Devries book launch

November 16, 2015 by Natalia Thomas
Read on for article

Robin Devries’ Book “My Mother took me to the Cricket” has been launched in Sydney…the 54th book to be published by the Community Stories Project of the Sydney Jewish Museum.

Robin-Devries_CVR_last-(2)Robin is a Melbourne-born son of one of the few German Jewish couples fortunate to escape from the escalating persecution of 1938 Nazi Germany and a descendant of one of the great European Jewish families.  The book’s somewhat enigmatic title refers to Robin’s formative years in Melbourne when, as a way to integrate her boys into Australian society, Robin’s mother took him to the cricket.

In this well-crafted narrative, Robin draws on the vast cache of photographs and genealogical materials left to him by his father to reflect on his parent’s lives in pre-war Germany, their responses to increasing social alienation and their flight to Australia which nearly didn’t happen. The impact of these events creates a minimalist family life finally eschewed by Robin as he tackles his inner devils and creates a stellar career in Australian finance and treasury

Working for some of the most famous names in Australian business, Sir Peter Abeles, Alan Bond and Kerry Packer, Robin is witness to much of the free-wheeling business environment of the Eighties and Nineties. His story touches on the characters involved, his role in many of the transactions and discusses crucial ethical issues that arose.

Overlaying this insightful and often amusing tale are Robin’s reflections on his personal view on modern Judaism and how his religion and family background impacted his life and times.

The grand sweep of the Gomper(t)z family starting as Court Jews to many of the kings and princes of  Germany in the 17th Century and the family’s vast reach in the following centuries through the capitals of Europe and in the New World is captured in a fictional tale that uses real characters from the family tree. The story starts with the traditional family banking business in Emmerich and ends up in pursuit of the family gold held by the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.

The book’s contents are relevant to all those families that have fled terror and have had rebuild their lives in a new country and to all modern-day Jews who are wrestling with their Jewish identity. At the same time the reader gets a unique seat at the table where some of the most interesting business deals in Australia were done.

The book, launched by Tony Berg, is available for sale at the Sydney Jewish Museum and online from their website.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

    Rules on posting comments