The paintings of Klaus Friedeberger, who has died aged 97, were forged in the dry heat of central Australia during the second world war and fostered in 1950s London, where he began a lifelong inquiry into abstract painting.
Miriam Gould tells the story of her parents, Werner and Ilse Baer.
‘I didn’t really know that many of the people that I had met or had connections with were Dunera boys’, Phillip begins. ‘It only really emerged later.’
Hans Lorraine was not an internment artist. He started painting in the 1950s, creating a visual chronicle of peacetime Australian life. But he was a Dunera artist.
Klaus Friedeberger (1922-2019) was among the most talented, dynamic and thoughtful of Dunera artists. He was unusual among Dunera artists, and European artists generally, in seeing the mysteries and beauty of the Australian landscape.
In May, 2019, two of our team travelled to Canberra to interview Bern Brent – in his words, ‘one of the last Dunera boys still vertical’.
'Am I a writer because this is the sort of thing spilling from the family closet? Or just ‘fortunate’ to be the recipient of others’ painful history?' asks Belinda Castles in an article in the Southerly Journal.
Georg Chodziesner's record of the voyage of the Dunera, told coolly and dispassionately, is probably the most important and comprehensive account available to historians.
Aboard the first Kindertransport to depart Germany for Britain, Peter Danby (formerly Danziger) could not have known the unlikely journey ahead.
While some of the men who came to Australia on the Dunera chose later to speak about their experiences both before the war and on the ship itself – whether to the press, public, or simply to families and friends – there were many who remained silent.
Before he was a world famous fashion photographer, Helmut Newton was interned at Tatura as a German-Jewish refugee.
‘At the time of his death, he was perhaps my closest friend,’ recalls Justin Zobel, sitting at the circular table in his brightly lit office at the University of Melbourne. It's an unexpected way to speak of one's stepfather.
Erwin Fabian died in Melbourne on 19 January 2020, aged 104. Erwin, one of Australia's pre-eminent artists, came to Australia on the Dunera, though he rarely said so. The Dunera boy label was not for him.