The Times of israel wrote:
In a May 1943 report to Brendan Bracken — a close confidant of Winston Churchill who served as Minister of Information for much of the war — the ministry’s top civil servant suggested that “there had been a considerable increase in anti-Semitic feeling” since the outbreak of the conflict nearly four years prior.
Cyril Radcliffe — the ministry’s director general — related how regional officials he had called to a meeting on the subject “regard it as quite beyond argument that the increase of anti-Semitic feeling was caused by serious errors of conduct on the part of Jews.”
The picture appeared similar in both rural parts of the country and the big industrial cities, as well as in areas, such as Manchester and Leeds, with long-established Jewish communities, and others where few Jews lived.
Radcliffe suggested that resentment against Jewish evacuees was a factor in stoking tensions. Jews, he advised Bracken, had displayed “a lack of pleasant standards of conduct as evacuees”.
A further source of complaints reported to him by the ministry’s regional civil servants was the allegation that Jews had “an inordinate attention to the possibilities of the ‘black market’”.
Rationing had produced an illegal trade in goods such as food, clothing and petrol, which allowed those who could afford it to escape the worst of wartime shortages and restrictions.
In his memo to Brendan Bracken of his meeting with the officials, Radcliffe wrote:
“I reminded them that it was part of the tragedy of the Jewish position that their peculiar qualities that one could well admire in easier times of peace, such as their commercial initiative and drive, and their determination to preserve themselves as an independent community in the midst of the nations they lived in, were just the things that told against them in wartime when a nation dislikes the struggle for individual advantages and feels the need for homogeneity above everything else.”
Referring to a March 1943 stampede at a bomb shelter in the East End’s Bethnal Green that killed 173 people — and which had been falsely blamed on panicking Jews — Radcliffe wrote: “If specific stories hostile to the Jews could be traced and pinned down as untruths, such as the recent canard of the Jews being responsible for the London shelter disaster, this should be done by countering it with the individuals who were putting it about, not by giving it general publicity.”
...After a high-profile black market case in Salford in Greater Manchester, a local Ministry of Information civil servant reported to London that there had been “anxiety among the Jews culminating in the visit of two representative Jews to the regional office.”
At the meeting, the community’s emissaries suggested employers were discriminating against Jews, highlighting the fact that local councils were — despite shortages — failing to employ Jewish nurses. Their concerns went unheeded.
of his meeting with the officials, Radcliffe wrote:
“It appears that the Jewish leaders are so anxious to avoid admitting that ‘The People’ have been especially blameworthy in black markets that they are unwilling to take strong spiritual and communal action. Blindness to facts and alternate periods of arrogance and whines are unlikely to endear the Jewish cause to Britain.”
...One civil servant examined the weekly reports of the Special Branch — the police unit which works with Britain’s security services to combat extremism and subversion at home — for examples of anti-Semitism. He listed six instances dating back over the previous six months. They included stickers plastered on doors and windows of businesses in the heavily Jewish area of Shoreditch in the East End which featured two Jews and the words: “Britannia rules the waves — yeth, but we rule Britannia”; a fascist publication; a far-right pamphlet which blamed Jews for anti-Semitism; and anti-Semitic graffiti such as “Down with the filthy Jews” and “burn the Jews” in parts of London, Manchester and Hove, a seaside town in southeast England with a large Jewish population.
“You will agree that there is nothing in all this to suggest anything in the nature of organised activity, at any rate on an important scale,” the official wrote. The colleague to whom his memo was passed wrote dismissively on it: “I did not think that Mrs. Corbett Ashby’s account showed signs of careful consideration.”
...As The Times notes, “the depths of the horrors uncovered by the liberators” in 1945 meant that “anti-Semitism became taboo.” However, the paper added, “there was a price to pay for the British authorities’ tolerance of anti-Semitism” during the war. It cited the anti-Jewish rioting which occurred in 1947 in the UK after the Irgun hanged two British sergeants in mandate-era Palestine in retaliation for the execution of three of its members.
Although nobody was killed, the violence — which was worst in Liverpool and Manchester in northwest England and the Scottish city of Glasgow — shocked many. Even the newspapers which had sensationalized the British soldiers’ murder swiftly called for calm, branding the weekend’s disturbances “a national disgrace.”
Moreover, while events in Palestine had been the immediate cause, the link between wartime anti-Semitism and its thankfully brief violent post-war manifestation was a clear one. Britain was already struggling under the weight of the cost of the war and reconstruction, with austerity imposed by the government and rationing and controls still largely in place. In 1947, these difficulties were compounded by a sharp economic downturn and rising unemployment.
Jews, historian Tony Kushner has suggested, became a scapegoat, being seen as “black marketeers gaining from the war but not contributing to the effort.”
https://www.timesofisrael.com/as-holoca ... -semitism/