Menasche BodnerPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Gordon McFarland

The plaque, erected over the grave, commemorates Menasche Bodner, a refugee from Nazi oppression, mistakenly shipped out from England on HMT Dunera and interned at Hay from the 7th of September 1940 until his death on the 23rd of November 1940. 

Shortly after war was declared on Germany, those Jewish refugees who had arrived before the war from Germany, Austria and Hungary were labelled as "enemy aliens". It was feared that they would act as spies for the Nazis, no consideration being given to the fact that they were themselves victims of the Nazi regime. The internees, German and Austrian nationals, had escaped from Nazi persecution to Great Britain. Many were young men studying in England.

In mid-1940, 2542 internees (including 200 Italian Fascists and 251 German Nazis) were sent to Australia on the "Dunera", a hellish voyage where all suffered privation, while many were robbed of their property and suffered brutality and physical abuse at the hands of their British guards. Arriving at Darling Harbour they were placed on trains then sent to Hay. During their 9 months in Hay they set up a university, a symphony orchestra and printed their own currency.

After 9 months they moved to Tatura and were eventually released. Many of the men felt bitter and hurt at being interned, especially as they were often housed with "enemy aliens" who were Nazi supporters. After a period of time the injustice of their situation was realised and they were permitted to return to Britain. About half of the "Dunera" internees returned to Britain while many of the rest volunteered for service in Australian Military Forces (AMF) employment companies.


Address:Cemetery Road, Hay Cemetery, Hay, 2711
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.512678
Long: 144.865515
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:07-September-1940
Actual Event End Date:23-November-1940


Front Inscription

Born 25 Nov, 1886 At Wisnicz, Poland,
A Refugee From Nazi Oppression,
Mistakenly Shipped Out From England
On HMT Dunera And Interned At Hay From
7 Sept. 1940 Until His Death 23 Nov. 1940

         M. H. D. S. R. I. P.

Erected In His Memory By Dunera Friends

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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