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Spies

People in Britain had to watch carefully for: traitors, spies or enemy agents.


Those most seriously suspected were the German and Austrian refugees, mostly Jews, who had fled to avoid being killed by Hitler. They were now classed as ‘aliens’.

The British government feared that, if there was an invasion, some aliens would help the enemy so many were interned (imprisoned) in special camps in remote parts of the country. In May 1940, over 3,000 aliens were rounded up and interned. In eastern England, where links with Europe were hard to control, all other aliens were ordered to report to the police every day and to stay at home after dark.

A nationwide campaign was launched on 6th February 1940 with the slogan ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’. It aimed to stop people from gossiping and letting useful information be heard by the enemy.


Letters from soldiers abroad would also be carefully checked by a censor to make sure that they contained no secret or important information. The censor would blank out anything which might be useful to the enemy.