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Wiener Library

Dunston, Fred: Papers regarding Youth Aliyah


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 1372

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Dunston, Fred: Papers regarding Youth Aliyah

Date(s): 1939-2002

Level of description: Collection level (fonds)

Extent: 5 files

Name of creator(s): Dunston | Fred | b 1917 | youth leader


Administrative/Biographical history:

Fred Dunston (previously Fritz Deutsch), the depositor, worked in the Youth Aliyah offices and later the Palästinaamt, Vienna (after the former was destroyed during Kristallnacht), and also as youth leader or member of the Elternschaft in the Youth Aliyah centres of Great Engeham Farm, Kent, Braunton and Bydown, Devon.

Youth Aliyah or Aliyat Hanoar, as it was known in Hebrew, was created by Recha Freier, wife of a Berlin Rabbi, in 1932. Combining productive agricultural training with educational and Zionist values it gave many young Jewish children a purpose and occupation during the period of mass unemployment, the result of the breakdown of the German economy.

Circumstances in late 1938 Europe meant that it became imperative to send Jewish children abroad. Auslandhascharah was the overseas version of Youth Aliyah where children and young people were trained with a view to eventually emigrating to Palestine. England was added to the list of countries and the London office soon became the busiest, reflecting the popularity of Great Britain as a destination.

Funding of the centres came from the British Council of the Young Pioneer Movement for Palestine (Hachsharath Hanoar), whose executive committee comprised Mrs Israel M. Sieff, Mrs Norman Laski, Mr M. Schattner and Mrs Lola Hahn-Warburg.

Great Engeham Farm, Kent, was received as a gift as a result of an advertisement in the London Times. It opened in June 1939 and a total of 134 children and 30 chalutzim lived there rent free. It served primarily as a transit camp for between 300 and 350 children aged 13-16.

Bydown, Devon, was founded by a group from Great Engeham Farm who were forced to move there in November 1939 when Kent was designated off-limits to aliens. Its headmaster was Dr. Fridolin M. Friedmann, a former headmaster of the Landschulheim of Caputh, near Berlin. It closed at the beginning of October 1941 when the lease ran out.

The agricultural training centre at Braunton, Devon, was a collaborative project between Youth Aliyah, Hechaluz and the British Council of the Young Pioneer Movement for Palestine. The accommodation housed 30 people who engaged in farm work. The centre existed between March and December 1940.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Fred Dunston, 1939-2002, relate to Youth Aliyah and comprise correspondence and papers between the those responsible for the management of the refugee centres at Great Engeham Farm, Kent and Bydown and Braunton, Devon, relating to the management of the institutions; also some letters from the child refugees.


Language/scripts of material: German and English

System of arrangement:

Chronological by institution

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Fred Dunston


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2008

Children | Childhood | Age groups | Age distribution
Jews | Religious groups
Refugees | Migrants
Training centres | Adult education institutions | Educational institutions
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)

Personal names
Dunston | Fred | b 1917 | youth leader

Corporate names
Youth Aliyah

Braunton | Devon | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Bydown | Devon | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Kent | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe