Behind The Gate Exhibition

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Internee huts, Holsworthy Internment Camp. Image courtesy of the Liverpool Heritage Library Collection.

Internee huts, Holsworthy Internment Camp.
Image courtesy of the Liverpool Heritage Library Collection.

The Holsworthy Internment Camp, at the time known as the German Concentration Camp, in Liverpool was Australia’s largest internment camp, housing up to 6,000 men throughout the First World War.

Most of the internees were ordinary people who had lives, families and jobs, and many were Australian citizens.

They were interned not because they were spies or dangerous to the community, but essentially because their cultural heritage or background was German or Austro-Hungarian.

These men’s lives changed forever once they were behind the gate. This exhibition will shed light on life behind the gate of the German Concentration Camp – for internees and guards alike.

While the internees created a town where they traded, played sports and put on theatrical performances, they were still, essentially, prisoners.

The Behind the Gate exhibition will explore the daily life of the internees and camp guards through a collection of images and ephemera from this period in Australian history.

The exhibition included a newly-acquired and never-before-seen items from the Calderwood Collection, accumulated by Captain Calderwood, a World War I veteran and one of the camp guards who developed a good rapport with the internees.

The exhibition is on until Saturday, June 6. Make sure not to miss it!