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'"Humanizing the Stranger". Quakers' Relief Work for Assistance of Enemy Aliens in Knockaloe Internment Camp during World War I'

Date(s): June 2016

Creator(s): Or, Ronit

Scope & Content: Illustrated MA dissertation submitted to Tel Aviv University with an abstract in English and the main text in Hebrew. The author considers the consolidation of the British national identity which contrasted the 'British' against the immigrant 'other', using stereotypes and emphasising British superiority. 'Germanophobia', patriotic zealousness under the influence of national 'spy fever' and German atrocities propaganda were used by the British government and press to dehumanize and demonize Germany and alienate sentiment toward toward the German-speaking community in Britain. The abstract notes, 'The Quakers were amongst the few in Britain who viewed the German immigrants as civilians, innocent victims of war, and as the 1914 Alien Restriction Act came into effect in August that year, members of the community arranged to render them aid.

The paper's second part concerns itself wtih getting to know the Quakers and Quakerism'. She continues, 'Although the British government had no ill-intentions towards the detainees, the incarceration was nevertheless a harsh, complex experience. The third, fourth and fifth chapters deal with Knockaloe Detention Camp as a case study representative of the ambivalence resultant of blurring the categories 'civilian' and military'.'

She provides the first critical reading of the detailed diary of James Thomas Baily (1876-1957), a Quaker artisan carpenter and Industrial Superintendent who served in the camp 1915-1919. She attempts to show that 'reality's necessity, interpersonal interaction and the Quaker manner of thinking overcame the ambivalence (between civilian and military categories) and established a space of reconciliation common to the military, the detainees and the aid-associations. Ironically, the cooperation meant to minimise damage inflicted on detainees by the war, succeeded in dismantling the stereotypes and biases due to which those 'Enemy Aliens' were initially arrested...' (page 109).

Language: English

Extent: 112 pages

Item name: dissertation

Collection: Manuscript Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: MS 14133

Record class: Private

Access conditions: No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material. Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing


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