Jewish ANZACS book launch

May 19, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AC DSC CSM [Retired] has launched the book “JEWISH ANZACS – Jews in the Australia Military”.

Mark Dapin Peter Allen, Claire Waddell and Gloria Allen

The extensive work was written by award-winning Mark Dapin who also spoke at the launch in the Sydney Jewish Museum.

Lieutenant General Gillespie told the audience how wonderful Mark’s writing is and of “the importance of the book to the Jewish and wider Australian community”.

He also referred to bond he has  formed with family of Greg Sher, who was killed in action whilst Ken  Gillespie was Chief of Army.

In 2014, Lieutenant General Gillespie became Chair of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council,

‘In his address Peter Allen, National Coordinator Centenary of Anzac Jewish Program, held up Dapin’s book telling the author “How about this!! Maybe you envisaged it, but most people could not have imagined a book quite to this high standard!

As I say, your wonderful wordcraft “has given voices to the souls” of the Jewish men and women who have served our country – in the defence of freedom, peace and tolerance.”

He quoted from the book “Since the [publication in 1973 of the Australian Jewry] Book of Honour [WW II], there has been little scholarship about Australian Jewish military history, which has been eclipsed by other concerns that seem more important either to scholars, the Jewish community or both. There are many more holocaust memoirs written by Jews who emigrated from Europe to Australia than there are personal histories of Australian-born or -raised Jewish soldiers. Everywhere in the world, the Jewish story is focussed on persecution – the plight of refugees; the unspeakable horrors of death camps – followed by redemption in the form of the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948.

In Australia, as in many other nations, there is another history: that of a diaspora community that fought the Axis powers with courage, strength and a large measure of military skill.

In concluding, Peter Allen said: “So, in the glow of the Anzac Centenary, over the last few years you and I have certainly travelled a tough, inspiring and most worthy journey together, towards repairing that sadly neglected historical record of Australian Jews in military service: words cannot express how grateful I am for your outstanding research efforts and literary skills.

‘Mazel Tov’ Mark: you richly deserve your soon-to-be-awarded PhD – with bar!!”

Mark Dapin spoke about preparing and writing the book and read extracts from the book and read extract of Loris Roubin’s attendance at a Seder service in Vietnam – a touching example of Jewish experience in the Military that Mark includes throughout the book.

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