List of refugees

This is a list of prominent people who fled their native country, went into exile and found refuge in another country. The list follows the current legal concept of refugee only loosely. It also includes children of people who have fled. The people are ordered according to the field in which they made their names.





Fashion and designEdit


Music and danceEdit

Politics, Economics and Political EconomyEdit

  • Madeleine Albright - Former U.S. Secretary of State. She and her family fled Czechoslovakia in 1948 and came to the USA as refugees.[50]
  • Hannah Arendt - Jewish-American author and political theorist. Born in Germany, in 1933 she fled persecution by the Nazis for Czechoslovakia and then Geneva, eventually becoming a naturalized citizen of the USA in 1950.[51][52]
  • Adrienne Clarkson - Canadian journalist and 26th Governor General of Canada. Her parents fled Hong Kong with her in 1941 and found refuge in Canada.[53]
  • Alexander Gerschenkron - Russian-born American economist. Fled Russia during Russian civil war and settled in Austria, fleeing again to the United States after the rise of fascism. He is best known for his book of essay, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective, which became one of the foundational texts of development economics.
  • Albert O. Hirschman - German development economist and political economist. He was an active resistance fighter during the Second War World and Spanish Civil War, helping to rescue many of Europe's leading artists and intellectuals. He is best known for his work on unbalanced development and his book in political science: Exit, Voice and Loyalty.
  • Michaëlle Jean - Canadian journalist and 27th Governor General of Canada. Her father fled Haiti's Duvalier regime in 1967, she and the rest of their family arrived in Canada in 1968.[54]
  • Henry Kissinger - American diplomat and political scientist who fled Germany with his family in 1938.[55]
  • Karl Marx - German philosopher, writer and journalist best known for "inventing" the political concept of Communism. He spent much of his adult life in exile as a result of his political views, but became truly stateless in 1848 when he gave up his Prussian citizenship, and was expelled from France. He remained stateless till the end of his life.[56]
  • Thandika Mkandawire - Malawian-Swedish economist, best known for his work on 'transformative social policy'. He was targeted by the regime of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda and found asylum in Sweden.[57]
  • Maryam Monsef - Canadian politician. In 2015 she became Minister For Democratic Institutions. She and her family fled the Afghan Civil War in 1996, resettling in Canada.[58]
  • Ilhan Omar - Somali-American politician. Born in Somalia, her family fled the civil war there, and spent four years in a refugee camp. They immigrated to the United States. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representative in 2018.
  • Karl Polanyi - Hungarian economic historian and political economist and a refugee from fascist persecution in the Vienna of 1934. He is known for his book The Great Transformation, which argued that the emergence of market-based societies in modern Europe was not inevitable but historically contingent.[59]
  • Edward Snowden - American computer security specialist, leaked information about U.S. National Security data collection, fled U.S. and received asylum in Russia.
  • Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull) - Hunkpapa Lakota holy man who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. Took refuge with his followers in Canada in 1877 for four years, where they petitioned the Canadian government for land and food. The Canadian government refused their request, and ultimately Sitting Bull and his people were forced to return to the United States.[60]
  • Clara Zetkin - key leader in German Communist movement, chiefly remembered for establishing March 8 as International Women's Day; fled Nazi Germany in 1932 and took refuge in the Soviet Union.[48]

Psychology and philosophyEdit

  • Michael Balint - British citizen, Jewish-Hungarian psychoanalyst, best known as a proponent of Object relations theory. Fled persecution by Nazis for the UK in 1939.[61]
  • Sigmund Freud - Jewish-Austrian neurologist, best known as the founder of psychoanalysis. Fled persecution by the Nazis in Austria in June 1938, took refuge in the UK.[62]
  • Anna Freud - daughter of Sigmund, also a psychoanalyst. Fled persecution by the Nazis in Austria in June 1938, took refuge in the UK.[62]
  • Ernest Gellner - British citizen, Czech-Jewish philosopher and social anthropologist. Came to England in 1939 after the German occupation of Prague.[63]
  • Stephan Korner - British citizen, Czech-Jewish philosopher. Came to England in 1939 after German occupation of Czechoslovakia.[64]
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss - French-Jewish anthropologist and ethnologist. Stripped of his citizenship in 1940 under the Vichy anti-semitic laws for his Jewish ancestry, Levi-Strauss took refuge in the USA until 1948, when he returned to France.[65]
  • Karl Popper - Austrian-Jewish philosopher; fled from rise of Nazism in Austria to New Zealand in 1937.[66]
  • Dr. Ruth Westheimer - American psychologist and sex expert who fled Nazi Germany as a child, as part of the Kindertransport. Both her parents were killed at Auschwitz.[67][68]


Science and technologyEdit


TV and filmEdit

Writing and publishingEdit



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