Inter-war transformation of German-Australian identity: the case of Queensland Pastor Friedrich Otto Theile

Christine Winter

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    How the mighty can fall. At the height of his power, Friedrich Otto Theile, an ordained Queensland Lutheran clergyman, brokered deals with the Australian Prime Minister and the leading men of German, Australian and American Lutheran churches and mission houses. In a photo taken in 1929 at an international meeting in Brisbane to sort out a new post-First World War order for Lutheran missions in New Guinea, he is seated in the middle of the front row, a big and confident man, whose words and opinions carried.1 Today there is scarce mention of him in mission histories,2 no biographical piece in the Australian Dictionary of Biography or in the Biographisch-Bibfiographisches Kirchenfexikon, 3 and no Wikipedia entry. He has become a man nobody wants to claim or lobby for. This chapter explores the interwar development of a model of Australian Germanness that does not easily fit into a narrative of migration and multiculturalism. It is characterized by a sense of alienation and ambivalence toward Australia, defiant, aggressive and unfulfilled in its longing to be at home.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGermans in Queensland
    Editors Andrew G Bonnell and Rebecca Vonhoff
    Place of PublicationFrankfurt
    PublisherPeter Lang GmbH Europaeischer Verlag der Wissenschaften
    Pages143-157
    Edition1st
    ISBN (Print)9783631633892
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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