Booklet titled 'Behind the Fence, Sept 1940 - Sept 1941' it was produced at Tatura Internment Camp by internees. This copy was used and kept by Tatura internee Frank Schlesinger. The booklet is in both English and German and includes commentaries on the situation of war in Europe, short stories, political and protest poetry and satire (including items adapted from Readers Digest), drawings and cartoons, and quizzes.

Frank was born in 1912 in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) to Jewish parents. He was caught up in the events of Kristallnacht in 1938 and was sent to Buchenwald Concentration Camp, he was released and managed to flea to Singapore. In 1940 along with many other German and Austrian Jewish refugees in Singapore and Malay, Frank was interned by British Forces and sent to Tatura Internment Camp in Australia. He was released in 1942 and joined the Army 8th.Employment Company.

Physical Description

72 page manuscript typed on single side on cream coloured paper of varying types. Pages bound with string through two punched holes. Front cover on thin card with hand drawn border, title and illustration in black ink. Illustration signed by A.Figdor.


This manuscript enhances the documentation of a significant part of migration and wartime history in Australia - 'alien' internment. The internment of many Jewish refugees, like Frank, from Nazism at Tatura in Victoria is a significant migration story. This manuscript also demonstrates how internees occupied their time - writing, commentating, cooking, performing, and participating in self-education.

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