During World War II, a 56-year-old British noblewoman stood up to Nazi occupiers on the tiny island of Sark

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/18/during-world-war-ii-a-56-year.html


Too bad she is not in the US Senate today.


Unfortunately not all Channel Islanders rose to occasion and resisted occupation.


Nazis just couldn’t catch a break.

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I saw that movie!


Well I must be pedantic: the Channel Islands are not British dependencies, they are Crown dependencies. There is a difference.


Including this one.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibyl_Hathaway#Second_World_War

It appears that her objection was not to Nazism per se, but rather to anything that threatened her hereditary privileges.


A good book about this came out last year (Discussed here on the History Extra podcast)

It seems like it was really complicated, with the channel islanders feeling abandoned by Britain and some not minding the occupation all that much, the British feeling distrustful of the islanders for not resisting enough or not being British enough in the first place.


I had to stop it about 15sec in. Can not take the music. Ugh.

FUTILITY CLOSET … yes futility is the right word. It’s a podcast with no transcript and I can read far better than I can listen.

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On the other hand, it appears that she did not voice objection to a series of antisemitic orders that had been previously issued, and which concerned her Czech Jewish friend Annie Wranowsky.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibyl_Hathaway#Second_World_War

Someone did something, though.
Podcast @10:54

In April, 1942, when foreign-born Jews were deported, it was found that the order applied to only one person on Sark, a Czech Jew named Annie Wranowsky, and they arranged for her to escape the deportation by becoming a German teacher on the island.

Anyway, pretty sure I saw a film about this some time ago, but not sure if it was the one @Mangochin posted.

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Oddly enough, Sark is in the US Senate.

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So what are British dependencies?

From the mentafloss article:

Soon, rabbits discovered that the minefields were a great place to breed—and the island’s crops were decimated by the ensuing bunny boom.

I had to read that twice to get what they meant, and I’m still stuck with the initial image.


An exploding population, one way or another.

Food shortages, and a large rabbit population, what to do…


That’s only a problem if you eat nothing but rabbit meat. Rabbit and chips (fries, not crisps) should have enough fat.


But according to that Mental Floss article, the Germans kept stealing the potatoes …

There is nothing officially called a “British Dependency,” but I interpret that phrase to refer to those parts of the UK that are not Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, i.e. the British Overseas Territories. Using “British Dependencies” to refer to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man omits the Crown’s role in their governance, and implies that they are part of the UK. Yet the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (the Crown Dependencies) are explicitly not part of the UK (and they also aren’t part of the EU). They are ruled by the Crown independent of the UK, and thus the Crown is responsible for defending them and handling their foreign relations, not the UK. However, the Crown uses the UK to carry out those duties because it is convenient.

One might object and say “Well, the Crown is the British Monarchy, so therefore the Crown Dependencies are British”, but this would be wrong. If the UK were to overthrow the Crown, and cease being a constitutional monarchy, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man would continue to be under the Crown’s rule (whereas the BOT’s would not). While unlikely to happen, if it did happen, the Crown would no longer be “the British Crown”, but it could continue to fulfill its responsibilities to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man through another state of which it is sovereign, such as Canada. Would it then be correct to call those islands “Canadian Dependencies”? No, because Canada could also stop being a constitutional monarchy. Therefore, the only accurate name is “Crown Dependencies” (for as long as the Crown’s relations to those islands remain as they are now).

I’ll admit that, because the Isle of Man is one of the British Isles, you can call it a “British Crown Dependency”, but the Channel Isles are not geographically “British”, so it doesn’t make much sense to call them that. Of course, like I said, I’m just being pedantic, so call them whatever you feel like calling them.

ETA: The people of the Dependencies hold British citizenship (that is, they are citizens of the British Crown, but not of the UK), so you could arguably call the Channel Isles “British Crown Dependencies” However, “Crown” is the key word here, and shouldn’t be omitted—they are officially just “Crown Dependencies”.