chapter  3
‘Spiritual Vitamins’: Music in Huyton and Central Internment Camps May 1940 to January 1941
BySUZANNE SNIZEK
Pages 17

When Britain declared war in 1939, tribunals assessed the individual risk of German and Austrian nationals residing in Britain. Of the approximately 73,000 cases heard, about 66,000 had been classifi ed ‘Category C’, or no risk whatsoever. About 55,000 of those were refugees from Nazi oppression; of those, about ninety percent were Jewish refugees (Chappell 2005: 43). Despite these results, mass internment of ‘enemy aliens’, including German and Austrian Jewish refugees, began in May 1940. At its height, approximately 14,000 individuals were interned on the Isle of Man (ibid.). O cial records were inaccurate as camp administrations only wanted to know the total numbers of internees in the camp, not the specifi cs on individuals (Gál 2003: 69).1 Internees also often switched identities when transports were at hand. Exact demographics regarding this internee population are not possible; however, it appears that the overall majority was ‘assimilated’ middle-class German and Austrian Jews, and a disproportionate number were intellectuals (Gál 2003; Stent 1980).