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.
|Title of host publication||Germans in Queensland|
|Editors||Andrew G Bonnell and Rebecca Vonhoff|
|Place of Publication||Frankfurt|
|Publisher||Peter Lang GmbH Europaeischer Verlag der Wissenschaften|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|