Summary

Letter addressed to Mr W.D.Herr from R.W.Whitford, Commonwealth Commissioner, dated 8 January 1963. The letter is in response to a letter from William Herr presumably requesting recorded information regarding his arrival, internment, name change and arrival and marital details of his wife Edith Herr. The letter outlines that Wilhelm David Herr, born 5 November 1914 in Vienna, arrived in the UK on 14 July 1938; appeared before the Aliens Tribunal on 27 June 1939 and was classified as a Refugee from Nazi Oppression.

He was interned on 1 July 1940 and arrived on the Dunera in Australia on 26 August 1940, although the ship did not dock at Port Melbourne until 3 September 1940 and then in Sydney on 6 September 1940. He changed his name by Deed Poll to William David Herr on 9 February 1945. The letter also records that Edith Herzog was born on 22 November 1922 in Vienna, arrived in Australia on the Renis on 26 September 1939 and married Wilhelm Herr in Melbourne on 16 September 1943.

William (Bill) David Herr was one of the Dunera boys. Born in 1914 in Vienna, he escaped to England in 1938, fleeing Nazi persecution, where he lived for less than 12 months before being arrested as a German alien and classified by the Aliens Tribunal as a 'Refugee from Nazi Oppression.' He was interned and then transported to Australia on the ship Dunera, which docked at Port Melbourne on 3 September 1940 and then in Sydney on 6 September 1940.

Upon arrival, Bill was taken to Hay internment camp where he spent nine months, before he was transferred to Tatura for another nine months. Upon release from Tatura Bill and his other internees worked fruit picking in the local area before enlisting in the Australian forces to serve their newly adopted country in the latter part of the war.

Description of Content

Letter addressed to Mr W.D.Herr from R.W.Whitford, Commonwealth Commissioner. The letter is in response to a letter from William Herr presumably requesting recorded information regarding his arrival, internment, name change and arrival and marital details of his wife Edith Herr. The letter outlines that Wilhelm David Herr, born 5.11.1914 in Vienna, arrived in the UK in 14/7/1938; appeared before the Aliens Tribunal on 27/6/1939 and classified as a Refugee from Nazi Oppression; interned on 1/7/1940 and arrived on the Dunera in Australia on 15/3/1942; changed his name by Deed Poll to William David Herr on 9/2/1945. It also records that Edith Herzog was born on 22/11/1922 in Vienna, arrived in Australia on the Renis on 26/9/1939 and married Wilhelm Herr in Melbourne on 16/9/1943

Physical Description

One page foolscap size letter with 'Commonwealth of Australia' header in blue with typed text.

Significance

Significance:
This material documents a significant part of migration and wartime history in Australia - the transportation of Jewish refugees on the 'Dunera,' and alien internment. The dramatic story of the Dunera boys is particularly evocative and well-known, and the internment of many at Tatura in Victoria as well as Hay in New South Wales improves our representation of this Victorian internment camp. The Memorandum in particular provides a fascinating and important testimony of the harsh treatment endured by the internees prior to and during their voyage to Australia.

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