"Please help us to carry on nursing"

Jewish refugees and the nursing profession, 1938-45

13 Nov 2018 17:00 - 19:00

20 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London, W1G ORN


In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht

Jane Brooks, senior lecturer at the University of Manchester.

From the anti-Jewish pogrom on 9 and 10 November 1938, known as Kristallnacht, increasing numbers of young German and then Austrian and Czechoslovakian Jewish women fled Nazi Europe for Britain, agreeing to train as nurses in return for refuge. Many of these young women came from educated, privileged families. Some were medical students, practising doctors and university students, still others had dreams to be journalists or concert pianists; all of these options had to be abandoned on escape. Yet, many learned to love nursing and were dismayed when they were forced to leave their training programmes in the early months of the war, albeit in many instances, temporarily.

Using a range of oral history interviews, official documents and correspondence in the nursing press, Jane Brooks' talk will cast light on the lives of some of these women and the contribution they made to nursing in the twentieth century.


The venue is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a hearing loop in the lecture room. We can offer large print copies of presentations if requested at least a week before the event. Assistance dogs are welcome.

If you have any other needs, please email us at rcn.library@rcn.org.uk and we will assist you wherever possible.

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Where possible, we film events and put them up online. Check our website for footage of past events.

Image Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

20 Cavendish Square

20 Cavendish Square is located behind John Lewis, Oxford Street.


The nearest stations are Oxford Circus and Bond Street.


There are many buses routes that stop nearby, including the 10, 25, 55, 73, 98 and 390.

Page last updated - 19/12/2018