Why were so many Islanders deported to internment camps?
On Saturday 15 June 1940, the British government decided that the Channel Islands were of no strategic importance and would not be defended, but did not give Germany this information.
Thus despite the reluctance of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the British government gave up the oldest possession of the Crown “without firing a single shot”.
The Channel Islands served no purpose to the Germans other than the propaganda value of having occupied some British territory. The “Channel Islands had been demilitarized and declared…’an open town”.
Commencing Sunday 30 June 1940 The Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany.
The Jersey Evening Post’ publishes a German notice:
Tuesday 15 September, 1942.
By order of higher authorities the following British subjects will be evacuated and transferred to Germany:
a) Persons who have their permanent residence not on the Channel Islands, for instance those who have been caught here by the outbreak of the war.
b) All those men not born on the Channel Islands and 16 to 70 years of age who belong to the English people, together with their families.
Detailed instructions will be given by the Feldkommandantur 515.
What was the reason for this ?
In late 1941 Hitler ordered the deportation of non-island born British residents of the Channel Islands in retaliation for the internment of Germans living in Iran.