The incredible true story of what really happened in the Channel Islands during the Second World War. The Channel lslands were occupied on 30 June 1940 when four German planes landed at Guernsey Airport. They were the only part of Britain to be occupied during the Second World War. The islands had been officially demilitarised on 19 June, but the War Office in London overlooked the necessity to inform the Germans. This led to a German air attack on 28 June, which resulted in thirty-eight civilian deaths. Hitler was extremely proud of the conquest of the Channel lslands, and saw it as a stepping-stone to the full invasion of the rest of Britain. The occupying forces were instructed to behave correctly. This would show the rest of Britain that there was nothing to be feared from life under the Third Reich. This book looks at the German Occupation, the unsavoury events that occurred on the Islands, and why at the end of the war a cover-up of these events was instigated by the British Government.
The Channel Islands is a geographical and historical work by Joseph E. Morris. The Channel Islands are an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coastline of Normandy. They consist of two Crown Dependencies: The Bailiwick of Jersey, which is the biggest of the isles; and the Bailiwick of Guernsey, comprising of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm and a few smaller islands.
Following the fall of France and the surrender of Paris on 14 June 1940, the British Government announced that the Channel Islands had no strategic importance and would not be defended. The Germans occupied the islands from the end of June onwards and remained in control until the end of the war. On 10 October 1941 Hitler announced his intention to 'convert them into an impregnable fortress', and the islands formed the most heavily fortified and defended section of the entire Atlantic Wall. This book describes the design, construction and manning of these defensive positions, as well as considering more widely the occupation of the Channel Islands by the Germans.
The Nazi occupation of Europe of World War Two is acknowledged as a defining juncture and an important identity-building experience throughout contemporary Europe. Resistance is what 'saves' European societies from an otherwise chequered record of collaboration on the part of their economic, political, cultural and religious elites. Opposition took pride of place as a legitimizing device in the post-war order and has since become an indelible part of the collective consciousness. Yet there is one exception to this trend among previously occupied territories: the British Channel Islands. Collective identity construction in the islands still relies on the notion of 'orderly and correct relations' with the Germans, while talk of 'resistance' earns raised eyebrows. The general attitude to the many witnesses of conscience who existed in the islands remains ambiguous. This book conversely and expertly argues that there was in fact resistance against the Germans in the Channel Islands and is the first text to fully explore the complex relationship that existed between the Germans and the people of the only part of the British Isles to experience occupation.
Victims of Nazi Persecution from the Channel Islands explores the fight and claims for recognition and legitimacy of those from the only part of the British Isles to be occupied during the Second World War. The struggle to have resistance recognised by the local governments of the islands as a legitimate course of action during the occupation is something that still continues today. Drawing on 100 compensation testimonies written in the 1960s and newly discovered archival material, Gilly Carr sheds light on the experiences of British civilians from the Channel Islands in Nazi prisons and concentration camps. She analyses the Foreign Office's treatment of claims from Islanders and explores why the islands' local governments declined to help former political prisoners fight for compensation. Finally, the book asks why 'perceived sensitivities' have stood in the way of honouring former political prisoners and resistance memory over the last 70 years in the Channel Islands. The testimonies explored within this volume help to place the Channel Islands back within European discourse on the Holocaust and the Second World War; as such, it will be of great importance to scholars interested in Nazi occupation, persecution and post-war memory both in Britain and Europe more widely.