Prejudice or neglect?

by
July 1983, no. 52

The Dunera Scandal: Deported by mistake by Cyril Pearl

Angus and Robertson, $14.95, 233 pp

Prejudice or neglect?

by
July 1983, no. 52

‘This internment of ours is but a sideshow of the war’, says a former Dunera internee in this book. Yet this footnote to Britain’s war on the home front has acquired considerable importance for Australia.

Approximately one thousand former Dunera internees became Australian citizens after the war, many of them highly gifted, even distinguished, post-war Australians. Historically, their wartime and post-war presence enabled many Australians, including some politicians, to understand for the first time the meaning of Hitler and Nazism, and the nature of the ‘Jewish refugee’.

The story should by now be familiar. Panic and spy-phobia, not to mention appalling MI5 intelligence work, led Britain in mid-1940 to conduct a bizarre mass internment of ‘enemy aliens’, most of them convinced anti-fascists, Jewish refugees from Hitlerism. A political scandal quickly developed in Britain. Most of those wrongly classified and interned were released for war work.

Warren Osmond reviews 'The Dunera Scandal: Deported by mistake' by Cyril Pearl

The Dunera Scandal: Deported by mistake

by Cyril Pearl

Angus and Robertson, $14.95, 233 pp

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.