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As the fear of invasion grew anyone
in Britain who was German, Austrian or Italian was interned. This
meant that they were put in prison because the government was very
worried that foreigners from a country Britain was at war with might
tell the enemy about troop movements or send them important industrial
information. Many were refugees who had come to Britain because Hitler
had threatened to kill them or put them in concentration camps.
Over 8,000 people were interned and, of these, about 5,000, including
women and young children, were sent to Port Erin and Port St Mary
on the Isle of Man. They were held in crowded housing and separated
from the rest of the island by barbed wire fencing. As the war progressed,
the government released many of the internees who were judged not
to be a threat back to their homes but some spent the whole war behind