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‘Nazi Dreamtime’ is the story of extreme-right ultra-nationalists in Australia before and during the Second World War. Some native-born Australians were attracted to the ideology of Nazism, believing it to be applicable to Australian political and cultural life. They felt the ‘German revolution’ was a European experiment that Australians ought to learn from, and to an extent emulate.
These Nazi enthusiasts and their fellow travellers were charitably described by one renegade amongst them as ‘well-meaning dreamers’. 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. Many thought that Aboriginal concepts of dreaming could be merged with national-socialism to form a ‘blood-and-soil’ white dreaming – a Nazi Dreamtime under the Southern Cross. Berlin’s aggressive foreign policy in the late 1930s failed to shake their faith, and even the war would not dislodge some from Hitlerism. Only the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 terminated the dream that had become a nightmare, although the idea still lingered.
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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.About the Author:
Dr David Bird is an independent historian based in Melbourne.
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