Letter sent to all Australian members of Parliament (150 total) including the Prime Minister- Kevin Rudd. Also sent to all State branches of the RSL (Returned Serviceman's League), and the Governor General.
These should be ideals and values that are common to all Australians, irrespective of whether they were born in this country and irrespective of whether their ancestors came from the British Isles, Europe, the Middle East or Asia, or elsewhere.
is time to shove into the rubbish bin of History the whole idea that we
are/were the good guys and the others were the evil, the bad and the
ugly. No one is blameless. In any conflict, it is the people who suffer,
those on the losing side probably more than those of the winners.
needs to become mature as a country, and lead the rest of the world in
this respect, by facing up to the facts, that it was involved in wars in
which many heinous war crimes were committed against our enemies, both
soldiers and civilians, and that we, knowingly collaborated with other
nations who were guilty of such crimes.
in mind that many Australians either came from, or are descendent from
these countries, I offer a few specific examples of our complicity. I do
not seek to find justifications from either side, merely note who
the Second World War, Australia, together with Great Britain and its
allies formed an alliance with Russia, which had committed massive war
crimes in Poland. The Katyn
where 22,000 Polish Soldiers were executed and buried in mass graves is
but one example. Russian soldiers raped, looted, and desecrated their
way through Poland. At the end
the war, the Allies ‘gave’ Poland to Russia (even though the
sovereignty of Poland was
supposed to be the whole reason why the war started) What should
Polish/Australians celebrate on Anzac day?
the Vietnam conflict, millions of people lost their lives, and a large
part of Vietnam was destroyed by defoliation. Agent Orange (and other
‘Rainbow Herbicides’) continue to foul the waterways,
cause diseases and birth defects, and poison the food chain
We all remember the grotesque image of the naked, crying little girl
fleeing after being Napalmed. What should Vietnamese/Australians
celebrate on Anzac day?
is a sizable population of German immigrants who were invited to
emigrate to Australia after World War Two. Over two million Germans lost
heir lives after the end of hostilities in 1945. The policy of
the British and US during the war, to target civilians in order to
demoralise the German people resulted in hundreds of German cities and
towns being firebombed. Hundreds of thousands of innocent victims
(mainly women and children) perished by being ‘roasted alive) The
brutal and horrendous treatment of surrendered/captured German soldiers
after the war is something which I hope that Australia is not proud to
have been associated with. Myself, coming from German extraction,
usually feel nauseous on Anzac day.
war-crimes were committed against the Japanese civilian population by
the deliberate policy of fire-bombing civilian centres during the last
six months of World War Two. At this time Japan was practically
helpless, but would not surrender. Starting with the fire-bombing of
Tokyo (100,000 mainly women and children roasted alive), and over the
next six months more than 30 cities had a similar fate. This culminated
with the destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima (civilian targets).
do not seek to promote discussions about the justifications for the
above acts, and there is no doubt that all of the ‘enemy’ nations
were themselves not without blame. This letter is not about blaming,
justifying, or pointing the finger. The wars are long over.
is time that we learn to respect our fellow Australians. The Anzac day
tradition, whilst certainly noble in its original ideals, no longer has
a place in our multicultural society, and should be abandoned, or
replaced with a day when ALL Australians can reflect on the suffering
and sacrifices made by people from their country of origin.
do not know of the process whereby this idea can be achieved
practically, and it may have to be brought before some legal tribunal
such as the Racial Vilification Act or other, as Anzac Day is insulting,
humiliating, and intimidating to many Australians.
give this matter some consideration, and I hope that you will support
the principle of what I have put forward.
write this letter with the greatest amount of respect for ALL people of
ALL nationalities who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,
©-free 2010 Adelaide Institute