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
A note on transliteration xiii
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
White Russians Red Peril
Statistical note 263
Abbreviations used in notes 273
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
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.