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Presenter: Jonathan Kaplan
Several thousand Viennese Jews migrated to Australia both before and after WWII. The Viennese Jews who came to Australia set about rebuilding their lives and communities, as they had known in the Austrian capital. With them they brought the culture they had known back home as a means of fashioning a small part of Europe in the harsh, predominantly Anglo-Saxon society from which they were often rejected. Such rejection came not only from the wider, non-Jewish Australian society, but also from the already established Jewish community, who feared the unacculturated newcomers would threaten Australian Jewry's precarious situation and influence the spread of anti-Semitism. This presentation will examine the experiences of a number of Viennese Jewish individuals/families in Sydney, their contribution to the development of post-war Australian culture (in fields such as the arts and fashion), and adjustment to their new home through both the creation of and disintegration of communities.