Monash University Publishing: Advancing knowledge

Dunera Lives

A Visual History

By Ken Inglis, Seumas Spark and Jay Winter with Carol Bunyan

$39.95

‘When scholars of such rigorous and refined erudition engage with a topic of such critical importance it is a cause for celebration, as are the lives themselves, painstakingly recorded so movingly herein. And all of it comes into the world not a moment too soon.’ Elliot Perlman

'Dunera Lives provides a rich visual record of this remarkable group of men as they grappled physically, emotionally and imaginatively with living as newcomers in a strange land, at a time when their world was tearing itself apart. This is social and cultural history at its best - one connecting a place that seemed to these unwilling immigrants as if it might be the very end of the earth with the overwhelming tragedy of twentieth-century European history.' Professor Frank Bongiorno, The Australian National University

‘It's the generous spirit of humanity that makes this book so wonderful. It infuses its content, inspired the idea of it and informs the scholarship that impressively and humbly served that idea, making it a reality.’ Professor Raimond Gaita

‘The Dunera story is one of the great sagas of our history.  This brilliant book brings it - and the Dunera boys - back to life.’ Phillip Adams

In July 1940, around 2000 refugees, most of whom were Jewish and from Germany or Austria, were sent from Britain to Australia on the HMT Dunera. The story of the ‘Dunera boys’ is an intrinsic part of the history of Australia in the Second World War and in its aftermath. The injustice these men suffered in internment camps at Hay, Tatura and Orange is well known. Less familiar is the tale of what happened to them afterwards.

This book tells that story primarily through images. The images, beautiful and powerful, reveal tales of struggle, sadness, transcendence, and creativity, and describe the lives of these men and of the society in which they lived, first as prisoners and then as free men. A contribution to the history of Australia, to the history of migrants and migration, and to the history of human rights, this book helps to tell a story the full dimensions and complexity of which have never been described.  

About the Authors

Ken Inglis (1929–2017) was an Adjunct Professor at Monash University, and Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He was one of Australia’s most admired and warmly regarded historians.

Dr Seumas Spark is a Dean of Arts Research Fellow at Monash University.

Jay Winter is Charles J. Stille Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University,
a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Monash University, and a Visiting Professor at the Australian National University.

Carol Bunyan was born in and raised near Hay, a sixth generation resident of the district. She studied history at the Australian National University in Canberra, where she now lives. A former public servant, her interest in Hay’s history and museums led to her on-going Dunera research.

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