Holsworthy Internment Camp

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, Holsworthy
Accession Number ART16578
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 58 x 30.48 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description pen and ink on paper
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Holsworthy
Date made c.1939-1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright unknown


Depicts an aerial sketch, in a topographical format, of the Guard Quarters, Hospital and buildings at the Holsworthy Internment Camp, New South Wales. Above the scene are the flags of various nationalities held at the camp. During the First World War, for security reasons, the Australian government pursued a comprehensive internment policy against 'enemy aliens' living in Australia. Under the 'War Precautions Act 1914' nearly 7,000 people of German and Austrian descent wwere interned in camps in Australia. War time paranoia was most strongly directed at non-British, particulary Germans. The internmnet camp at Holsworthy consisted of a collection of tents and huts complete with theatres, restuarants, cafes and small businesses. Living conditions at Holsworthy were overcrowded and sanitary facilities were basic. Of all the camps, Holsworthy was the harshest and resembled a prison. A strict regime of control was enforced by camp authorities. The camp remained open until the last internees were repatriated in 1920. During the Second World War, as it had been during the First World War, Holsworthy was again used as an internment camp.