Jewish Emigration to Britain

Persecution of European Jewish communities

Leaving Russia for Hull

During the early 1880s Jewish people living in Russia faced attacks called ‘pogroms.’ When news began to reach Britain, both the Jewish and Christian communities in Hull offered their support.

The Hull Jewish community put notices in the local press and arranged a meeting in February 1882 to protest about what was happening to the Russian Jews and think of ways to help them. Many local people supported the cause, such as businessman and philanthropist James Reckitt, Rector of St Mary’s Church John Scott, and Alderman Evan Fraser.

Leaving Germany for Hull

Throughout the 1930s, German Jews began to have similar problems to those the Jewish Community had experienced in Russia. As Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power, they began to attack German Jews, to take away their human rights and eventually to imprison and murder them.

Meetings were held in the UK to protest against what was happening in Germany. Schemes were put in place such as the Kindertransport, which brought 10,000 Jewish children to Britain.

Robert Rosner and Rudolph Wesseley were among the Kindertransport children. Robert escaped from Vienna and was adopted by a couple from Hull, Leo and Kitty Schultz. Rudolph, who was from Prague, went to Riley High School in the city and later fought for his adopted country in the Royal Navy. His mother was killed at Auschwitz concentration camp.


Concentration camp – A prison camp used during a war; in some camps prisoners have been murdered or worked to death
Human rights – Rights that most societies believe everyone has, like freedom and justice
Immigrant – Someone who travels to a new country to go and live there
Imprison – To lock someone up or put them in prison
Pogroms – Planned violence against a particular group of people
Synagogue – Place of worship for the Jewish faith

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