Eleanor: The ‘MP for Refugees’ emerges

On 13 April 1933  Eleanor stood up in the House of Commons during the

Adjournment Debate on Foreign Affairs and presciently warned of the

dangers of Hitler’s newly appointed regime: ‘…Since I have been a

member of the House I have seldom been in a debate in which feeling

seemed to be so unanimous. And no wonder, for blind and thoughtless

indeed must anyone be who does not see in the events in Germany

an omen for the rest of the world. A spirit has come over Germany. One

speaker called it a new spirit, but I would rather call it a re-emergence

of an evil spirit which bodes very ill for the peace and freedom of the world….

One may doubt as to the extent to which the responsible authorities in

Germany have organised or merely connived at what is happening, and to

what extent the people of Germany in general approve or are merely cowed

into submission, but there is one dreadful fact beyond doubt, and that is

that the party which is guilty of these excesses is now in uncontrolled power

in Germany, and is inflicting cruelties and crushing disabilities  on large

numbers of law-abiding German citizens, whose only offence is that they

belong to a particular race or religion…’

Hansard, House of Commons, vol. 276, col.2760 -3, 13 April 1933.


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