Student presentation: In groups of three prepare a presentation on the following topic:
(ii)a) “Do you think the government’s policy to intern enemy aliens during World War II was fair? Why or why not? b) Research the government’s current policy in regard to refugees.
(iii) Students prepare case studies on the contribution of the Dunera and Singapore ‘enemy aliens’ to Australian life[xxv]
Where are they now?
- The vast majority of Singapore internees who had been released in Victoria to join the army stayed in Australia after the war.
- Of the original two and a half thousand Dunera internees, more than two thirds left Australia after the war.
- The Dunera internees continue annual reunions; the ex-Singapore community met for a re-union in 1990, exactly fifty years after their deportation on the Queen Mary.
- Once a “scandal”, the “Dunera Affair” has now been reinterpreted as a success story; a chronicle of the contribution made by ‘unwanted refugees’ to Australian society and culture.
Suggested Assessment Task
Sir Winston Churchill called the story “A deplorable mistake”. Cyril Pearl called it “The Dunera Scandal”. Narrate the story of the deportation of ‘enemy aliens’ to Australia in WWII. In your response evaluate the attitudes of the British and Australian governments.
Malcolm J Turnbull, Chapter 5, ‘Enemy Aliens and Internees’ in Safe Haven: Records of the Jewish Experience in Australia, National Archives of Australia http://www.naa.gov.au/Publications/research_guides/guides/haven/chapter5.htm Accessed 02/01/2007
Tatura- Rushworth Victoria (1940-47) http://www.naa.gov.au/The_collection/defence/internment_camps/tatura.html Accessed 14/3/07
Australian Memories of the Holocaust http://www.holocaust.com.au/mm/i_horst.htm Accessed 14/3/07
Chapter 3, Oversees Internees- Acceptance by Commonwealth for Custody in Australia http://www.defence.gov.au/ARMY/AHU/Primary_Materials/POW_Chapter3.pdf Accessed 14/3/07
Hay www.naa.gov.au/The_collection/defence/internment_camps/hay.html Accessed 14/3/07
The Holocaust Educational Trust Citizenship resource Activity 14: seeking Asylum-A Case Study http://www.thinkequal.com/page.cfm/link=169 Accessed 14/3/07
Historical records on Detainees including Dunera Boys http://www.naa.gov.au/Publications/research_guides/guides/haven/pages/chapter5.htm Accessed 14/3/07
Lewin, Ben, 1991 Dunera Boys
Burgan, John, 2000. Friendly Enemy Alien. (Documentary).
Four oral histories of ‘Dunera Boys’ are held in the Sydney Jewish Museum resource Centre.
Bartrop, Paul R. with Eisen, Gabrielle, Eds(1990): The Dunera affair: a Documentary Resource Book, Jewish Museum of Australia, Schwartz and Wilkinson Melbourne.
Bartrop Paul R (1994) ‘Refugee and Rescue Policy 1939-45’ in Australia and the Holocaust 1933-45, Australian Scholarly Publishing Kew, Victoria
Bevege, M., (1993) Behind Barbed Wire: Internment in Australia during World War II. University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia.
Foster John Ed (1986) Community of Fate: Memoirs of German Jews in Melbourne
Patkin, Benzion, (1979). The Dunera Internees, Cassell, Stanmore
Pearl, Cyril, 1983. The Dunera Scandal, Angus and Robertson, North Ryde
Rubinstein Hilary L. & WD, 1991 The Jews in Australia: A Thematic History, Vol 1:1788-1945. Heinemann, Melbourne.
Rutland S (2005) The Jews in Australia Cambridge University Press, Melbourne
Saunders, K., (2003). ‘The stranger in our gates’: Internment Policies in the United Kingdom and Australia during the Two World Wars 1914-39 Immigrants & Minorities, 22(1): 22-43.
Bartrop, Paul R.(1993) ‘Enemy Alien Internees from Singapore in Australia’ Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal Vol XII, Part I
Bartrop Paul R (1995) ‘Education in Adversity: the Dunera Internees during the Second World War’ in Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal Vol XIII Part 1
Bartrop Paul R. (2007 draft) ‘“Authority can take no risks: Australia and the Internment of Enemy aliens during the Second World War’
Loewald Klaus (1985) ‘The Eighth Australian Employment Company’ in Australian Journal of Politics and History Eds Konrad Kwiet and John A Moses UQP Vol31, No1
Loewald Klaus (1977) ‘A Dunera Internee at Hay 1940-1941, Reprinted from Historical Studies Vol 17 No 69 October 1977
Kwiet Konrad (1985) ‘On Being a German Jewish Refugee in Australia’, Experiences and Studies in Australian Journal of Politics and History Edited by Konrad Kwiet and John A Moses UQP Vol 31, No 1
Dunera News (The committee of the Hay-Tatura Association, Dunera@netlink.com.au
Most of the references cited in the resources list are available in the Resource Centre of the Sydney Jewish Museum
[i] History Syllabus Year 7-10 NSW Board of Studies 2003
[ii] NAA, MP729/6, file 29/401/273, “Refugees: Internment, Fifth Columnists”, Dept of the Army Memorandum (Chief of General Staff for Minister), October 1940 cited in Bartrop Paul R. (2007 draft) ‘“Authority can take no risks: Australia and the Internment of Enemy aliens during the Second World War’
[iii] See for example, statement by Prime Minister Menzies National Archives of Australia (NAA) A1608,file N19/1/1 Pt1, “War 1939.Position of Aliens and Refugees-Time of War” and NAA, A376, file T252m “Enemy Aliens” secret memorandum (Enemy Agents Travelling as Refugees) Australian Military Forces (Southern Command) to the 4th and 6th Military Districts, 20 June 1940.
[iv] Bartrop Paul R (1994) Australia and the Holocaust 1933-45Australian Scholarly Publishing Kew Victoria p222ff
[vi] After the outbreak of war 572 ‘enemy aliens’ were classified as category A (politically dangerous)and immediately interned; 6,691 were placed in category B and were exempt from internment but not from special restrictions; 66290 were recognized as ‘friendly’ or ‘neutral aliens’ exempt from internment. Of the 73,533 German and Austrian ‘enemy aliens’ about 75% were categorized as ‘refugees from Nazi oppression’.(cited in Kwiet (1985) footnote 4)
[vii] Chapter 3, Oversees Internees- Acceptance by Commonwealth for Custody in Australia http://www.defence.gov.au/ARMY/AHU/Primary_Materials/POW_Chapter3.pdf
[ix] Bartrop Paul R (1993) ‘Incompatible with security: Enemy Alien Internees from Singapore in Australia, 1940-1945’ in Enemy Alien Internees from Singapore in Australia, Journal of the Australian Jewish Historical Society, Vol XII 1993 Part 1 p149
[xi] Ibid p152
[xii] Ibid p155
[xiii] See for example Ibid. and Bartrop Paul R (2007 draft) Op cit.
[xiv] Tatura http://www.naa.gov.au/The_collection/defence/internment_camps/tatura.html
[xv] Hay www.naa.gov.au/The_collection/defence/internment_camps/hay.html
[xvi] See also Loewald Karl (1977) ‘A Dunera Internee at Hay’ Reprinted from Historical Studies Vol 17 No 69 October 1977
[xvii] For example, “Dunera Boys” Australian Memories of the Holocaust http://www.holocaust.com.au/mm/i_horst.htm
[xviii] Cited in Kwiet K (1985) ‘On Being a German Jewish Refugee in Australia’, Experiences and Studies in Australian Journal of Politics and History Edited by Konrad Kwiet and John A Moses UQP Vol 31, No 1 p65
[xix] AA MP 508/1, file255/702/981, ‘German and Austrian Internees mostly of the Jewish Faith’ Rabbi Jacob Danglow (St Kilda, Victoria) to Prime Minister RG Menzies, Melbourne, 17 January 1941 cited in Bartrop Paul R (1993) op cit
[xx] Bartrop Paul R (1993) op cit p156
[xxi] See Biographical entry Australian Dictionary of Biography on line http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080489b.htm Accessed 14/3/07
[xxii] AA Victoria MP508/1-255/702/529. Letter Venn Pilcher to Mc Bride 28 August 1940 cited in Kwiet (1985) p65
[xxiii] See for example letter from M. Gibbs to Prime Minister Menzies in Bartrop and Eisen (1990) The Dunera affair: a Documentary Resource Book, Jewish Museum of Australia, Schwartz and Wilkinson Melbourne.p36
[xxiv] Loewald Klaus (1985) ‘The Eighth Australian Employment Company’ in Australian Journal of Politics and History Edited by Konrad Kwiet and John A Moses UQP Vol31, No1p83
[xxv] For example, Marx Otto (1897-1974) Australian Dictionary of Biography –Online Edition http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au
Susi Brieger 2007