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SONDHEIM Gunter Michael

Service: Army – 8 Australian Employment Company
Service number: V377389
Locality on Enlistment: Forrest
Duration of Service: 8 Apr 1942 – 15 Feb 1946
Prisoner of War: No
Honours: None for display
Date and Place of Birth: 3 Nov 1916 Dusseldorf Germany
Parents: Arnold SONDHEIM and Else STEILBERG
Spouse: Helga TISHER
School/s:State School Dusseldorf, Melbourne University
Occupation: Student – Mechanical Electrical Engineer
Date and Place of Death: 26 Jul 2014 Melbourne
Place of Burial: Springvale Botanical Cemetery


Gunter’s parents were living in Dorking, Surrey, England as Jewish Refugees who managed to leave Germany in 1939, Gunter joined them from Switzerland where he was attending college. With the outbreak of war, Gunter and his father were interned as enemy aliens and Gunter volunteered to be part of the deportation of detainees, and was deported to Australia. Australian Military Forces report on Internee.

In the interests of the public safety, the defence of the Commonwealth, or the efficient prosecution of the war that Gunter Sondheim, being an enemy alien on board His Majesty’s Transport “Duneera,” who has been sent from the United Kingdom to Australia, for internment should be detained. Gunter arrived in Sydney on 26/8/1940 and was interned as an enemy alien.  Gunter was moved from the Hay Internment camp to a camp in Orange and then to Tatura fruit picking.  Army records state he was residing in Forrest when he was offered enlistment in the Australian Army in 1942. Oral history interview with Gunter Sondheim can be found at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum  https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn505792