How efficient were state and non-state actors in providing humanitarian relief to persons displaced as a result of Nazi concentration camps c.1944-1948?

  • Rana Noor Mohamed

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

There is a considerable lack of literature in the scholarship surrounding the aftermath of the Holocaust, particularly from a humanitarian perspective. As humanitarianism and humanitarian relief are currently such important topics in the fields of history and International Relations as demonstrated by Jacqueline des Forges, Daniel Cohen and Mary Kaldor, this dissertation will investigate humanitarian relief. There is an interdisciplinary approach to this dissertation as it will regard international relations theories applied to the historical context of the aftermath of the Holocaust. The focus will be on humanitarian relief and the question of whether states have a duty to provide it and who will provide it if a state is not able to or chooses not to. This dissertation is set within the contextual historical background of the Holocaust which occurred between 1941 and 1945, affecting much of the European continent. Throughout this dissertation, the main state actors consist of France and Great Britain, as this was a defining point in UK-French history and diplomacy, with the occupation of France changing not only France's position in the international community, but deeply affecting its relationship with Britain.;Much of the literature regarding this transitional phase often focuses on the Second World War or the year leading up to enactment of the Marshall Plan in 1948. Therefore, the focus will be on the period in between but including the latter part of the war to provide more context (1944 to 1948). This will address this lacuna in the field. It was discovered during the research for this dissertation that Britain and France contributed little to the humanitarian efforts of concentration camp survivors, with international organisations such as the UNRRA and the ICRC contributing the largest relief efforts. Britain and France became more active during the reconstruction of their respective countries, although International Relations theories, such as neo-realism, suggest that there is often a second motive behind charitable actions. The lack of state-supported integration, along with the psychological difficulties of survivors and those who were non repatriable, shows that there are many difficult factors that make it a challenge to conclude whether Britain and France were efficient in providing humanitarian relief to persons displaced as a result of Nazi concentration camps between 1944 and 1948.
Date of Award18 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorKarine Varley (Supervisor) & Rogelia Pastor-Castro (Supervisor)

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