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Interview With My Father: Part Eleven

A number of years ago, my father was interviewed for the Jewish Migrant Oral History Project. Thankfully, I have a copy of the interview, and I will be publishing excerpts from it in his memory.

Previous installments: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Interviewer: What were you being told about Perth and why not stay in Adelaide?

Dad: Rabbi Rubin Zachs had contacts and he said Perth was small and more migrant friendly, a very large German colony in Adelaide’s Barossa Valley, and a very small, practically non-existent Jewish community in Adelaide. So Perth it was.

Interviewer: You told the story off air about needing £50.

Dad: With 50 English pounds you could have bought an acre block in Applecross. It was a lot of money. Basic wage in Perth at that time in the depression was £3. People used to go to Kalgoorlie to work. Why? Because the basic wage there was £3.10. The first place we lived in here – a rooming house – rent, £1 for a room!

Interviewer: You mentioned that you needed this £50 but your father didn’t have it. Where did he get it from?

Dad: It was given to him by Rabbi Ruben Zachs. It had been arranged. Organisations stretched from Berlin to other parts of the world.

Interviewer: You mentioned a chap jumping a barrier to do this.

Dad: That was the reverend who became Rabbi Rubin Zachs.

Interviewer: You likened him to a particular chap.

Dad: Yes, he reminded me of one of the movies I saw of Douglas Fairbanks junior. The moustache, build, agility.

We learnt as we lived here that there were some families here who gave permits. In other words, they would put up the bond for people to come out….One permit that I will never forget was given by the Catholic Archbishop of Perth.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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