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Shattered Lives Broken Dreams: William Cooper and Australian Aborigines Protest Holocaust (First Nations True Stories) Paperback – January 6, 2020

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof - "Justice, Justice you shall pursue" (Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9) is one of the most important precepts of religion and certainly it epitomises the life and struggle of Aboriginal activist and human rights leader, William Cooper.
 
There are many commentaries as to why the word "justice" is repeated twice in this verse and in the case of William Cooper, it has a particular bearing since he is known for pursuing justice on behalf of his own People, the Aborigines and also on behalf of the Jewish People following the seminal tragedy of Kristallnacht and its aftermath.
 
Barbara Miller, herself a fighter for justice, is probably the most authoritative author I know on the subject of William Cooper and his fight for justice for these two Peoples.
 
In her latest book, "Shattered Lives, Broken Dreams" Barbara expands on her earlier book entitled "William Cooper, Gentle Warrior" further outlining how the brave acts of William Cooper have helped to awaken in all Australians, the recognition that every one of us can make a difference.
 
Thanks to the dedicated work of what started as a few - I am privileged to be one of them - but today is a whole cadre of activists promoting the legacy of William Cooper , we have numerous areas were the name of William Cooper will forever be perpetuated, all outlined in "Shattered Lives, Broken Dreams."
 
I would venture to say that through the acts of William Cooper and his grandson Alfred (Uncle Boydie) Turner and other family members and friends, the face of Australia has changed forever and the recent naming of a federal electoral constituency after William Cooper is true testimony to this fact.
 
Barbara Miller has filled in many gaps for those of us interested in the struggle and as I said in Jerusalem in April 2009 at the planting of the first five of seventy trees being planted in honour of William Cooper's brave act  marking the seventieth anniversary of Kristallnacht the previous November, "It is inconceivable for  me coming from South Africa where in 1938 native people did not have the same rights as white people, to think that in Australia, an indigenous man who too did not enjoy full rights in the country of his birth, should have found it within himself to stand up for the plight of Jewish People. That man was William Cooper and I do not think it inappropriate to refer to him as the Martin Luther King of Australia."
 
Barbara Miller does the memory of William Cooper proud and indeed she does us all proud by bringing to us the amazing story of William Cooper and how his influence and brave deeds continue to inspire us to this day and will do so hopefully for generations to come. Barbara's new book will certainly go a long way to ensure this.
Rob Schneider, 
William Cooper Legacy Project, CEO, Australian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hon. Representative in Australia of the Israel Nature & Parks Authority, former CEO of the Jewish National Fund of Australia and Development Director, Sydney Jewish Museum.

The Jewish people are commanded in the Torah to
Zachor (Remember)!... and by reading and oft-repeating this narrative of Uncle William's life and legacy, by biographer Barbara Miller, we are fulfilling this sacred task.
Abe Schwarz
Convenor, William Cooper's Legacy

Barbara Miller's latest book
Shattered Lives Broken Dreams takes the reader on a journey written almost as a travel diary. A journey that spans pre 1938 to the present day.
 
A lifetime's work of research, one on one interviews and travels across the Globe to share an eye witness account of history in the making.
 
Barbara Miller chronicles the hopes dreams and aspirations of William Cooper's legacy in her familiar, accessible, emotionally charged way.
Viv Parry
Past Board Director
Jewish Holocaust Centre, Melbourne

Barbara Miller has produced a must-have book on William Cooper the Upstander, and his important legacy.

Barbara documents key elements of this fascinating story of Aboriginal elder William Cooper's protest against the Nazi Germany's pogrom of its Jews on Kristallnacht in November 1938. We read about the response of the then Australian government, and then progress to the eventual re-discovery of the facts. Barbara gives us her personal but objective insight as to how members of William Cooper's family and diverse segments of the Australian community have come together to fulfil William Cooper's legacy of social justice, and of being an upstander rather than a bystander. A significant and valuable book for every home, school and university library. 
Eli Rabinowitz
Founder - WE ARE HERE! Foundation

I am pleased to write a review for this important book which brings out the relationship between Evian and Kristallnacht and informs us of the brave stand of William Cooper. This is my family's story. My parents, brother, maternal grandmother and I arrived in Australia in January 1939.  My parents tried in vain to get visas for my German family, who were murdered in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, my beautiful 18 and 20-year-old cousins included. The Evian Conference in July 1938 was just four months before Kristallnacht...
 
Evian was a definite turning point in modern Jewish history. By the time the Conference took place, the Nazis had persecuted the Jews for six years. The Nuremberg Laws had deprived the Jews of most of their rights as citizens. There were economic boycotts. There were book-burnings. They were excluded from their professions. They were forbidden to sit, shop, and visit in certain places, to employ Christians and associate with them. There were physical harassments and occasional attacks. As yet there were no mass deportations or large-scale brutal assaults on a country-wide basis. These began after Evian.
 
Following the Nazi Anschluss with Austria in April 1938, the Jewish refugee problem worsened as a further 180,000 Jews came under Nazi rule. President Franklin D Roosevelt convened an international conference to discuss the refugee crisis.
 
Held in Evian, France, in June 1938, thirty-eight countries were represented. The negative position of the Australian government, which announced that it would not liberalise its alien immigration policy from an annual quota of 5000, or 15,000 over three years, was representative of all participating nations.
 
Following the conference came the Kristallnacht attacks of November 1938. The Australian High Commissioner in London, Stanley Bruce, recommended that the quota should be doubled, but the government rejected this proposal.
Josie Lacey OAM
Past president and life member of Australian WIZO and WIZO NSW
Recipient of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies inaugural President's Award
Life member of the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry
 
 

From the Author


My book
William Cooper Gentle Warrior: Standing Up for Australian Aborigines and Persecuted Jews was published in November 2012. In updating it in 2019, I have found it to be too big for one book so I have created the William Cooper Gentle Warrior Series and No 1 book is focusing on William Cooper's Aboriginal activism and No 2 book is focusing on his activism on behalf of the Jewish community. In both books, his grandson Uncle Boydie or Alf Turner and other family members have carried on his legacy and fulfilled William's unfulfilled dreams. So, the story continues.

Also, as William Cooper was a pioneer of the Aboriginal movement for human rights in Australia, much of what has happened since his passing has built on the platform he established. This means book No 1,
White Australia Has A Black History: William Cooper and First Nations Peoples' Political Activism really becomes a history of Indigenous affairs from contact till today. However, William Cooper was not alone. The stories of other key Aboriginal leaders of his time and beyond are also covered.

Now I am publishing the companion volume
Shattered Lives Broken Dreams: William Cooper and Australian Aborigines Protest Holocaust or more specifically Kristallnacht. It is no 2 in the William Cooper Series. The actions of William Cooper and the Australian Aborigines' League have built a bridge between Aborigines and Jews that continues to get bigger as the following generations celebrate his legacy. It is not just the man William Cooper that is celebrated in standing up for Jews persecuted at Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust. He has become a symbol of an Upstander who stood up for Jews when he was not a citizen of his own nation, Australia, and could not vote, such was the oppression of the time.
It is a privilege for me to bring this story to you. As you will see, I became part of the unfolding story and maybe you will too.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Barbara Miller Books (January 6, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 351 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0648472248
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0648472247
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.04 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30 ratings

About the author

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Barbara Miller is a pastor, psychologist, sociologist, mediator and teacher. She organises international Christian conferences and is a sought after speaker. Barbara has also been involved in Aboriginal politics and history first-hand for about 50 years working for Aboriginal organizations such as the North Queensland Land Council as a newspaper editor and research officer and the Aboriginal Coordinating Council as CEO. Author of over ten books and part of an Aboriginal family, she brings an insider view to her writing.

Barbara’s first memoir, White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon, A Memoir was short-listed in 2018 for the Queensland Literary Award for the major award, the Premier’s Award for a “Work of State Significance.”

Professor Henry Reynolds FAHA FASSA University of Tasmania, eminent historian and award-winning author described Barbara’s writing as “essential reading for anyone interested in political and social change over the last 50 years.”

She lives in Cairns, Australia with her husband Norman and son Michael.

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