MILITARY INTELLIGENCE ARCHIVES IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA AND RUSSIANS
is a synopsis of some files from the Military Intelligence Archives in
The origins of Zulman Mackmail, known as Sam Mack, a Blacksmith with the AIF, were in question following conflicting reports about his nationality. He was reported upon by a constable in Quairading where he had previously resided. The police officer was convinced he was a German, not a Russian as he claimed, the constable averred that he should be on Rottnest. Mack was later cleared after reports, from Jewish compatriots Mazel and Breckler, that he was indeed a Russian. The matter was resuscitated when Mack was seen on picket duty, in military uniform at Fremantle, guarding the Troopship 'Orsova' after having joined the AIF. MI informed the Commandant of Blackboy Camp that Mack was not to be allowed to leave the State until attestation papers had been signed by the District Commandant. Dated June October 1915.
File No 4/7/168
The Russian Government
agree to allow their nationals in
File No 4/7/250
Names of Russian subjects who had enlisted in the AIF from WA. The was to be sent to the Russian Consul, Michelides, to enable them to obtain credits for their service, from the Russian Government, as though they had served in the Russian Army. Dated 8.5.1916.
File No 4/7/268
No reason was given for
refusing to allow Morris Nissenzhon to enlist
in the AIF. However the testimony of Lewis Cohen
that he was not an enemy alien because he came from a little
As a result of
Nissenzhon a Russian Jew, supplying
uniforms for the army, was also targeted by the
File No PF 61
on Fiedler, proprietor of Federal Hotel, Fremantle, whose premises were attacked
in the 1915 riots despite his claim that he was a Russian. A letter from
File No PF 301
Leon Goldberg came under
suspicion because a book on wireless telegraphy was seen amongst his effects
by removalists when he was moving from Geraldton to
File No PF 482
A letter from a Russian
Bolshevik to his brother Elia Ephanoff in
File No PF 643
A general letter sent to all Military districts imposed an unlimited prohibition on Simonoff (read more about this man on the page Red Flag Riots), a Russian revolutionary, from issuing propaganda of any kind. Dated September 1918
File No 1/2/385
Samuel Maurice Stein, Photographer,
of Russian Jewish origin sought and obtained permission to bring out his
widowed sister from
File No 1/2/719
Report that William Bernard
Rabin, a Russian Pearl Buyer, was going to
File No 1/2/745
Circular dated 23.8.1919 "Information Evanoff Russian of Bolshevik sympathies Fireman on SS Krasnocarsk...deserter from Princessan Ingeborg may endeavour desert your district".
File No 1/2/747
Swiss passports were being
File No 1/12/234
Bernard Klem, a Russian Finn of Geraldton, was reported for alleged disloyal utterances when drunk in the Freemasons Hotel. Without any charge being laid MI leaned on the Fisheries Department to withdraw his licence to fish. It is stated in documents he was the best Fisherman in Geraldton. His employers, owners of the fishing boat, were naturalised Germans. Klem was employed as a Cook on board the fishing boat 'Magnolia. Police believed this was a ploy and that he was still fishing. J. Willcox MLA intervened on behalf of Klem. Detective Inspector Mann made a number of adverse comments about Willcox. Dated February 1918 to June 1919.
MI and the Police were very
suspicious of the bona-fides of Anna Loeffler,
a woman of German nationality, who was married to Reinherd
Antunovich who claimed to be of Russian origin
but was suspected of being German. She was allowed to leave for
File No 2/1/367
A letter from John Wagin to Leonard Aleksandrovitch, in Russian dated 15.2.1919, was intercepted and retained. MI comment "Writer is...returning member...AIF...with Bolshevik leanings".
File No 4/3/573
Wirths Circus was required to submit its country itinerary to MI because the Circus employed a Russian national as a circus hand. Dated January 1919.
File No 4/3/577
MI Headquarters sought information on William Martin Harris, alias Hirschman, previously of Perth now residing in Melbourne; "this man further claims that his antecedents were born in Russia and that he is English by birth as stated above, but on account of his admitted close association with the Socialist Party since his arrival in Australia in 1892 and on account of his close association with a Russian Bolshevik named Petruchinia, it is desired to verify his status". Dated 24.1.1919.
File No 4/3/578
Memo about John Ivanoff; "Russian strong IWW
(Industrial Workers of the World - a left wing international
organization at the time – VK) and
a Bolshevik deserted the 'Princessan Ingeborg' in
Military Intelligence Archives