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Title: German and Austrian refugee dentists : the response of the British authorities, 1933-1945
Author: Zamet, John
ISNI:       0000 0001 3576 704X
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2007
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The dental émigrés who chose to leave Germany and Austria between 1932 and 1939 were required to make that decision after being deprived of their livelihoods and their economic and social existences, and were ultimately in fear of their lives. The primitive statistics on dental disease in Britain recorded in the 1930s show that disease was rampant and the commonest form of treatment was full mouth extractions and full dentures. The theory of focal infection underlined the primitive treatment that was available. Out of the total 15,000 dentists on the Dentists Register, only 8000 had been trained at a dental school. An analysis of the teaching in both German and Austrian dental schools showed that it was at a far higher level than that available in Britain. There were three main barriers to refugee dentists entering Britain. Firstly the misuse of the 1878 Dental Act. The General Medical Council searched for any variation from the basic British requirement of four years' study to reject candidates. Secondly, the Home Office operated a ban on practice from February 1936. Thirdly, prior to 1939, the dental refugees were only allowed a limited amount of time in Britain, from four weeks to ten months. A positive side to this sad period of history were the various refugee organisations, of whom the Jewish Refugee Committee was the most important, providing financial help for those refugee dentists who were unable to work after the February 1936 ban and who were living in poverty. In the 1930s Britain was offered the gift of over 1000 well-trained dentists from Germany and Austria. 300 were accepted and over 700 rejected. The British response was ungenerous, bearing in mind the appalling dental health and standard of dental teaching and research at this time. This thesis has been able to turn the spotlight onto this specialist group of refugees forgotten by history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral