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  Issue No 39 Official Organ of LaborNet 12 November 1999  

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History

Who Remembers Egon Erwin Kisch?

By Karl Roessel

Egon Erwin Kisch was a well known progressive journalist living in Germany when he was invited by the Australian branch of the world committee against war and fascism to speak at a conference in Melbourne in 1934.

Only the Australian government did not let him into the country. When his ship arrived in Fremantle on November 6 of 1934 Australian police searched his cabin and refused to let him from board. When Kisch could not enter Australia even in Melbourne he jumped off the ship and broke his leg.

The police carried him back on board and only in Sydney his lawyers forced the authorities to let him see a doctor at the Sydney City Hospital. After that Kisch had to go through the ridiculous immigration procedure including a dictation test in Gaelic. He spoke seven European languages but they choose Gaelic to make sure that he failed. But Kisch filed a court case against the Australian government and won it!

After that he could give talks at public rallies in the Sydney Domain and even in Melbourne and Adelaide, most of them organised by labour and union organisations. Kisch visited the mines in Newcastle and the prison in Parramatta, Redfern and Botany Bay, Ballarat and Brisbane, and Newnes in N.S.W. before he finally was forced to leave Australia for Europe on March 11, 1935.

Later, Kisch wrote a book ("Australian Landfall") on his experiences with the "White Australian Policy" and the government's anti-communist propaganda against any progressive movement at the time.

Now, more than 60 years later, Karl Roessel, a German radio journalist, is in Australia to do some research for a documentary feature on Kisch's visit in Australia. He is hoping that there still might be some unionists around who met Kisch in 1934/35 in Australia or went to one of his public meetings. Also any other written or recorded information relating to Kisch's visit to Australia is of interest to him.

So, if you remember Egon Erwin Kisch's visit in Australia in 1934/35 or if you have any interesting documents about it, please let him know.

His address in Australia: Karl Roessel,42 Gould Avenue, Lewisham NSW 2049. Ph: 0418 233 212


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*   Issue 39 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Let Sleeping Dogs
Republican campaigner Jason Yat-Sen Li dusts off after Saturday’s vote. We ask him: where to now?
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*  Republic: Readers Speak - Kerry the Face to Deface
We asked and you have spoken; Sydney heiress Kerry Jones is the Workers Online choice for desktop doodling, as the official winner of our Defacement of a Nation competition.
*
*  Economics: Understanding the Economy
Who was voted thinker of the millenium in a recent BBC Online poll? Karl Marx shooed it in. And another socialist, Albert Einsten, came second.
*
*  Unions: Come Fly Away!
With just four weeks to go, Labor Council's Organiser of the year Award is up for grabs. We've only had the one entry ...
*
*  Work/Time/Life: Better Times for Casuals in the Sunshine State
The Queensland Council of Unions has mounted a case in the Queensland IRC to increase wages for casual workers by up to $2.00 extra per hour.
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*  International: All Black Fate Looms for New Zealand Right
The New Zealand economic experiment – for many years the cherished role model of the Australian Liberal Party – is just about to face an angry jury.
*
*  History: Who Remembers Egon Erwin Kisch?
Egon Erwin Kisch was a well known progressive journalist living in Germany when he was invited by the Australian branch of the world committee against war and fascism to speak at a conference in Melbourne in 1934.
*
*  Review: Bizarrism - Strange Lives, Cults, Celebrated Lunacy
The strange story of Donald Crowhurst or how to cheat and become a God.
*
*  Satire: Support Surges for Armenian Republic Model
The assassination by gun crazed extremists of the Armenian Prime Minister has been cautiously backed by Ted Mack and the Direct Electionist lobby as a possible new Republican model.
*

News
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»  Bank Workers Win $3000 Payment for New Years Eve
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»  Union Organiser Thrown Off Bridge
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»  Justice at Last for Waterfront Asbestos Victims
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»  Timor Update: Positions Vacant; Upcoming Events.
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Columns
»  Guest Report
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Piers Watch
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Letters to the editor
»  Fall of Communism as foreseen in 1931
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»  Reith an Error of Judgment
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»  Republic Post Mortem
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»  The Boston Strangler
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»  SOS From New York
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»  [email protected] - Wasn't it Satire?
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