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Birthday card from the internment camp at Hay

Date: 1941
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Heinz Lippmann
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Card
Object No: ANMS0220[004]

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    Description
    A hand drawn birthday card made in the internment camp in Hay, New South Wales and dated 2 February, 1941.
    The cover of the card depicts a drawing of the camp in Hay and 'Birthday Greetings' while inside is a coloured skerytch of women dancing on a stage and the words "Unserem Lieben Kameraden Erich Tichauer zum 43 Geburtstage in Hay N.S.W Australia 2 Februar 1941'.

    HistoryThe Hay internment camp was located outside of the town of Hay in the Riverina district of southern New South Wales. The camp was purpose-built at the Hay showground and racecourse, with huts, roads, water supply and electric lights. It was built to accommodate Italian prisoners of war, but German, Italian and Japanese internees were also held there.
    Many of the men interned there were skilled professionals and a wide cross section of society was represented. There were doctors, dentists, teachers, tradesmen, artists, musicians, farmers and innovative builders. As a result, despite the harsh physical conditions of life in the drought ridden Hay, there was a cultural and intellectual life that proved quite rich.
    There were performances from camp bands and theatre groups, discussions held by lecturers and school groups. Locals assisted by supplying reading and writing material as well as religious services.
    Much of the internal administration was carried out by the internees themselves and eventually there was a regular camp newspaper, sporting competitions and even an internal currency that could be used at the canteen. A garden and small farm was established, which provided the camp with vegetables, eggs, poultry, milk and animal fodder.
    Despite the diversity of the internees, a sense of camaraderie was nurtured amongst some sections, such as those who had travelled on the HMT DUNERA together.


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