My interest in the 'refugee question' of the 1930s stemmed initially from time spent as an undergraduate at Manchester University, an interest which has been expanded, via a doctoral thesis, to the writing of this book. In wri ting about the German and Austrian refugees who fled to the Netherlands before the country was occupied in May 1940, the main aim has been to re turn the 'refugee question' of the 1930s into its pre-war context,a context from which it has often been dragged to provide an introduction to the events of the war period and the policies carried out by the Germans in oc cupied Europe. A study of the Netherlands provides the opportunity to look at refugees as a whole, not just as Jews, social democrats or communists, and also to examine the reaction and response of an European government to what was essentially a unique problem. I take great pleasure in recording my gratitude to the many people who have helped me in the course of my work. To the Dutch Ministerie van On derwijs en Wetenschappen and the Twenty-Seven Foundation for grants which enabled me to spend time in the Netherlands completing the research for this project, and to the British Acadamy for their financial assistance with publication costs. The research for this book took me to many libraries and archives in a number of countries.