Limits of impartiality: The delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Australia during the Second World War

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    Abstract

    Through a case study of the first International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation to Australia and its services to civilian internees, this article explores the question: Is impartial humanitarianism more successful than non-impartial services? To answer this question the article analyses the different needs of pro-Nazi and Jewish Germans, the latter being denied recognition as citizens by the National Socialist regime, and compares the work of the ICRC delegates with that of the Swiss government as protecting power and Australian Supreme Court judges acting as official visitors. The article concludes that in a complex web of transnational structures and agencies, the ICRC delegates as intermediaries between the internees’ home nation and the interning nation faced specific and unique impediments and opportunities. This article has been peer-reviewed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-74
    Number of pages19
    JournalHistory Australia: Journal of The Australian Historical Association
    Volume10
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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