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Nazi Dreamtime

Australian Enthusiasts for Hitler’s Germany

David Bird
 

Nazi Dreamtime

The ground-breaking story of extreme-right, ultra-nationalist thought and practice in Australia in the period immediately before and during the Second World War.

Imprint: Anthem Press
Hardback
ISBN 9781783081240
February 2014 | 484 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6 | 16 b+w figures
 
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781783081240

About This Book

‘The work chronicles the infatuation some in Australia had with Germany’s Nazis. This book is, to put it simply, definitive in its topic. Dr Bird’s book is in many respects a warning as well as a riveting piece of history and I welcome it into the ever-expanding corpus of first-rate historical writing.’ —Professor Paul Bartrop, Florida Gulf Coast University, USA

‘The book shows the value of being prepared to depart from the well-trodden path. It should serve as an object lesson in the insidious strength of bad ideas. Bird’s history of the Australia-First movement is not the first but it is the most thorough.’ —‘The Australian’

‘The “Nazi Dreamtime” unleashes an avalanche of fascinating evidence. This book combines prodigious scholarship with the fervour of a moral crusade.’ —‘Sydney Morning Herald’

‘[P]roduces new and valuable knowledge [on] the spread and appropriation of National Socialist discourses around the world’ —Oliver Haag, ‘Australian Studies Journal / Zeitschrift für Australienstudien’

‘[P]roduces new and valuable knowledge [on] the spread and appropriation of National Socialist discourses around the world’ —Oliver Haag, ‘Australian Studies Journal / Zeitschrift für Australienstudien’

‘Nazi Dreamtime’ is the ground-breaking story of extreme-right, ultra-nationalist thought and practice in Australia in the period immediately before and during the Second World War. It focuses on those native-born Australians who were attracted to the ideology of Nazism in Germany from 1933. Their belief was that the achievements and tenets of the Nazi regime were applicable to Australian political and cultural life to some extent. These Nazi enthusiasts and their fellow-travellers differed markedly over the extent of that applicability, but all agreed that Australians ought to learn from and follow the European experiment of the ‘German revolution’. The appeal of Nazism was marked in the immediate post-Depression years amongst those Australians who rejected democracy but were uncomfortable with alternatives on the conservative Right and on the Left. The aggressive foreign policy followed by Berlin in the late-thirties failed to shake the faith of these ideologues and even the duress of war would not dislodge the faith of some in Hitlerism.

This group was charitably described as ‘well-meaning dreamers’ by one renegade amongst them and their ranks included tourists, appeasers, political agitators, propagandists, writers, poets, mystics, aesthetes, academics, soldiers and outright cranks. Some were obscure figures; others enjoyed a high public profile and were well-known. Many thought that aboriginal concepts of dreaming could be merged with a local variant of national-socialism to form a white dreaming – a Nazi Dreamtime under the Southern Cross. Only the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 terminated the prospects of what had turned from dream to nightmare, although the idea lingered.

Author Information

Dr David Bird is an independent historian based in Melbourne.