The Holocaust as an Australian Story: Family networks between Australia and Europe during the Holocaust

Family portrait from occupied Poland, Leon Jedwab Collection, used with permission.

Dr Jan Láníček (UNSW) presents the HRC/Freilich Project Distinguished Annual Lecture

Focusing on family connections between Australia and Europe, this lecture offers a novel perspective on Australians’ responses to the Holocaust. Around 9,000 Jewish refugees arrived in Australia before the war, but almost all of them left behind in Europe close relatives. After their arrival they managed to establish networks that facilitated the spreading of information about the progressing persecution in Nazi Europe.

Furthermore, these refugees attempted to use family connections to bring their relatives to Australia, or support them in other ways when the immigration routes closed, for example, by sending remittances or relief food parcels to the Nazi ghettos in occupied Poland and elsewhere. This lecture will demonstrate that Australia was deeply involved in the Holocaust, and was part of what we now call the Holocaust geography.


Dr Jan Láníček is Associate Professor in Modern European and Jewish History at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and the Freilich Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre, ANU in 2022. He is currently completing a study of post-Holocaust judicial retribution in Czechoslovakia and also researches Jewish migration to Australia before World War 2.


2022 HRC/Freilich Distinguished Lecture: The Holocaust as an Australian Story

Date & time

Wed 14 Sep 2022, 5–6.30pm


Hedley Bull Theatre 1, ANU Campus


Dr Jan Láníček (UNSW)


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