Kirsch, Karl (Brother), Neuendettelsau Mission Society

Accession Number AWM2016.607.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 2.5 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Memoir, Diary, Digital file
Maker Kirsch, Karl
Date made 1942-1951
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Collection relating to the Second World War and postwar experiences of Brother (Bruder) Karl Kirsch and his family. The collection consists of a typed memoir in German titled Internierungs Lager - Tatura 3 (Internment Camp - Tatura 3), and a typed diary entitled Tagebuch Aufzeichnungen 1942 (Diary records 1942). The diary is based on notes kept by Brother Karl during the time of his imprisonment and carried around in his hat. The diary covers Brother Karl's imprisonment at Finschhafen and trek from Lae to Port Moresby with other German colleagues, and journey by sea to Australia through various camps. Mentions are made of the conditions such as rations, weather conditions, trench digging, illnesses, conflicts with guards, observations of the area's natural beauty, and bible study and religious beliefs. The diary names many German internees and UELCA (United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia) people encountered throughout the period.

The memoir Internierungs Lager - Tatura 3 covers the period from 6 December 1942, through to March 1951, giving details of family life and conditions in the camp at Tatura, Victoria, where the family were reunited and interned from 1942 until October 1946. Also mentioned in this period are details about food and cooking, illnesses, entertainment in the camp, religious services and the names of many members of the German community. The diary also covers the family's postwar journey to Queensland, and details of their lives in Australia until their return to New Guinea in 1951, including the kind of work undertaken by Kirsch and the schooling of the children.

For ease of access, typed English transcripts of both documents are included in the collection.

Brother Kirsch was a deacon in the German Neuendettelsau Mission Society and worked in the Lutheran Mission in the Territory of New Guinea until his internment in 1942. He had trained as a nurse and also had qualifications in dentistry and midwifery.