At the outbreak of the Second World War, about 8,000 enemy aliens, civilians living in the UK who were believed to be a potential threat and to have sympathy with the enemy’s war objectives, were arrested and interned in British camps before being deported to the colonies and the dominions.
At the suggestion of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Medicine set up a committee to consider applications for release from doctors interned under this legislation. Many of these doctors had come to the UK specifically to escape Nazi Germany and were willing to work and give aid to the war effort of their adopted country. The Interned Aliens Committee scrutinised the applications before advising the Home Office.
A small exhibition showing a selection of archived letters and documents from the Interned Aliens Committee is currently on show in the first floor reading room of the library.
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