Joanna NewmanDec 12, 2022
Nearly the New World
The British West Indies and the Flight from Nazism, 1933–1945
Berghahn Books 2019
In the years leading up to the Second World War, increasingly desperate European Jews looked to far-flung destinations such as Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica in search of refuge from the horrors of Hitler’s Europe.
Joanna Newman's book Nearly the New World: The British West Indies and the Flight from Nazism, 1933–1945 (Berghahn Books, 2019) tells the extraordinary story of Jewish refugees who overcame persecution and sought safety in the West Indies from the 1930s through the end of the war. At the same time, it gives an unsparing account of the xenophobia and bureaucratic infighting that nearly prevented their rescue—and that helped to seal the fate of countless other European Jews for whom escape was never an option.