Source Information

Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2019.
Original data: HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947, The National Archives, Kew, London, England.

About UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945

Historical Context

This collection provides details of foreign nationals interned by the British government during World War Two. Internment started immediately following the outbreak of war in 1939, with a small number of Germans being sent to tribunals for assessment as a potential danger to the country. This was expanded to Austrians in May 1940, and then to Italians in the same year. If deemed to be ‘high risk’, the individual was immediately interned, or deported. Those labelled as ‘doubts’ were let go but supervised and those deemed ‘low-risk’ were released. A large number of internees were made up of German and Austrian Jews. The measure of internment was scaled back toward the end of the war and by 1943-1944, most internees had been released.

What can I find in these records?

You may be able to find the following information (where available):

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Internment
  • Date of Death
  • Date of Discharge