The King’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens

By Helen Fry

Over 10,000 German and Austrian nationals fled to join the British in the fight against Hitler during the Second World War – most were Jews but many were simply political opponents of the Nazi regime. Helen Fry’s style makes it easier to put her many interviews with veterans in context: these men and women describe the complex circumstances in which, arriving in Britain between 1933 and 1939, they became ‘enemy aliens’. Every one of them volunteered to serve in the British forces, swearing allegiance to George VI and essentially agreeing to play a pivotal role in the months and years to come. Meticulously researched, Fry highlights the value of having German-speaking military personnel on hand, assisting the British high command in interrogating and bringing many war criminals to trial, but she also brings to light the very personal stories of families simply looking for a better life. A compelling story with many never-before seen photos.

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