July 1st, 2020

Steve Rogers (writing)
  • rei17

Post-WWI life in England for a German guy

I'm working on a story set post-WWI in England, set in 1919 and I have done a lot of research and found a lot of things, but some things remain quite hazy for me.

1.) My main character is half English, half German (think Schlegel-Sisters in "Howards End") and he used to move across countries between his German and English families until 1914. During the war he was in an internment camp (see here and here and here). I found quite a lot about those and living there didn't seem to have been so bad, just pretty boring. But how would he have been treated after the war? During the war there were a lot of Anti-German riots and looting of German owned shops and so on, but did this go on afterwards, too? (I googled "Germans in living in England post WWI", "German immigrants in England", "Post WWI-life in England" and pretty much every variation and combination thereof.) I assume he wouldn't have been sent back to Germany (or would he?) but that he would have a hard time finding work or renting a flat (he has a pretty German sounding name and a noticeable accent) and so on.
So, what I want to know is would he have to idk register himself somewhere (as Aliens had to do during the war) or would he be allowed to move around freely? Also, I'd be interested to know how travel between England and the continent was immediately after the war? (I googled all variations of "travel" or "transport after WWI", but I mostly found out about soldiers coming home.) Like, would it have been easy for him to travel to Germany? As far as I learned most German infrastructure was destroyed by then and there was also a barricade, so I'm not sure how he would have to go about that.

Also his deceased father used to own property in London before the war (a small shop), would he have any claim to that or would his father have been dispossessed on grounds of him being German? (I have a hard time finding out ANYTHING about that and I googled pretty hard.) I also read most of Germans as Minorities during the first World War but that didn't help much about the situation right after the war.

2.) How would a lawyer a.) find people in 1919? Was there something like a population register? Would he use a private detective? The police?
And how would someone be able to prove who he is? What certificates would a lawyer use in 1919 to make sure he has the right person? A birth certificate? A passport? I'm asking because one of my characters is using the identity of his best friend who died in the war and I wondered how he would go about that...
Also what about my half german/ half english boy? I assumme dual citizenship didn't exist back then and it seems as if he would held the same nationality as his father, who was German. Is this correct?

All help would be appreciated!