful to their host families and to the UK.
Stephen Katz
 NYC


Eva Lawrence
 

I completely agree with Stephen Katz, that to question the good work of
the people responsible for Kindertranport is ungrateful and
inappropriate. You must be aware how many families still send their own
children to boarding school at a young age, even when the choice in not
one of life or death.
Most of the Kindertransport children went on to live successful and
useful lives. Maybe we should respect the wishes of those who didn't
speak about the past, and not dig up unhappy memories which they
preferred to leave behind.
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.
--
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.


jbonline1111@...
 

I am amazed at the judgmentalism here.  My friend was amazingly lucky to avoid the camps. I do not compare his experience to that of those in concentration camps. At the same time, it's important to understand that many were traumatized even when they escaped that terrible fate.  While my friend was grateful to be taken into a family in Wales, he was not grateful to have been abused in that home, something I chose not to mention earlier.  

The point is that trauma in the Holocaust took many forms. I believe we should be aware of all of it. 
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


lesleyedwards@...
 

I worked in Ridley Road market on a big clothing stall opening out from a large shop, as a Saturday girl and during school holidays for several years when I was a teenager in the early 1960's.  We sold women's clothing and I never personally experienced any anti semitism.

Lesley Edwards
Cheshire, England


Sheila Toffell
 

David Cantor, I agree! 
I grew up in Clapton, London E5. Both my parents worked for Joe Scott in his grocery shop in Ridley Road.  My husband's grandparents owned a dress shop across the street. His great aunt worked for a Kosher butcher at the other end of the market.  My mom left work when I was born, but my dad stayed with Joe until my parents invested in a shop of their own in Romford. So I knew Ridley Road well. In the 50's it was a vibrant place to be - everything from many Kosher food shops and stalls to the music stalls of the recent immigrants from the Caribbean. Everyone went to Ridley Road! The majority of men working in the market had fought in WW2, and that was only 12 years or so before things started getting nasty. No wonder that these men were very prepared to take on the fascists when they targeted Ridley Road. I remember my dad had a couple of knuckledusters in his tool box. One he had taken with him when he was called up to the army in case there were  some anti-semites in the ranks. There was another one that he started to leave in his coat pocket in the 50's. That was when he was working in Ridley Road. they were scary times.   For those group members in the US that need clarification of the movement of the Jewish population from NE London, you might want to compare it to the movement from the Lower East Side of NYC, then to Brooklyn and then out to Westchester or Long Island.  In London it was the East End to Hackney, Stamford Hill, Dalston, Stoke Newington etc and then out to the NW suburbs of London or to Ilford in the county of Essex to the North East of London  They were all "Moving on up" - that's all!  As a fellow Bergen County NJ  resident I  suggest the group member from Mahwah look up the info about the Bund in Bergen County, the discrimination, even written into deeds for houses, against Jews buying houses in certain Bergen County towns and the Hitler Youth encampment that was run in the 1930's on the hill behind the quarry near Riverdale on Rt 287, where they were brainwashing poor children to hate those who were not like them and whose parents fell for the free summer camp, new clothes and shoes and good food.  

Sheila Toffell
USA


Jeffrey Gandz
 

I need some help with a date.  I vividly remember standing on the sidewalk (pavement) of her shop on Ashton Old Road watching Oswald Mosley and his Brownshirts marching down the street. It must have been sometime in the 1950's or early 1960s but I can't remember the year.  Can anyone help me?  Thanks.

Jeffrey Gandz