From DP Camps to the “Green Continent”
This review focuses on a monograph written by Jayne Persian, lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland (Australia). The work is the first complex study devoted to the adaptation of former “displaced persons” (more particularly, émigrés from the Soviet Union) in Australia between the 1940s and 1960s. The work refers to an extensive complex of documents from the National Archives of Australia, the National Archives (United Kingdom), the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University, and interviews with former “displaced persons” residing in Australia. The study is very important because it provides new information on the second wave of Soviet emigration, which is seldom examined by contemporary Russian scholars. Persian demonstrates that political factors played an important role in how the Australian government granted immigration permission. Quite frequently, Australia preferred people who shared anti-communist positions. Therefore, many former collaborators of the World War II era came to Australia; this hindered cooperation between the USSR and Australia. Persian shows that “new Australians” had difficulty integrating into society. The government tried to assimilate them, which pushed the immigrants to seek isolation in their communities. This book helps us understand the controversial character of the state policy of historical memory, a problem that is also very important for contemporary Russia.
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