Saturday, April 30, 2022

Getting a 'Push' Home from an Anti-Semite, 1911

I came across this news item but had not background knowledge:

That's from The Hebrew Standard in April 1911. Phillip Steele assisted me in research.

It stemmed from anti-immigration sentiment cojoined with anti-semitism in 19th Century England.

And this is the back story:

By the end of the 19th century there was public protest about the level of immigration, especially from Eastern Europe into London. A lot of these immigrants were of Jewish heritage, and they were often fleeing from anti-semitic persecution in Europe. The protests in London took place because English workers feared they might lose their jobs to the migrants, who seemed prepared to work for less money.

A Captain William Stanley Shaw formed the British Brothers League (BBL) in 1902 to campaign in East London against immigration. The BBL was connected to the local Stepney Member of Parliament (MP), William Evans-Gordon, who led moves to pass an Aliens Act to restrict immigration.

In this move, at least not a matter of violent pogroms, Shaw followed as well as preceded others such as the notorious Gyozo Istoczy in Hungary, active especially in the 1870-80s. There was Goldwin Smith in the UK/Canada and in Poland there was Władysław Studnicki in the interwar period. 

The BBL was formed in 1901 by Shaw:

The Aliens Act 1905, which restricted immigration, was largely seen as a success for the BBL and, as a result, the movement by and large disappeared.

It officially carried on until 1923, albeit on a tiny scale, and was associated with G. K. Chesterton and the distributist movement...The League also left behind a legacy of support for far-right groups in east London and this was exploited by the British Union of Fascists

Information on the BBL an be found in chapter 6 of this book, like:

On Shaw, here:

Shaw left the group after but a year but continued to promote anti-alienism:

One can presume his 1911 scheme was an outgrowth of his distaste of Jews.


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