The grandfather of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband repeatedly was denied entry to Britain after World War II.
Samuel Miliband, a Polish Jew, was branded untrustworthy and misleading by British government officials when trying to immigrate to Britain, the Sunday Times reported.
David Miliband, an outspoken critic of the Israeli government, is the son of influential Marxist academic Ralph Miliband, who was close friends with Tony Benn and other Labor leaders until his death in 1994.
Samuel Miliband, originally a resident of Warsaw, fled to Belgium after WWII broke out, leaving Ralph’s mother, Renee, behind in Poland. In 1940, after the Germans conquered Belgium, the Milibands were given refuge in Britain.
After the war, Samuel returned to Belgium while his son Ralph, who was a student at the time, stayed in Britain. However, after finding his business destroyed and being refused a work permit, Samuel made several unsuccessful attempts to return to Britain.
According to government documents obtained by The Sunday Times under a freedom of information request, Samuel applied for a visa nine times between 1948 and 1954, claiming he faced “Nazi” style anti-Semitism in postwar Belgium and needed to visit Ralph in England because the young academic was suffering “nervous depression.”
The British embassy official who handled the file branded Samuel’s claims “very thin” and reported that “Miliband, father and son, have so misrepresented the case in the past, I am afraid we can place no reliance on their statements.” Samuel’s application was finally successful after receiving the support of a prominent and well-connected British intellectual.
David Miliband and his brother Ed, the Cabinet Office minister, declined to comment.