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Der Kamerad : a periodical issued by Germans interned on Torrens Island
Title : Der Kamerad : a periodical issued by Germans interned on Torrens Island Der Kamerad : a periodical issued by Germans interned on Torrens Island
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Source : D 7738(L)
Date of creation : 1915
Format : Magazine
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

A weekly, handwritten and illustrated periodical issued by Germans interned on Torrens Island during World War I. Consists of three items: No.1 (12 June 1915), No.2 (19 June 1915) and No.3 (26 June 1915). Pictured here is No.2 (19 June 1915).


Over 350 'enemy aliens' were interned at the Torrens Island Concentration Camp which opened on 9 October 1914. Internment in Australia was regulated by the War Precautions Act 1914. Internees were mainly of German or Austro-Hungarian background, including some who were naturalised British citizens. Some internees were crew members of enemy nationality who were taken from ships in Australian ports.

In South Australia, a relatively high percentage of migrants were of German background, and so the 'enemy alien' concept had a significant effect. Not all were held as internees in camps; some were required to report to local police on a regular basis.

Torrens Island Internment Camp '... had by far the worst reputation of all internment camps in the Commonwealth' (Fischer, p. 194) with primitive living conditions and harsh ill-treatment of prisoners. The third issue of Der Kamerad reported that captured escapees had been flogged.

After the findings of a court of enquiry into this treatment of internees was submitted, the Defence Department closed the camp on 16 August 1915. The federal government had also decided to close regional camps that had been set up in the early years of the war. Many prisoners, including South Australian internees, were transferred to Holdsworthy camp near Liverpool in New South Wales.

Subjects
Related names :

Torrens Island Internment Camp

Coverage year : 1915
Period : 1914-1918
Further reading :

Fischer, Gerhard. Enemy aliens: internment and the homefront experience in Australia, 1914-1920, St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press, 1989

Holmes, Elisa. 'The attitudes towards South Australians of German descent during World War I', Cabbages and kings: selected essays in history and Australian studies, vol. 22 (1993), pp.3-17

Index to aliens 1914-1918 [microform] / compiled by Helen D. Harris. Forest Hill, Vic.: Harriland Press, 2003

Insights into South Australian history, Adelaide: Historical Society of South Australia, <1992>- v. 2. South Australia's German history and heritage / [edited by] Ian A. Harmstorf. pp. 7-10. 'When Torrens Island was a concentration camp.'

Paech, David O. Persecution, detention and internment of Lutherans (in South Australia) in two world wars: a dark spot in Australia's century of federation, [Klemzig, S. Aust. : David O. Paech], 2001

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