Teachers' notes

This resource uses a case study to explore some of the pressures that British people of German origin came under during the First World War.

Curriculum links:

KS3 & 4 History: World War One


Learning objectives:  

Knowledge about the reaction to people with German names during the war

Understanding of the treatment of people with German names

Skills in analysing and interpreting historical evidence

Discussion ideas:

  • What was the impact of the war on shops and businesses with German names?  Discuss the different ways in which people were affected.
  • Do you think the public reaction to people they thought were German was justified? Why/why not?
  • What actions did Charles Hohenrein take in response to the attacks? 
  • Why do you think he responded in this way?
  • Can you think of any contemporary parallels to the situation the Hohenreins and Wagner and Kress found themselves in?
  • Why do you think sections of the Hull public reacted in this way?

Activity ideas:

  • Watch Hull’s First World War film to find out how the war affected Christian Wagner, another German pork butcher who founded a shop on Spring Bank with his partner Friedrich Kress.
  • Compare the Hohenreins’ story with that of Wagner and Kress. What are the similarities and differences?
  • Research the background to the attacks on German businesses – the sinking of the Lusitania and the Zeppelin attacks on Hull. Why do you think these events translated into unrest at home? 
View other relevant resources on My Learning or scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of related links and resources on this topic.
Mr and Mrs Georg Friedrich Hohenrein and family of Hull c.1868
Charles Hohenrein in cavalry officer uniform of the East Riding Yeomanry c.1905
Letter dated 24.8.14 thanking Charles Hohenrein for loaning his vans to British government during WW1
Charles Henry Ross (previously Charles Hohenrein) standing in air raid shelter at Derringham Street, Spring Bank, Hull