By Sally Crawford, Katharina Ulmschneider, Jaś Elsner

'Ark of Civilization' addresses Oxford's function as a look after, a gathering element, and a centre of inspiration within the arts and arts in the middle of WWII, interweaving own and worldwide histories to discover how refugee students had a profound and lasting impression at the improvement of British culture.


Ark of Civilization: Refugee students and Oxford college, 1930-1945 addresses Oxford's position as a defend, a gathering element, and a centre of idea within the arts and arts in the course of WWII, Read more...

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53 helplessness’; 225: ‘sorrow . . visible and audible manifestations of mourning . . steadfast endurance’; 228: ‘the effect of terrible happenings’; 229: ‘intensifies the horror’; 231: ‘extreme bitterness’; 232: ‘grief for losses in war’; 235: ‘the grimness of war’; 294: ‘the feeling of hostility and fresh dangers’; 449: ‘the trepidation of the heart’, ‘the eddies which drive the emotions of the heart’; 466: ‘the terrible nature of fate and . . the feelings which this arouses’; vol. ’ 49 Vol.

Her poem, ‘Agamemnon Class, 1939’,38 dedicated to the memory of her friend Frank Thompson who was killed in 1944, includes the following lines: Do you remember Professor Eduard Fraenkel’s endless Class on the Agamemnon? Heralded by the cries of hitherto silent Cassandra The undulating siren creates in the entrails And in the heart new structures Of sensation, the abrupt start Of war, its smell and sound. The hours distend with bombs, The big guns vibrate the ground. Frightened men kill by remote control Or face to face appalled see their enemy fall.

All his experiences, but most particularly the disorientating effect of internment, led to a visceral belief that being an historian was the only possible civilized response to the rise of Nazi Germany. Chapter 15, Fran Lloyd’s chapter on the artists Eisenmayer and Weiler, whose paths only crossed because they were both refugees in Oxford, reminds us again that the particular compact geography of Oxford played a part in framing and forming academic refugee experiences. Eisenmayer and Weiler’s meeting was a chance encounter that changed the rest of their lives: as Lloyd observes, the story of refuge is a complex narrative, ‘a series of situated encounters’.

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