Nazi Dreamtime: Australian Enthusiasts for Hitler's Germany

Nazi Dreamtime: Australian Enthusiasts for Hitler's Germany

by David Bird


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'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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781783081240
Publisher: Anthem Press
Publication date: 11/15/2013
Series: The Anthem-ASP Australasia Publishing Programme
Pages: 484
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Dr David Bird is an independent historian based in Melbourne.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Sincerity of Fanaticism x

Part 1 A kind of peace, 1933-39

1 The Prelude-'Conducting Fascism' 3

Early imitations

Old Guard and New

'Who is Hitler?'

Campbell's pilgrimage

Communism or Fascism

furthering Fascism.

2 'Germany Welcomes You' - Tourists, Travellers and other Guests 21

Innocents abroad

the not so innocent

official guests and Nazi games

irresponsible fellows.

3 Astonishing the Burghers-'Inky' and the Publicist 53

Miles and Stephensen

an Australian Mercury

the 'Bunyip Critic'

flights from reality

'Australian Action'.

4 'Study National Socialism'-Propagandists and other 'Politicals' 82

Without Rancour, Without Hysteria

the Spirit of the Race

Herr H. and Mrs Britannia

'idealism and energy: the 'Anglo-German Review

The Link.

5 'Chaos or What?'-Esoteric Nazis, Mystics and other Aesthetes 109

Creative Effort


Tasman Forth

Hael Odin

a 20th Century


Richard le Measurer

Australians Awake!

6 Zarathustra with an Australian Accent-'Dreamtime' for Writers and Poets 142

An Australian Nietzsche

National Notes

Vital Flesh

Whither Away



Nationalism and Radicalism

an Amazonian

7 Plato in 'Hider's Wonderland'-Academics, Teachers and other Thinkers 176

Cowling versus 'Inky'

creating harmony from chaos

'Anything is better than Communism'

a friend of the Fatherland

a paddler


a Riverland enthusiast

the appeal to youth.

Part 2 A kind of wan 1939-45

8 The Kookaburra and the Bunyip at War: September 1939-October 1941 225

Initial responses

'chillier and chillier'

the Best and the Rest.

9 The Mad, the Bad and the Dangerous to Know: September 1939-October 1941 248

The Council of Seven

the western link

a kindly old gentleman

a creative artist


party games.

10 'The Fires of Hell'-the Kulturkampf on the Home Front: September 1939-October 1941 278

Cheerful cynicism, and bitterness

the 'Song-Man'


'embarrassing affiliations'

the sympathetic and the spunkless

a 'male frolic'

the natural aristocrat.

11 Jesus Types and Australian Action: November 1941-March 1942 311

The 'Movement'

'light-minded, brainless and easily led'

calm amidst panic

the death of Socrates

Bierkeller moments

March hares

out-and-out national socialists.

12 'Beyond the Limits Fixed'-Endgame: March 1942-May 1945 340


the poeticals soldier on

West or East?

'Germany Calling'


Epilogue: 'The Wrong Dream' 368

Notes 400

Select Bibliography 434

Index 442

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

‘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’

‘Here is a new book on a neglected theme – those ‘dreamers’ who before and during the second world war sympathised with the other side and in some cases even favoured its victory.’ —‘Spectator Australia’

‘One of the major achievements of “Nazi Dreamtime” is to track relentlessly the ideological walkabout of the Jindies as their leader, Ingamells, attempted unsuccessfully to infuse Australian poetry with potent Aboriginal words and symbols.’ —‘The Age’

‘Many politicians, and other prominent Australians, writes Bird, went on to ‘adjust their memory’ of their early pro-fascist acclamations.’ —‘Australian Left Book Review’

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