Primary Sources 50 stories from 50 years of the Archives

'Designing evil, yet creating good …'

When one day peace will reign again on earth we shall look back on our internment, remembering Goethe's words 'part of the power, designing evil, yet creating good …'

This hopeful remark concludes the first anniversary report of the Collegium Taturense, No. 4 Internment Camp Tatura, Victoria. The report notes that the Collegium offered 113 lectures for 690 students in the sciences, languages, mathematics, ethnography, accountancy and the arts, including fashion drawing.

The origin of the Collegium was traced to lectures given on the transport ship Dunera, which brought inmates of the camp from England to Australia as enemy aliens. Many had originally fled from Germany to London to escape Nazi persecution.

One of the two founding teachers was Dr Leonhard Adam, eventually Pro-rector of the Collegium, who lectured in ethnology, jurispridence, commercial law and Chinese. He also commenced 'some drawing, painting and sculpturing'. His drawings of Tatura suggest that he found it a haven from the political and personal turmoils tearing apart Europe.

Dr Adam was one of four Tatura internees whose papers are held at UMA, who 'created good' in their new home. Released from Tatura, Adam taught primitive art and anthropology at the University of Melbourne's History Department from 1943 to 1960. His collection of ethnological artefacts was donated to the University.

Dr Felix Behrend had pursued mathematical research in Cambridge, Prague and Zurich. He left Tatura and was appointed to the University's Mathematics Department in 1942, becoming associate professor in 1954.

When Dr Sophie Ducker and her family were released from Tatura in 1944, she took employment as a technical assistant in the University's Botany School. Completing her education, she rose to become reader in botany by the time of her retirement in 1974.

After his release from Tatura in 1942, Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, Bauhaus artist and art teacher, became the art master at Geelong Grammar School. After his retirement in 1957 he occasionally taught at the University.

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