Refugees from National Socialism in Wales: Learning from the Past for the Future

Published 15/12/2022   |   Last Updated 05/10/2023   |   Reading Time minutes

The Centre for the Movement of People, Aberystwyth University
Dates: 18 February – 18 April 2023
Location: Senedd Oriel & Pierhead Futures Gallery

Evelyn and Marion Porak, two refugee girls, on Aberystwyth Promenade, 1939. © Brian Pinsent.


This exhibition traces the history of refugees in Wales from the 1930s until the present day. It tells the stories of those who fled from National Socialism in Central Europe to find sanctuary, drawing parallels with modern-day refugees.

The exhibition includes artworks, objects, photographs, and literature created by refugees and those working alongside them. An exhibition film created by filmmaker Amy Daniel is also on display, which explores the lives of refugees past and present.

The exhibition has been co-curated by refugees living in Mid Wales, mainly from Syria. The Centre for the Movement of People want to highlight refugees’ experiences, raise awareness of the issues they face in Wales, and ask questions about the diversity of Welsh society, religious and linguistic differences, as well as social, educational and economic challenges.

The exhibition, first shown at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, was created as part of the Imperial War Museums’ Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme, and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project at Aberystwyth University is led by Dr Andrea Hammel, Director of the Centre for the Movement of People.

German-Jewish refugee Kate Bosse-Griffiths with her husband J. Gwyn Griffiths, 1939. © Heini Gruffudd.


Identity card of Renate Collins, who fled to South Wales from Prague on the Kindertransport in 1939. © Amy Daniel.