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ANMM Collection

From Germany to Australia by Kayak - Oskar Speck's Incredible Voyage

Date: 1930s
Overall: 297 x 212 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Ferguson
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Manuscript
Object No: ANMS1249[161]

User Terms

    This 11 page manuscript was written by Oskar Speck about his travels from Germany to Australia.
    SignificanceThis collection documents a significant feat of sportsmanship as well as a 1930s travel-adventure and what became a World War II internment and migration story.
    HistoryOskar Speck (1905 - 1995) was a German adventurer who, in the 1930s, paddled his kayak SUNNSCHIEN (SUNSHINE) from Europe to Australia. He departed from Ulm in Germany on 18 June 1932, paddling down the Danube at the start of a 50,000km voyage to Australia. His voyage of seven years and four months saw him stopping at ports in Germany, Austria, Hungary, former Yugoslavia, former Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iran Jaya, Papua New Guinea and Australia (Saibai Island). He arrived on Saibai Island near Papua New Guinea in the Northern Torres Strait on 20 September 1939. Speck arrived with a swastika on the bow of his 5.3 metre German built Folbot kayak a few days after Australia declared war with Germany.

    Speck was travelling on a German passport and was promptly arrested as an enemy alien on his arrival on Thursday Island. Speck was detained at the Tatura internment camp for the duration of the war.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Im Faltboot von Deutschland nach Australien

    Primary title: From Germany to Australia by Kayak - Oskar Speck's Incredible Voyage

    Collection title: Oskar Speck memorabilia

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