Cyril Pearl collection

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2012.137
  • RG-69.008M
1 Jan 1941 - 31 Dec 1983
Level of Description
  • English
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

1,445 digital images, PDF

3 microfilm reels, 35 mm

1 DVD-ROM, 4 3/4 in.


Biographical History

Cyril Pearl (1906-1987) was an Australian journalist and writer. His book, "The Dunera Scandal. Deported by Mistake" describes the German refugees who were seeking asylum in England and were sent to Australia as an enemy alien and interned in Australia at the Hay internment camp. In 1941-42 three internment camps were constructed and utilized about three kilometers away from the township of Hay. Each camp held 1000 internees from Italy and Germany. The Allied forces had detained these civilians because they were perceived as a security risk to the European war effort. Despite early newspaper reports that the internees of Hay were dangerous, guards described their detainees as "well educated and anti-Nazi." The internees were not fighting men. Most were intellectuals detained as a matter of precaution and “national security”.

Archival History

University of Sydney. Archive of Australian Judaica - Fisher Library


Source of acquisition is the University of Sydney. Archive of Australian Judaica. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the microfiche in July 2012 via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum International Archives Project.

Scope and Content

Contains the research papers and original sources used by Cyril Pearl in writing his book on the Dunera ship ("The Dunera Scandal: Deported by Mistake") and the records on the internment camps in Australia. In 1940 German refugees seeking asylum in England were sent to Australia as an enemy alien aboard the Dunera ship and interned in Australia at the Hay internment camp for a year and a half. In 1942, England realized their mistake in holding these refugees and they were released. Records include ephemera from the Hay camp, newspaper clippings about the Dunera affair,1941-1983, hansard extracts,1940-41 on aliens and refugees, graphics and watercolors by Frederick Schonbach; photographs of the Dunera ship and Hay camp; and letters to Ruth Swann, a Sydney Quaker, from the internees at the Hay camp. The letters reinforce the internees' feelings of isolation from their families and disenfranchisement from their European homes, as well as a strong anti-Nazi sentiment. The collection contains also papers from the internment camp at Orange 1941-1943, and accounts of Pearl's battles to have opened the long-secret files containing the Dunera's passenger list (which he won). The Dunera ship brought many foreign migrants to Australia who later became major artists, writers and scholars.

System of Arrangement

Arrangement is thematic.

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Copyright Holder: University of Sydney. Archive of Australian Judaica - Fisher Library


Corporate Bodies



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.