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Shattered Lives Broken Dreams: William Cooper and Australian Aborigines Protest Holocaust (First Nations True Stories) Paperback – January 6, 2020
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The Nazis shatter glass and shatter the lives of European Jews at Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust. An Australian Aboriginal, William Cooper, leads the campaign for civil rights for his people who are dying of poverty and mistreatment around him. 1938; two worlds, far apart. Cut to the core after Kristallnacht, can he do anything to stop it?
Described as Australia’s Martin Luther King, Cooper leads the Australian Aborigines’ League on a protest to the German Consulate in Melbourne. Would the Third Reich pour out its wrath on them? Would they make a difference?
A Chair of Resistance to the Holocaust was named in honour of Cooper at Yad Vashem. His grandson, Alf Turner, becomes passionate about fulfilling his grandfather’s unfinished business and taking the protest to Berlin itself. How will he be received?
This true story will inspire you to stand up and be counted and to make a difference.
“Extensively researched and presented in a near novel-like manner” - Grady Harp Top Contributor: Children's Books HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
“What will you like? Exceptionally interesting and astoundingly detail, including photos of many of the events that took place during the journey.” - DD GOTT - Donadees Corner
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,081,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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At the heart of the book is a powerful story of an indigenous man, who was already experiencing injustice in his own country, that took a stand to fight injustices in another country. For decades, his noble deeds went unnoticed and unacknowledged.
The author, Barbara Miller, has done a sterling job to bring this piece of riveting history to light. For example, a snippet of William Cooper’s work had been published in Melbourne newspapers way back in 1938 and then forgotten. I particularly enjoyed reading Chapter 8 of the book that narrates the way this history was unearthed and how this great man has since been honored.
I have learned a lot from the book - especially on the role other countries around the world played that enabled this heinous crime against the Jewish people, to take place on their watch.
The story of William Cooper is a powerful story on how one principled and committed man can contribute in his own way, to fight a global injustice.
This book would be suitable for historical scholars and schools around the world.
In her Preface Barbara states, ‘The actions of William Cooper and the Australian Aborigines’’ League have built a bridge between Aborigines and Jews that continues to get bigger as he following generations celebrate his legacy. It is not juts the man William Cooper that is celebrated in standing up for Jews persecuted in 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.’ Now this book is Book 2 of Barbara’s duology, a volume that further shares the immense contribution to humanity of her titular character.
Extensively researched and presented in a near novel-like manner, this relates more of the life of Cooper and the Australian Aborigines at the time of the Holocaust. ‘They were not even citizens in their own land but, after Kristallnacht, made a brave stand. William Cooper led the Australian Aborigines League in a protest against Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, which resulted in shattered lives and was recognized as the start of the Holocaust. They protested the "cruel persecution of the Jews" by marching to the German Consulate in Melbourne on 6 December 1938 three weeks after the 9-10 November pogrom in Germany, Austria and Sudetenland that saw 91 Jews killed, Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues destroyed with shattered glass or fire. About 30,00 Jews were sent to concentration camps. This book follows how the story was lost to history and then found with William Cooper being honored in many ways by Jews in Australia and at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Israel. His family has carried on his legacy and the story covers his family's trip to Israel and Berlin in 2017 to continue his work.’
Once again, there is so much to learn from this extensively annotated epic survey: the history and tensions and abuse of human rights has a clear parallel with situations in other countries, especially in America. We learn, or should learn, from history, and aside from reading this fascinating book for enjoyment, explore the thought patterns and developments as they apply here, today. Recommended. Grady Harp, March 20