Publication Date: Dec 2023
RRP: $32.99
ISBN: 9781922979377
Format: Paperback
Size: 153mm x 234mm
Pages: 288
Category: Australian History, Biography, LGBTQIA

Paul and Paula

A Story of Separation, Survival and Belonging

Tim McNamara

‘In fifty years … nobody will then know anything about our troubles.’

1939: Paul Kurz – engineer, refugee from Vienna and Dunera Boy – is separated from his wife, Paula, and his mother at the outbreak of World War II and interned in Australia.

Late 1960s: an Australian student from an Irish Catholic family railing against his father, struggling with his religious upbringing and coming to terms with his sexuality strikes up a profound friendship with Paul, two generations older.

Decades after Paul’s death, he pieces together Paul’s incredible story from surviving family letters, and travels to Vienna to discover Paul’s history and that of the city – its beauty, its violence, its cruelty, what Paul loved and how he suffered there. The letters reveal Paul’s heartbreaking separation from Paula, his life in exile in England and Australia, his desperate attempts to reconnect with his wife and the eventual fateful outcome.

This lyrical, poignant account combines memoir, biography and history to explore the enduring influence of one elderly Holocaust survivor and the intergenerational impact of the famed Dunera.

Listen to Tim’s interview on SBS Hebrew radio

Tim McNamara

Tim McNamara was a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne. During his internationally successful career in applied linguistics, he established the Melbourne Graduate Program in Applied Linguistics (in 1987) and the Language Testing Research Centre (in...
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