GRR Legal History Research group: Our next meeting will discuss “European Law” on Friday, 10th February 2017, with contributions by Philip Bajon (MPG Frankfurt a.M.), Manuel Müller (HU Berlin, http://www.foederalist.eu/) and Anna Katharina Mangold (Konstanz/Frankfurt a.M.)
At least 20 years have passed since you died and you are a notable figure of the past? There is still a building in Greater London people might associate with you? Did this building survive in a form you would still recognize and it is visible from a public highway? Finally, there is not more than one Blue Plaque at the building’s front?
If you fulfill all these requirements, then apply for your own original Blue Plaque! Or, even better: hope there is someone who recognizes you and sends a detailed proposal to English Heritage. Being British is not mandatory.
Established in 1866 by the Society of Arts, and under the direction of the English Heritage since 1984, „the London’s Blue Plaques scheme (…) celebrates the links between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked“1. The first Blue Plaque one was installed in 1867 and commemorated the British poet Lord Byron at his birthplace, 24 Holles Street, Cavendish Square (destroyed in 1889).
Today, there are more than 900 official Blue Plaques in Greater London trying to link buildings and people as well as history and the present. Most, but not all of them are round and blue, because the scheme has been run by four different societies since 1866.
Even a fictitious person is mentioned on a Blue Plaque: The plaque at 221b Baker Street commemorates Sherlock Holmes. Although the adventures of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock take place in the Victorian London, Mark Gatiss and Steve Moffat move the plot in BBC’s series Sherlock into the present London. So he is also the only person on a Blue Plaque who could still be alive.
The majority of the Plaques have been suggested by the public: if the suggestion passes all criteria, a panel of experts discusses the nomination after „thorough historical research“.
Don’t worry if your nomination fails: you can submit the proposal again in ten years’ time.
At the blog’s main sidebar you can find pictures of some Blue Plaques commemorating British and European people who lived through the London Moment.
Review of: Hoffmann, Stefan-Ludwig (Hrsg.): Moralpolitik. Geschichte der Menschenrechte im 20. Jahrhundert. Göttingen : Wallstein Verlag 2010; Prost, Antoine; Winter, Jay: René Cassin et les droits de l’homme. Le projet d’une génération. Paris : Libraire Arthème Fayard 2011; Spiering, Menno; Wintle, Michael (Hrsg.): European Identity and the Second World War. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan 2011; Plesch, Dan: America, Hitler and the UN. How the Allies won World War II and forged a Peace. New York : I.B. Tauris 2010; Láníček, Jan; Jordan, James (Hrsg.): Governments-in-Exile and the Jews during the Second World War. Edgware : Vallentine Mitchell 2013; Frei, Norbert; Weinke, Annette (Hrsg.): Toward a New Moral World Order?. Menschenrechtspolitik und Völkerrecht seit 1945. Göttingen : Wallstein Verlag 2013.
Full review (in German) on HSozKult: http://www.hsozkult.de/searching/id/rezbuecher-20869?title=geschichte-der-menschenrechte&q=Eichenberg&sort=&fq=&total=77&recno=2&subType=reb
When the Nazis conquered the continent in 1939/1940, political elites from all over Europe fled to Great Britain, last remaining safe haven of the Allies in reachable distance. Most European governments whose territory was now being occupied by Nazi Germany moved to London. Representatives of France, Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Norway and Greece inhabited flats and houses in the British capital, all around Hyde Park and close to the British authorities. A significant number of them had arrived as individual refugees, but once in London, they revived their former contacts to set up the mechanics of national committees and governments-in-exile, but also to continue political collaboration on an international level. The British government and King offered symbolical and political, but also substantial technical and financial support. European cooperation was expected to strengthen the allied cause. Needless to say, this collaboration also entailed conflicts. But, for the time of the war, the European political exiles and their British counterparts were stuck with each other – and most intended to make the best of this unusual geographical proximity and collaborate closely to defeat Nazism and plan a post-war world. Thus, just as Berlin became the capital of fascist Europe, London became the capital of free Europe, the seat of almost all European governments.
This blog engages with the history of collaboration between the European governments-in-exile in London during the Second World War and between them and their host country, Great Britain. It discusses questions of international relations using the local urban study of central London during the war. A special interest is given to aspects of legal history: The legal position of governments-in-exile, the activities of international lawyers in their circles, and the discussions leading to a new international law and international juridicial system.