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flamethrowerguy
05-30-2009, 09:27 AM
This topic was parenthetically mentioned in an early 2006 thread but anyway:


Warriors against the own fatherland: About 10000 Germans fought in World War II on British side - mostly racially or politically persecuted saving themselves from Hitler by going to the UK. They were known as "The King’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens"
How does it feel to kill your fellow countrymen? Not a problem to Klaus Hugo Adam. No phantom pain, no gaping wound in the soull, nothing. By sitting in his plane he didn't notice the death he brought anyway, the former pilot remembers succinctly. Adam later became a set designer arranging seven James Bond movies and is today known as Sir Ken Adam, Knight Bachelor and awarded the Order of the British Empire. "Even if I had to fight on the ground, eye to eye with the Germans, I would have still done it. We had to win this war and get rid of Hitler and the Nazis."
Until now Klaus Hugo Adam is the only known German who fought as a fighter pilot in the British Royal Air Force in WW2. But he was just one among 10000 Germans and Austrians who fought at Great Britain's side against the Wehrmacht between 1939 and 1945 - on an explicitly voluntary basis, tied to the British Army only by the vow of fidelity to King George VI. "The King’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens" has been their ironic nickname until today. British historian Helen Fry researched their turbulent story for her book Helen Fry: "The King’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens. Germans who fought for Britain in the Second World War", Sutton Publishing, London 2007 - ftg).
They were England's enemies by nationality, about 75000 Jewish refugees who swarmed from Germany to England after 1933: socialists, intellectuals, communists and artists classified as degenerated and persecuted by the Third Reich, all of them born and raised in Germany or Austria. Among them author Arthus Koestler, artist Johannes Koelz and Martin Freud, the oldest son of Siegmund Freud.
Many of them had fathers who fought between 1914 and 1918 for the Emperor against the British, an example would be Willy Hirschfeld. For this son of a gentlemen's outfitter and WW1 veteran from Bonn the world fell apart the morning after the "Reichskristallnacht" on November 10, 1938.The Gestapo arrested the 18-year-old at his workplace and put him in solitary confinement in Cologne - without telling him why. For 5 days the Nazis pounded him together with other Jews in a cattle's stock car, the concentration camp at Dachau as the terminal stop. A three-month nightmare was about to begin. Willy Hirschfeld became "Number 28411".
Stock-still he had to stand together with other deportees on the camp’s yard for hours, occasionaly soused with ice cold water. “I saw older people voluntarily run into the electric fence, just to be finally allowed to die”, he remembers. But Number 28411 survived thanks to his former employer who had emigrated to England and made the release possible. In May 1939 Hirschfeld followed his saviour to the UK.
Hirschfeld was not welcomed with open arms by the British though, eventually he owned the nationality of the hated enemy. Being a Jew didn’t make him less suspicious. “Off with the hostile foreigners” was the rallying cry in the UK since the outbreak of the war. In 1940 Hirschfeld was shipped to Australia. Onboard the troop carrier “Dunera” 2500 German and Austrian Jews were shipped to “Down Under”, conditions on board were disastrous. “I survived the KZ Dachau just to make another abhorrent experience. Where was my freedom? England saved my life but what happened on the “Dunera” was a huge injustice”, Hirschfeld remembers.
But still loyality to England prevailed. Hirschfeld volunteered for the British Army and escaped internment in the Australian Outback. Back in England he signed on to the unarmed engineers’ corps – the only possibility for Non-Brits to be involved in the war against Hitler.
But soon he was fed up digging trenches, laying railtracks, peeling potaoes and scrubbing floors. Willy Hirschfeld wanted to be a part in the war against Hitler’s Reich in the frontline. “I could have stayed in Australia or in the engineers’ corps where life would have been easy”, he says today, “but I didn’t do that. I wanted to fight the Germans, it was my duty to do so.” If it wasn’t for the British he would’ve been killed, just like his parents, his brother, his uncle, his aunt.
In August of 1943 Hirschfeld finally got the chance he was waiting for: to fight against his fellow Germans. Since 1942 the British also allowed “enemy aliens” to the armed forces. so the 23-year old spontaneously abandoned his German name and called himself “Willy Field”. As a tank driver in C-Squadron of 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars he went to war – through Normandy to Holland and finally into Germany, his old homeland. In May 1945 tank driver Field touched German soil for the first time again in six years.
Filled with pride Hirschfeld -alias Field- drove his tank along Winston Churchill when he was inspecting the victory parade on Berlin’s Charlottenburger Chausee on July 21, 1945. For Field it is a personal triumph. The triumph of a German Jew over the Jew haters among his fellow countrymen. Willy Hirschfeld won, Adolf Hitler lost.
This satisfaction helps him a bit handling the mourning. Only his twin sister survived the Holocaust – serving in the British Army like him, with the "Auxiliary Territorial Service". About 10000 German and Austrian women signed on during the war as cooks, charladies, office workers, translators and singers. Voluntary just like the males, rsther tolerated than liked. Unloved but irreplaceable.
Their knowledge of German places and language made the voluntary Germans an essential support of the allied war effort.
The same thing applied accordingly as well during and after the war: Germans were needed, to hunt down immersed war criminals, to build a democratic administration, an independant judiciary and pluralistic media. Also because of the “enemy aliens” the British were well equipped for that task – the more so as many of the German and Austrian fugitives belonged to the intelligentsia.
But still there were things they weren’t prepared for. Garry Rogers, born 1923 as Gunter Baumgart in Breslau/Silesia, was with the British troops who liberated the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1945. “The concentration camp opened our eyes to the real horror Hitler and his myrmidons committed”, he remembers. Herbert Landsberg, a Jew of German origin and comrade of Rogers, was equally shocked: “We didn’t believe our eyes when we saw the survivors. Living skeletons, systematically starved by the SS.”
“Belsen wore down every soldier who had been there”, emphasises Rolf Hirtz, who became Rolf Holden in England, also a German in British service. “To trial these criminals became a major objective”, he adds.
The unit of Herbert Landsberg searched the camp for the medical scientist who performed surgery on inmates without anaesthesia- just to test how much pain the human organism can endure. They found him – and Landsberg recognized the same doctor he consulted to heal a nephritis back in 1931 in the town of Leipzig. “Get out, you lousy Jewish rascal, your only illness is being Jewish!”, he shouted back then. Landsberg recalls with shudder: “Now he stood in front of me, wanted for war crimes of unbelievable extent.”
Without the Germans in British uniforms many war criminals would have never been caught – one more reason for many of the defeated to cut dead the “defectors”. After stigmatization by the Nazis followed by the initial sceptical acceptance in England for the third time now they had been strangers in their own country. “What did the Germans think and say about us?”, Ernst Guttmann wonders, who became Ernest Goodman, and he gives the answer himself: “Some of them had the opinion we had considered high treason.” It doesn’t bother him, just like his former German and Austrian comrades in British uniforms. “We just did of what we believed we had to do. We tried to save the human race and give history another chance.”

Translated from http://einestages.spiegel.de/static/topicalbumbackground/785/treue_feinde.html

Further info on Sir Ken Adam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Adam

Rising Sun*
05-30-2009, 09:57 AM
For 5 days the Nazis pounded him together with other Jews in a cattle's stock car, the concentration camp at Dachau as the terminal stop. A three-month nightmare was about to begin. Willy Hirschfeld became "Number 28411".
Stock-still he had to stand together with other deportees on the camp’s yard for hours, occasionaly soused with ice cold water. “I saw older people voluntarily run into the electric fence, just to be finally allowed to die”, he remembers.

Without wishing to deprecate the experience of those who suffered at any time, I have difficulty with such recollections when they are presented as equivalent to the well known later abuses as if the subject experienced the same abuse. Dachau in 1938, however bad it might have been, was considerably better than a few years later. Not that I'd want to have experienced it at any time.


In 1940 Hirschfeld was shipped to Australia. Onboard the troop carrier “Dunera” 2500 German and Austrian Jews were shipped to “Down Under”, conditions on board were disastrous. “I survived the KZ Dachau just to make another abhorrent experience. Where was my freedom? England saved my life but what happened on the “Dunera” was a huge injustice”,

On that, he is correct.

Google “The Dunera Boys" for details.

flamethrowerguy
05-30-2009, 05:00 PM
Without wishing to deprecate the experience of those who suffered at any time, I have difficulty with such recollections when they are presented as equivalent to the well known later abuses as if the subject experienced the same abuse. Dachau in 1938, however bad it might have been, was considerably better than a few years later. Not that I'd want to have experienced it at any time.

Even Guillaume Favre, a French member of the international commission of the Red Cross, wrote after his Dachau inspection (August 1938) in a letter to Himmler: "I hereby like to point out that everything I got to see and hear concerning substantial and hygienic facilities, living conditions as well as the general treatment, feeding and labour of the prisoners, left a very favourable impression."
Contemporary photos however are of quite a different nature:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Bundesarchiv_Bild_152-27-04A%2C_KZ_Dachau%2C_H%C3%A4ftlinge_bei_Zwangsarbei t.jpg
KZ Dachau, June 28, 1938
http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/archives/barchpic/search/_1235674917/?search[view]=detail&search[focus]=1


On that, he is correct.

Google “The Dunera Boys" for details.

I did not know that this incident is that well-known.

Rising Sun*
05-30-2009, 06:34 PM
I did not know that this incident is that well-known.

It is in Australia, at least among reasonably well-informed people, and certainly in Hay where the main body of the Dunera group was imprisoned and where there is a small museum about it. It became more widely known a generation ago with a TV film about it http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/14964/The-Dunera-Boys/overview

We got a collection of extraordinarily talented people in a range of artistic, scientific, and business areas, many of whom went on to great things after the war as about 800 of the original 2,000 stayed here, partly because they had nowhere else to go. Someone once said that the camp at Hay contained the greatest intellectual concentration ever in Australia.

Although they were treated very badly by some British guards on the sea voyage to Australia, they were treated rather better once they got here. The problem was that the British and in turn the Australian authorities failed to grasp that these people, while technically enemy aliens, weren't our enemies but were as opposed to the Nazis as we were.

flamethrowerguy
05-31-2009, 05:42 AM
Someone once said that the camp at Hay contained the greatest intellectual concentration ever in Australia.

This someone wasn't coincidentally from New Zealand, was he?;)

Anyway, some pics:

Klaus Hugo Adam (Sir Ken Adam), ca. 1942:
http://einestages.spiegel.de/hund-images/2007/11/16/60/be410786efe6f04d7f8ae293c2e6b577_image_document_la rge_featured_borderless.jpg
http://einestages.spiegel.de/static/entry/treue_feinde/3818/im_dienste_seiner_majestaet.html?o=position-ASCENDING&s=0&r=24&a=785&c=1

Willy Hirschfeld (Willy Field), ca. 1942:
http://einestages.spiegel.de/hund-images/2007/11/16/64/06a578751fca557e4e4d50eb0decf51d_image_document_la rge_featured_borderless.jpg
http://einestages.spiegel.de/static/entry/treue_feinde/3819/aus_dachau_in_die_army.html?o=position-ASCENDING&s=0&r=24&a=785&of=2&c=1

Rising Sun*
05-31-2009, 07:24 AM
This someone wasn't coincidentally from New Zealand, was he?;)

Nah. Their idea of an intellectual is a rugby player with most of his teeth still in his mouth. :D

There were some real intellectuals and other high achievers on the Dunera.


Among the Dunera boys, as they became known, were composer Felix Werder, actor Max Bruch, political scientists Henry Mayer and Hugo Wolf, athletics trainer Franz Stampfl, anthropologist Leonhard Adam, artist Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mac, who'd taught at the Bauhaus, economist Fred Greun, art historian Franz Philipp, film-maker Kurt Sternburg, physicist Hans Kronenburger, judge Stephen Strauss and mathematician Felix Behrend. http://www.pariahnt.org/pages/refugees.e.htm

It's interesting that the Brits apparently have embargoed the papers on Dunera for a century, where just about everything else from WWII has long since been released.



Britons finally learn the dark Dunera secret

Kate Connolly
May 19, 2006


THEIR story is well known to Australians, but Britons are only now learning of the horror experienced by Jewish and anti-Nazi outcasts shipped to Australia by the British Government during the war.

The dark side of Britain's fight against Nazi Germany is under embargo until 2040, under Britain's Official Secrets Act, but has been given an airing in the film Friendly Enemy Alien, which premiered this week in Berlin.

The men, mainly scientists, academics and artists who had fled to Britain from Nazi Austria and Germany at the outbreak of the war, were considered a security threat after the fall of France. Under the orders of Winston Churchill, they were sent from Liverpool on the military transport ship Dunera in July 1940. Their arrival in Australia - after a 57-day journey in appalling conditions - was seen as the greatest injection of talent to enter Australia on a single vessel.

They were taken to detention camps at Tatura in Victoria and Hay in NSW, where they set up an impromptu university to pass the time.

Among the passengers were Franz Stampfl, the athletics coach to the four-minute-mile runner Roger Bannister, Wolf Klaphake, the inventor of synthetic camphor, and the photographer Henry Talbot.

John Burgan, 44, the director of Friendly Enemy Alien, said he made the film to illustrate that while refugees are often seen as a burden, they contribute a lot to the countries in which they settle.

"Refugees are invariably unwanted and unloved when they arrive, but being at the bottom of the heap they knuckle down and make the best of the chance they've been given, to become an asset to their adopted country," Burgan said. "Nowhere is that better illustrated than with the story of the Dunera boys, many of whom had lost everything in the Holocaust."

When the overcrowded Dunera set sail, its 2500 internees were told they were bound for Canada. Watched over by 309 poorly trained British soldiers, the men endured horrendous conditions. They were stripped of their possessions, including documents and false teeth, many of which were thrown overboard. They were beaten and insulted as "Jewish swine" and had to sleep below deck on floors awash with human waste, with portholes battened shut.

"There was so little air that to get the job of peeling potatoes on deck was seen as a life-saver," said Walter Kaufmann, 82, a Jewish refugee now living in Berlin whose book Touching Time details the Dunera experience. Klaus Wilcynski, 86, author of The Prison Ship, recalled being told to walk on deck in bare feet. "Soldiers had smashed beer bottles so people cut their feet."

The first Australian on board when the Dunera docked in Sydney, medical army officer Alan Frost, was appalled. His report led to the court martial of the officer-in-charge, Lieutenant-Colonel William Scott.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour, the men were reclassified as "friendly aliens", and hundreds were recruited into the Australian Army. After the war most stayed in Australia. A handful returned to Britain and several to East Germany. http://www.smh.com.au/news/film/britons-finally-learn-the-dark-dunera-secret/2006/05/18/1147545457055.html

Rising Sun*
05-31-2009, 07:24 AM
A more personal account of a Dunera boy.


"GOOD YOMTOV"
By Geraldine Jones

6th September, 1996

A member of my extended "meshpochah" (family), Henry Lippmann, who was "adopted" by my husband's late uncle, John Lewinnek, came to Australia aboard the HMT (Hired Military Transport) DUNERA which left Liverpool, England on the 10th July, 1940, and arrived at Darling Harbour, Sydney, on the 6th September, 1940.
He was one of 2,542 men aged between 18 and 45 from Germany and Austria, who had been loaded onto a ship with a maximum capacity of 1600 including crew, who were destined for internment here. Ironically 80% of these men were Jewish, not "enemy" aliens but mainly refugees from Nazi Germany.

The story of the injustice of this transportation and the collusion between the British and Australian Governments in keeping the error a secret is documented and books, as well as a TV mini series, have been written on the subject. Dunera memorabilia is held at the Australian Jewish Museum, Melbourne, the NSW State Library, the University of NSW, and in the Achives of Australian Judaica at Sydney University. Dunera men also feature in the NAJEX (National Association of Australian Jewish Ex-Servicemen) memorabilia at The Sydney Jewish Museum's Jewish and in their book: The Australian Jewry's Book of Honour.

A couple of years ago a plaque depicting the Dunera was placed on a wall of the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, Sydney. This is an acknowledgement of the contribution which the Dunera fellows have made to the multicultural fabric of Australian society. The Ben Lexcen Walk has thus become the annual meeting place of those who wish to commemorate how this event shaped their lives.

In organising the 56th anniversary reunion, which was attended by representatives of many organisations including the Dept. of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, the NSW Association of Jewish Ex-service Men and Women, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and W.A.A.F., and hosted by Mr Max Dingle, A/g Director of the Maritime Museum, Henry is still searching for missing brothers and is keeping their memory alive.

Looking back on this unique band of refugees, historian Professor Konrad Kwiet said that it was fortunate for those on the Dunera who escaped the Holocaust to find themselves in a democratic society. "It is also Australia's good fortune to have gained some wonderful citizens who speak out on behalf of refugees and injustice." Ms Margaret Piper, Executive Director of the Refugee Council of Australia, stressed that the continued turmoil and intolerance worldwide is reason to ensure that Australia will continue to be generous to those who are yet to come. Professor Peter Herbst, speaking from first-hand experience of what the Dunera people meant to each other, emphasized the positive aspects of forming their own camp government and his broadened cultural experience. Son of a Dunera fellow, Professor Stephen Castles who directs the Centre for Multicultural Studies at the University of Wollongong, said how his father had taught him that Australia should be open to refugees and learn from the Dunera experience. He urged us to be on our guard against those who decry immigration. Rabbi Cohen of The Sydney Jewish Museum added that we need to combat intolerance, a major source of tragedy.

Many of these victims of intolerance who travelled with Henry on the Dunera are now dead, but others may yet be found. On the ship, in the camps and in the army, they were part of a fellowship which helped to alleviate the separation from family and physical hardships.

As a young, healthy man Henry coped well with the rigours of his journey from Germany and a year's internment in Hay (NSW) where they were divided into two separate camps each housing 1000 men. The camps were run democratically and administration was handled by the internees themselves, even to the extent of providing kosher facilities to the orthodox.

Henry and his fellow internees were then moved to Tatura, Victoria, where life was much the same except that it was not so intolerably hot. Six months later the politicians had worked out that these able-bodied men could be more useful to the war effort as soldiers than as prisoners, and they were invited to join the British army.

Henry waited his turn but since this neccessitated returning to England and there was a shortage of shipping they could only go in groups of around 30. One such group, on their way to join the British Pioneer Corps, was torpedoed and they were killed. So, in view of the shortage of shipping and the obvious danger, a special Australian army unit was formed to absorb the Dunera men plus a small group of German refugees who had been deported to Australia from Singapore aboard the Queen Mary. Thus Henry joined the 8th Australian Employment Company which, with roughly 500 refugee soldiers (80% of whom were Jewish), probably had the largest number of Jews in any single army unit in the world. Henry began to feel accepted as an Australian.

Henry and his young friends enjoyed their comparative freedom. They were proud to be seen in Australian army gear and were filled with a spirit of adventure as they took their leave from the barracks in Albury to visit Sydney's famous Kings Cross. It was here that Henry and his friend noticed a couple who looked like German Jews and spontaneously greeted them by saying "Good Yomtov". The couple responded and finding out that these young men were from Berlin recommended them to the Kanimbla Restaurant run by Mr Rosenstein and serving European style food. They were also told to introduce themselves to Mr John Lewinnek who ate there regularly as he would surely like to say hello to them.

They went to the Kanimbla as suggested and they met Mr Rosenstein and John Lewinnek who chatted with them. When they finished their meal and were ready to pay Mr Rosenstein told them that John, who had left already, had paid for them. Henry was astonished. This complete stranger had shown them hospitality and welcomed them to his city. It had a huge emotional impact on Henry, it was as though he had found an uncle.

Henry sent John a "thank you" note and then New Year's greetings. After the war John offered Henry a job in his company. Henry was delighted and keen to please, so when John asked him to come with him to spend an evening helping Jewish Welfare to prepare food parcels he could not refuse. Henry learned from John's example that he, too, had a responsibility to help others and share his good fortune in being an Australian.

When Henry said "Good Yomtov" to his fellow Berliners it wasn't really Yomtov but a way of making a connection with his Jewishness. He was proud to wear an Australian uniform, he became proud to be a Jew. http://www.join.org.au/letters/dunera.htm

Rising Sun*
05-31-2009, 08:22 AM
Do we smell a cover up, beyond the apparent 100 year closing of the Dunera record?

Why are some or all British court martial proceedings apparently kept secret for 75 years when almost every other criminal court can be reported?

Extract from the British House of Lords record.


"DUNERA": COURT OF INQUIRY

HL Deb 17 January 1979 vol 397 cc1153-4WA 1153WA
§ Lord AVEBURY asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether a court of inquiry was held to look into allegations concerning the treatment of 2,400 refugees who were sent to Australia in the "Dunera", as stated in the Commons Official Report of 25th February, 1941, col. 483; who were the members of the court; who now has custody of any documents relating to its proceedings; whether those documents are public records, and if so, whether any order has been made concerning them under Section 5(1) of the Public Records Act 1958 and what is the number and date of any such order.

1154WA
§ Lord STRABOLGI No record of any court of inquiry into events on board the troopship "Dunera" in 1940 has survived. However, the outcome of a court martial concerning the "Dunera" held at Chelsea Barracks, London, on 26th and 27th May, 1941, is known, although the full report of the proceedings has been destroyed. The record of the findings of the court is held by the PRO for the Judge Advocate General but is at present closed to the public in accordance with the 75 years' bar on publication of court martial proceedings.

From cols. 33 and 34 of the Commons Official Report, 24th February, 1942, it is clear that a court of inquiry was held. No details are given about its composition, though it is recorded that only one internee was available to give evidence to it. This is the only available evidence relating to the holding of the inquiry, and it must be assumed that the full record of the proceedings was subsequently destroyed in accordance with the rules about disposal of public records applicable at the time. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1979/jan/17/dunera-court-of-inquiry

Rising Sun*
05-31-2009, 08:27 AM
STEAMSHIP "DUNERA" (COURT OF INQUIRY).HC Deb 13 May 1941 vol 371 c1088W 1088W

§ Mr. Wedgwood asked the Secretary of State for War what action has been taken as the result of the "Dunera" inquiry?

§ Captain Margesson As a result of the report of the court of inquiry into the conduct of military personnel on board the "Dunera" orders have now been issued for the trial by court-martial of the commanding officer, a regimental serjeant major and a serjeant. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1941/may/13/steamship-dunera-court-of-inquiry

Rising Sun*
05-31-2009, 08:39 AM
"DUNERA" INQUIRY.

HC Deb 18 February 1941 vol 369 cc11-2 11
§ 19.

Mr. Wedgwood asked the Secretary of State for War, with reference to the "Dunera" court of inquiry, whether, in view of the interest taken in the matter, not only in this country, but in Australia,' he will see that this court is held in public and that evidence be taken and the injured parties represented?

§ Captain Margesson As my right hon. Friend is aware, preliminary investigations are in progress. But the last party of the officers and men concerned did not return to this country until last Sunday, and, as there is a considerable number to be examined, it will be some days before the investigations are completed. As soon as that has been done, the Court of Inquiry will be set up. It will take evidence, but it will not be held in public.

§ Mr. Wedgwood Before the terms of reference and the composition of the court of inquiry are fixed, will this House have an opportunity of discussing the matter, in order that the country at large may feel satisfied about it?

§ Captain Margesson I do not really think that that is necessary. The question would imply that the War Office, and myself in particular, have something to hide in this matter. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman and the House that that is not so. I am most anxious to get at the root of this matter and to find out what has been happening, and the first thing to do is to have a court of inquiry set up to investigate. I have given the assurance that that will be done, and the 12 terms of reference will be sufficiently wide to ensure that the full facts can be brought out.

§ Mr. Wedgwood What I want to be clear about is that the court will be able to deal with the reparation of the victim as well as the punishment of the guilty. The reparation of the victim is really almost more important.

§ Captain Margesson I think we must deal with first things first. The first thing is to get at the facts, and that, I have given an assurance to the House, I am going to do. I have told the House that the last batch of these people arrived in this country only on Sunday. Investigations have already started, and the very moment they are complete I will set up a court of inquiry.

§ Mr. Edmund Harvey Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman communicate the decision of the court to the House?

§ Captain Margesson Most certainly the House will be informed.

§ Mr. Wedgwood Will the House be able to debate the court of inquiry?

§ Mr. Speaker rose —

§ Mr. Wedgwood I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1941/feb/18/dunera-inquiry

Rising Sun*
05-31-2009, 08:41 AM
S.S. "DUNERA" (INQUIRY).

HC Deb 20 February 1941 vol 369 c296 296
§ 75.

Mr. Edmund Harvey asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has received information as to the hardship caused to internees sent to Australia on the s.s. "Dunera" through their having had their money taken from them before their arrival in Australia; and whether, pending the inquiry which has been promised, any arrangement has been made to provide these internees with a minimum allowance of pocket money?

§ Mr. Law I am aware of the representations that have been made on this subject, and, as my right hon. Friend has already promised, ever endeavour will be made to ascertain the facts. As regards the remittance of money to internees in Australia, I would refer by hon. Friend to the answer given to my right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood) on Tuesday last, of which I am sending him a copy.

§ Miss Rathbone Is the hon. Gentleman aware that for six months some of these internees in Australia have been penniless and have had no money to spend on cigarettes or anything else because it was taken from them either on board the "Dunera" or before they left?

§ Mr. Law That is the allegation, but we must await the result of the Court of Inquiry to see whether or not it is well founded.

§ Mr. Benjamin Smith Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that those interned in foreign countries are in a worse position than those in Australia?

§ Mr. Wedgwood Will the hon. Member remember that it is the British Empire we are talking about, and not foreign countries? May I ask the Financial Secretary whether he can give us any idea when this Court of Inquiry will be held and whether it will include the "Ettrick"?

§ Mr. Law My right hon. Friend has already indicated that the Court of Inquiry is to be set up as soon as the preliminary inquiry is complete. As to whether it will include the "Ettrick" or not, perhaps my right hon. Friend would put that Question on the Paper http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1941/feb/20/ss-dunera-inquiry

Rising Sun*
05-31-2009, 08:54 AM
We may question whether there was a cover up, and fairly obviously there was during the war and apparently after in Britain (perhaps partly because it would have been doubly embarrassing for the heroic Captain O'Neill VC and troops under his direct command to be implicated in the abuse of the powerless prisoners on the Dunera) , but at least the questions could be asked during and after the war.

Not that any of that seems to have thrown much light on what really happened on the Dunera and, to the extent that it did, it seems to have been hidden from public sight under destroyed and or embargoed government records.

Not much better than, say, Japan when it doesn't want to face up to what it did during WWII, except Japan never claimed to be the fount of open and democratic government and fighting the war to defend those values as Britain did.

bootneck
06-08-2009, 01:45 AM
Sad as the account of the voyage is , it got to be remembered that Britain, was at war, shipping and troops were in short supply, it was bad enough for the sailors on the convoys and whilst not stupid not many people had the same education of today and had different views of the world. It saddens me that we judge on the morals of today when we live in a completely different world, which in a lot of cases was brought about by the very people that we now condemn.

flamethrowerguy
06-08-2009, 04:19 AM
Sad as the account of the voyage is , it got to be remembered that Britain, was at war, shipping and troops were in short supply, it was bad enough for the sailors on the convoys and whilst not stupid not many people had the same education of today and had different views of the world. It saddens me that we judge on the morals of today when we live in a completely different world, which in a lot of cases was brought about by the very people that we now condemn.

I basically agree on that. However you should keep in mind that the conditions of the tranport and the behaviour of the crew were condemned back then as well.

Lilly Von Blitz
07-29-2009, 01:08 AM
Would not these german citezens be class as germans? This would make these german/briton soldiers "the German free corps" On the same lines as the version the german free corps?
I meant to say On the same lines as the "british free corps" sorry for the confussion.

flamethrowerguy
07-29-2009, 04:13 AM
Would not these german citezens be class as germans? This would make these german/briton soldiers "the German free corps" On the same lines as the version the german free corps?
I meant to say On the same lines as the "british free corps" sorry for the confussion.

Errr, I can not help myself but somehow this kind of logic sounds familiar.

Nickdfresh
07-29-2009, 05:53 AM
Would not these german citezens be class as germans? This would make these german/briton soldiers "the German free corps" On the same lines as the version the german free corps?
I meant to say On the same lines as the "british free corps" sorry for the confussion.

You think so? What an interesting point as I have never thought of it as that before...

I believe the closet thing the Allies had to a "Freikorp" would have been some French Foreign Legion units and SAS that were mostly made up of Germanic or Austrian Jews...

pdf27
07-29-2009, 09:30 AM
This would be the whole reason the Germans serving with the British were given new IDs before joining frontline units - if captured, should the Germans find out their true identity then their life expectancy would be measured in days (it being high treason and whatnot). The same sort of thing happend postwar to some members of the Britisches Frei Korps (John Amery being hanged in 1945 for membership of it, and others receiving long prison sentances - although the majority were not punished for the very good reason that they were working for British Military Intelligence and joined it on orders!).

Rising Sun*
07-30-2009, 07:23 AM
Errr, I can not help myself but somehow this kind of logic sounds familiar.

What's up, pussy cat? ;) :D

redcoat
07-31-2009, 04:32 PM
. The same sort of thing happend postwar to some members of the Britisches Frei Korps (John Amery being hanged in 1945 for membership of it, and others receiving long prison sentances !).
Oddly enough, while John Amery helped the move to set up the Britisches Frei Korps he never became a member of the unit, remaining a civilian.

navyson
08-01-2009, 09:33 PM
What's up, pussy cat? ;) :D

Errr, I can not help myself but somehow this kind of logic sounds familiar.

"It's elementary, my dear Watson." (?);)

R Mark Davies
10-17-2009, 02:15 PM
An excellent account of what it was like to be an 'Enemy Alien' and then to fight for Britain is to be found in 'Arnhem Lift' by Louis Hagen. Hagen, who escaped to the UK as a teenage German Jew, was interned and shipped to the Isle of Man. He was eventually allowed to volunteer for the Pioneer Corps, but restrictions were soon lifted further and he volunteered for the Glider Pilot Regiment.

A couple of interesting military units are:

'X' Troop of No.10 (Inter-Allied) Army Commando, which was made up of Germans and Austrians.

22 Independent Company, The Parachute Regiment, which was the Pathfinder element of 6th Airborne Division and was predominantly manned by German and Austrian Jews. There are a number of these men in Ranville CWGC Cemetery, Normandy, with inscriptions on their graves such as 'Albrecht Meyer (served as Albert May)'.

I think it says a great deal about thew character and determination of men who, having initially been classed as Enemy Aliens, volunteered for the most dangerous assignments as soon as they were permitted to.

kiwimac
12-21-2010, 09:36 PM
Nah. Their idea of an intellectual is a rugby player with most of his teeth still in his mouth.

What, you mean as opposed to Soccer players with actual testosterone?

flamethrowerguy
10-08-2012, 02:30 AM
A Marc Stevens just posted this interesting bit on the photo site:


It is now known that Sir Ken Adam was not the only German-Jewish pilot in the RAF.

Georg Franz HEIN (born Feb 15 1919 in Hannover) was sent to London by his widowed mother in early 1934 (aged 14). On Sept 1-2, 1939, HEIN committed identity theft, appropriating the name of a dead London schoolmate, Peter STEVENS, and he enlisted in the RAF under that name on Sept 3/39.

He was trained as a bomber pilot, and was posted to 144 Squadron, flying Hampdens, on April 1/41. He flew 22 combat operations before his Hampden was badly damaged by flak over Berlin on Sept 7/8, 1941, and he crash-landed, out of fuel, near Amsterdam. He destroyed the secret bits of the plane and set fire to the wreckage before setting off to find help from the Dutch Resistance. Unfortunately, he was arrested by German soldiers before he could get to the Resistance.

As a POW for 3 years and 8 months, he was without any protection under the Geneva Convention. The consequences of the discovery of his true identity would have certainly been unpleasantly fatal. He went on to become one of the most ardent escapers of the war, and was awarded the Military Cross in May 1946, just after he was naturalized as a British citizen.

His full story is told in my book, 'Escape, Evasion and Revenge: The True Story of a German-Jewish RAF Pilot Who Bombed Berlin and Became a POW' (Pen and Sword, 2009). He died in 1979, and it took me 18 years to research and discover his full story. I'm very proud to say that he was my father, and neither I nor my mother had any idea that he was born Jewish.

leccy
10-08-2012, 04:41 AM
Just seen that, quite interesting bit of information.

Cuts
12-01-2012, 12:25 PM
You think so? What an interesting point as I have never thought of it as that before...

I believe the closet thing the Allies had to a "Freikorp" would have been some French Foreign Legion units and SAS that were mostly made up of Germanic or Austrian Jews...

Do you have any more gen on this please ?

pdf27
12-02-2012, 12:53 AM
Do you have any more gen on this please ?I **think** that's relating to a badly cocked-up joint operation with the Special Interrogation Group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Interrogation_Group) in June 1942. Rough version (can't find the right book) is that they had a bunch of German-speaking Jewish soldiers pretending to be Germans to bluff their way through airfield defences so the SAS could start blowing the place up, and were betrayed by a real German they had along as a double (actually treble) agent to help them. The SAS mostly shot their way out, but the SIG lot were mostly captured and presumably executed.

Nickdfresh
12-02-2012, 09:30 AM
The SIG was one unit, mostly of Jews recruited in the Middle East of Germanic cultural origins. There were others but it seems many of the files have still not been declassified. Another organization was a still very secretive inter-Allied Commando unit. From the link below:


One of the best kept secrets of World War II, however, has been the nature of the existence of No. 3 (Miscellaneous or "X" Troop) of the unique No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando/Special Services Brigade. The reason? They were virtually all German speaking Jewish refugees mainly from Germany and Austria (but also some from Czechoslovakia, Hungary and other European countries).

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/ww2/sugar13.html

royal744
08-18-2013, 03:30 PM
Didn't the British recruit a 100% Jewish Brigade in Palestine during WW2?

leccy
08-19-2013, 06:08 AM
Didn't the British recruit a 100% Jewish Brigade in Palestine during WW2?

There was at least one weak infantry Bde raised and it fought in Italy, Britain was reluctant to arm and train Jews due to problems in Palestine and looking at the post war world. Individual jews could join the British army though and fight in the regular units - it was a formed trained body that was not trusted too well.

leccy
08-19-2013, 06:17 AM
Didn't the British recruit a 100% Jewish Brigade in Palestine during WW2?

There was at least one weak infantry Bde raised and it fought in Italy, Britain was reluctant to arm and train Jews due to problems in Palestine and looking at the post war world. Individual jews could join the British army though and fight in the regular units - it was a formed trained body that was not trusted too well.

http://www.newwestend.org.uk/magP02/Rothschild.htm

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/brigade.html