1st Edition

"White Russians, Red Peril"
A Cold War History of Migration to Australia

ISBN 9781032057491
Published April 1, 2021 by Routledge
384 Pages

USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Over 20,000 ethnic Russians migrated to Australia after World War II – yet we know very little about their experiences. Some came via China, others from refugee camps in Europe.

Many preferred to keep a low profile in Australia, and some attempted to ‘pass’ as Polish, West Ukrainian or Yugoslavian. They had good reason to do so: to the Soviet Union, Australia’s resettling of Russians amounted to the theft of its citizens, and undercover agents were deployed to persuade them to repatriate. Australia regarded the newcomers with wary suspicion, even as it sought to build its population by opening its door to more immigrants.

Making extensive use of newly discovered Russian-language archives and drawing on a lifetime’s study of Soviet history and politics, award-winning author Sheila Fitzpatrick examines the early years of a diverse and disunited Russian-Australian community and how Australian and Soviet intelligence agencies attempted to track and influence them. While anti-Communist ‘White’ Russians dreamed a war of liberation would overthrow the Soviet regime, a dissident minority admired its achievements and thought of returning home.

Table of Contents



Acknowledgements ix

A note on transliteration xiii

Introduction 1

Part I. Displaced persons in Europe

Chapter 1. Displacement 25

Chapter 2. Australia’s selection procedures 50

Part II. Russians in China

Chapter 3. Manchuria 75

Chapter 4. Shanghai 100

Chapter 5. Departure 124

Part III. Resettlement in Australia

Chapter 6. Arrival 151

Chapter 7. White Russians 174

Chapter 8. Red Russians 199

Chapter 9. ASIO and the Cold War 223

Conclusion 247

White Russians Red Peril

Statistical note 263

Abbreviations used in notes 273

Notes 274

Bibliography 339

Index 351


Table 1. Population of Harbin by nationality/citizenship, 1913–40 77

Table 2. Russians, Ukrainians and ‘stateless’ among mass resettlement migrants arriving in Australia, 1947–51 264

Table 3. Russian arrivals from China, 1951–60 268

Table 4. Australian census data on people born inRussia (USSR) and Ukraine, or giving Russian or Ukrainian as their nationality, 1933–61 269

View More



Sheila Fitzpatrick is the multi-award-winning author of My Father’s Daughter, Mischka’s War, On Stalin’s Team and The Russian Revolution, among other titles. She is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books.