School of Humanities

War and Displacement

photo of migrants on train

"War and Displacement: From the Soviet Union to Australia in the Wake of the Second World War"

This is an ARC funded project, ARC DP130101215, CIs: Hon Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick
(University of Sydney) and Professor Mark Edele (UWA)


This project studies postwar immigrants who came from the Soviet Union via Displaced Persons camps in Europe and elsewhere and encountered an Australia already in the grip of Cold War anticommunism and spy mania. Transnational in scope, themes, and sources, it adds a new strand to the story of the making of the Australian people.

This project is a study of displaced persons (DPs) from the Soviet Union who migrated to Australia after the Second World War. Our aim is to investigate their wartime and immediate post-war experiences ¬ that is, the experiential baggage they brought with them to Australia ¬ in order to understand the impact Australia made on them, and they on Australia. Anti-communism (on the part of both DPs and Australians) is a major theme; and anti-Semitism and spy-hunting also play significant roles. Putting Soviet history, migration history, and Australian history into dialogue with each other, the project will introduce a distinctive Australian perspective into these international fields of study.