"European Veterinary Refugees 1933-1950: From Despair to Diplomas"

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Dr Paul Watkins (Oxford Brookes University)

"European Veterinary Refugees 1933-1950: From Despair to Diplomas"



Centre for Health, Medicine and Society at Oxford Brookes University, 15 October 2013


This is the second paper of the Autumn 2013 History of Medicine Seminar Series on "The Personal and the Public: Perspectives on the Social History of Health and Medicine" funded by the Centre's Wellcome Trust Strategic Award.


Abstract: The rise of Nazism from 1933, with the subsequent outbreak of war, had a profound impact upon both the nations and professions of Europe, creating a large number of refugees. The impact of these developments on the veterinary profession has not been considered in detail, either by historians or the veterinary profession itself.


I will describe the issues facing veterinary refugees, many of whom attempted to make their way to Great Britain and/or the Dominions, making use of archival material as well as personal testimony. I will endeavour to demonstrate how attitudes to refugees changed and will, where possible, compare their experiences with those of medical refugees. Finally I will describe the development and subsequent closure of the Polish Veterinary School in Great Britain.


Short Bio: Paul Watkins, MA, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS, DVR, is a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and the University of Bristol. He has spent over 30 years in biomedical research, and is currently researching a number of areas of medical and veterinary history. His most recent project has been the activities of veterinary students and veterinary surgeons during World War 2.


Podcasts in this Seminar Series:

Prof Alfons Labisch (Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf):

"Social History of Medicine Today: A Classic Approach in the Aftermath of the Turns." 1 October 2013  [38min06]

Dr Paul Watkins(Oxford Brookes University):

"European Veterinary Refugees 1933-1950: From Despair to Diplomas" 15 October 2013 [39min30]

Dr Pamela Michael(Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, Bangor University):

"Private Worlds and Public Asylums: A Study of two Welsh Mental Hospitals." 29 October 2013 [45min35]

Prof Ludmilla Jordanova(Professor of History and Visual Culture, University of Durham):

"Intimacy and Display in ‘Medical’ Portraits." 26 November 2013 [41min15]

Dr Roberta Bivins(Director, Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick):

"‘Slummy Foreign Germs’? Politics, Medicine and Postcolonial Migration." 10 December 2013 [45min34]



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