Newsletter March 2022

Hi all you wonderful readers – There has been a lot happening in the world and we trust you are in a good place and can take time out from your busy schedule to read some interesting books. It has been said that “reading is dreaming with open eyes.” What do you dream about when you read?

Author Marji Hill, who facilitates the Fast Self-Publishing Online group, interviewed author Barbara Miller this week.

NEW BOOK COMING UP

A book on the European explorers’ quests to find the unknown great south land in the Pacific.

Summer or winter, autumn or spring, pick up a book

Review of White Australia Has A Black History: William Cooper And First Nations Peoples’ Political Activism

5 Star Review – We’ve learned about the atrocities that were committed against Aboriginal people during white settlement but never before have I read about the attempts by Aboriginals like William Cooper to try and work with the system, to try and succeed as farmers. Barbara tells a heartbreaking story of betrayal and injustice, not against rebels, but against people who made every attempt to work with the Government. We learn how the original owners of the land didn’t ask for anything more than what was given to the white settlers, but they were denied even this. Worse, it was sometimes given and taken away as collective punishment for the failure of a minority of people to fulfil obligations. forced on them.

This book should be mandatory reading in the Australian school curriculum. (Mike007, Amazon reviewer)

Check White Australia Has A Black History out as it is only $2.99 US for the ebook. Click here.

Shattered Lives Broken Dreams: William Cooper and Australian Aborigines Protest Holocaust

5-star review, Amazing Story – Shattered Lives Broken Dreams: William Cooper and Australian Aborigines Protest Holocaust ( William Cooper Gentle Warrior Series Book 2) by Barbara Miller. This is a historic novel about how the Australian Aborigines protested against the Jew Holocaust during the Nazi regimen. The fact that these Australians guided by William Cooper had done a fierce protest against the holocaust is something that took me by surprise, I am very aware of everything that happened during the Holocaust, not just because I read about it but because I had classmates that their parents used to have the concentration camp number in their wrists, like a second-hand history close to me during my high school years but I had never heard this story about William Cooper and their mates. The book is well written, it has a lot of investigative work involved in its development, it has some pictures about the events that are narrated and I think that if you are a history fan or if you want to know things about the Jew Holocaust that you don’t know yet, this is a great book to read.
Review by Quirru, Amazon reviewer
Check the book out here, only $2.99 US.

Right – I am with my William Cooper Gentle Warrior book which is available with free shipping from my website. Click here.

Left – My follow-up memoir, Secrets and Lies (2021) which is doing well on Amazon Aust. 

Review of Secrets and Lies: The Shocking Truth of Recent Aboriginal History, A Memoir” 

5 star review – A Memoir with a Punch – This is a frank and compelling story of a fight that should never have had to happen. Personal anecdotes are interwoven with a very important message for us all and the photographs bring it very close. This author’s writing about the marginalised people in Australia has always resonated with me. I am South African and witnessed the end of apartheid and the inclusion of every citizen as a human being with equal rights. It has, therefore, long angered me that other countries have legislation and social constructs that are just as draconian as those under apartheid yet parade themselves as democracies. I was so glad to read this book, which not only tells Australia’s story of human rights travesties but also demonstrates that there are solutions. It is at once heartbreaking and uplifting and should be required reading for everyone who thinks apartheid is South African only and that there are human beings who are in any way less than other human beings. I recommend this to you as well!
by Joy RS Amazon reviewer
For a closer look, click here

BOOK OF THE MONTH FEATURE

For the Record: 160 years of Aboriginal print journalism by

Michael Rose

From September 1836 to December 1837, young Aboriginal clerks produced the Flinders Island Weekly Chronicle, a remarkable record of life on the island off Tasmania where a number of Aboriginal people had been forced to resettle. Copied by hand, it describes the settlement in often poignant terms ‘I am much afraid none of us will be alive by and by as there is nothing but sickness among us. Why don’t the black fellows pray to the king to get us away from this place?’

Starting with this extraordinary newsletter, Michael Rose has brought together examples of Aboriginal journalism from a wide range of Aboriginal and mainstream publications. He includes articles from early activists and others who used newspaper and magazine journalism in their fight for justice.

For The Record also offers the reader an unusual glimpse, through Aboriginal eyes, of key issues and events in Aboriginal and Australian history. Included in the dozens of articles selected: protests about poor treatment on reserves in the 1930s, an eyewitness account of a Maralinga atomic bomb test in the 1950s, Bill Rosser’s reporting of life on Palm Island, Kevin Gilbert’s passionate call for a formal treaty between Aboriginal people and the Australian government and Poel Pearson’s commentary on the High Court’s Mabo decision.

You can check it out here.
Interestingly, there are some articles by me as both Barbara Russell, my maiden name, and Barbara Miller, my married name as I was the editor and a writer for the “N.Q. Messagestick” an Aboriginal newspaper for the North Queensland Land Council.

Question – What is on your reading list for the new year?
Let me know via email

Newsletter Feb 2022

Hi all you wonderful readers – No doubt you are well and truly into your business of the new year with holidays left behind. But we trust you will still have some time out for the pleasure of reading.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

A number of commentators are comparing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Hitler’s invasion of European countries in World War 11 and wondering how far Putin will go to re-establish the USSR. People are also asking is the west having its Neville Chamberlain moment of appeasement?

 Poland was not part of USSR as was Ukraine till 1991, but Poland will have bad memories of how it was treated by the Russians during and after World War 11. Surprisingly, perhaps, my book If I Survive covers some of that story. The reason for this is that I needed to piece together the information from Lena Goldstein, whose story it is, by doing a lot of background research to put it in context. So I will include some extracts here:

Excerpt of horrific story from If I Survive

The Nazis fought their way into Warsaw. Dead bodies were everywhere. They closed the schools, shut down the newspapers and concerts. The people loved music, but the city fell silent.

The Siege of Warsaw by the Germans began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, while the Soviet invasion of Poland commenced on 17 September. The Polish Warsaw Army (Armia Warszawa) defended Warsaw, the capital of Poland, as substantial aerial bombardments by the Luftwaffe rained down.
………………………….
To offer what support she could (to her brothers who were sent to the east to fight), Lena went undercover as an actress with a troop of actors who happened to be going to Brest. She says:
 
“We were already on the Russian side, and people were coming back from the Russian side, saying, ‘Go back, go back because they’re killing people,’ especially Jews because they know the Jews are escaping from the Germans. They’re killing Jews because they know that everybody is selling all that they possess to run away from the Germans to the Russian side. It was dangerous.”
…………………………….
Lena’s sister Fela and her husband did not want to accept Russian citizenship. They were Polish citizens, and they wanted to go back to Poland. Angered, the Russians sent them to Siberia instead, as punishment. Russia had already been sent many dissidents to this remote place. Lena longed to find her sister, hold her in her arms, share sisterly stories, even to know she was alive and not suffering. But there was no word from her. It was as if a chapter of her life had closed.
……………………………
(Because of the Warsaw Uprising Aug-Oct 1944 led by the Polish home army or resistance timed for the retreat of the Germans and advance of the Soviets) The Germans reduced Warsaw to smoking ruins, the skeletons of burnt blocks of apartments surrounded by rubble and destroyed bridges sunk into the river. It was like a ghost town.

The Soviets paid the highest price to defeat the Nazis in Europe, losing more than 26 million troops, so the Allies didn’t want to upset them, and this accounted for their low-level support for their ally Poland. This lack of support was despite the fact that Polish pilots helped win the Battle of Britain in 1940, 115,000 Poles fought in Italy under British command, and after D-Day Poles fought on the western front. They also fought for Britain in the Middle East.

 Tehran Conference

The Tehran Conference sealed the fate of Poland. It was a meeting between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in Tehran, Iran, between 28 November and 1 December 1943. It is reported that:
 
Stalin pressed for a revision of Poland’s eastern border with the Soviet Union to match the line set by British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon in 1920. To compensate Poland for the resulting loss of territory, the three leaders agreed to move the German–Polish border to the Oder and Neisse rivers. This decision was not formally ratified, however, until the Potsdam Conference of 1945. (Office of the Historian n.d.)
 
It seems the president of the Polish government-in-exile, Władysław Raczkiewicz, was not aware of this. Also, the Americans were keen to get Soviet support for the war against Japan. At the Yalta conference between the Americans, British and Soviets from 4 to 11 February 1945, the Allies withdrew support for the Polish government-in-exile and Poland was allowed to become a Soviet satellite. Other decisions were made that enabled a Soviet sphere of influence in Europe that led to the Cold War. Stalin said:
 
For the Russian people, the question of Poland is not only a question of honor but also a question of security. Throughout history, Poland has been the corridor through which the enemy has passed into Russia. Poland is a question of life and death for Russia. (The Latin Library n.d.)
 
After the war, Poland became a communist state and remained so until 1989. One occupying force was replaced by another. The Soviets persecuted the soldiers of the Home Army and the resistance fighters of the Warsaw Uprising as being anti-Soviet. Instead of being honoured as brave fighters, they were maligned. A monument to the Home Army was not built until 1989 when the Soviets lost control of Poland. Instead, the Soviet-backed People’s Army was glorified. the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), Stalin’s secret police, or the Office of Security (UB), the Polish political police, captured many Home Army fighters, eradicating opposition to post-war communist Poland. The UB operated from 1945 to 1954. They imprisoned the soldiers on charges such as fascism and sent many to Gulags. However, memories of the uprising and lack of Soviet support for them motivated the Polish labour movement, Solidarity, which led to peaceful opposition against the Polish communist government in the 1980s.

In Poland now, 1 August is a celebrated anniversary. On the fiftieth anniversary of the (Warsaw) uprising, in 1994, Poland held a ceremony and invited the German and Russian presidents. Russian President Boris Yeltsin didn’t attend but German President Roman Herzog visited and was the first German statesman to apologise for German atrocities against Poland during the uprising. “

For more information

The story of how Australian Aboriginal William Cooper led a group of Aborigines to the German Consulate in Melbourne in 1938 to protest the Holocaust or Shoah is told here.

William Cooper was a pioneer for the rights of Indigenous people in Australia, being the father of NAIDOC, working with key leaders to hold the Day of Mourning on the 150th anniversary of British settlement in 1938 and petitioning the King of England for better conditions for Indigenous people as well as representation in federal parliament. Read more about him here.

Summer or winter, autumn or spring, pick up a book.
Review of White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon by author Barbara Miller

This is a personal memoir recording biographical details which illuminates many aspects of contemporary Australian history. Miller takes us on a fascinating journey from her working class background and her spiritual and political awakening through to her involvement in Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

This is woven around her coverage of her involvement with helping to re-establish Mapoon in 1974.  Miller gives an insightful treatment of how and why she became engaged in social justice issues in the 1970s. This was a period of major social change in Australia when there was no internet or digital technology and yet Miller manages to convey the passion and commitment of the times.  It is apparent that her social activism is guided and motivated by her faith. 

The atrocious treatment of the residents of Mapoon when the Director of Native Affairs used police-state tactics to remove them in 1963 from their traditional lands, is both heart-breaking and uplifting. The author shows great sensitivity, respect, and understanding and manages to convey the petty-fogging autocratic paternalistic control of Indigenous people, which pervaded the period of the Bjelke-Petersen era. One can see what Aboriginal people had to contend with and how, with the re-establishment of Mapoon, a most positive success story has finally been achieved. This is an engrossing and compassionate memoir of an extraordinary woman who through her actions demonstrates what can be achieved through persistent commitment and faith.

Dr Timothy Bottoms, author of Conspiracy of Silence, Queensland’s frontier killing times (Allen & Unwin 2013) and CAIRNS, City of the South Pacific, A History 1770-1995 (Bunu Bunu Press 2016). 

Check White Woman Black Heart out as it is only $2.99 US for the ebook. Look here.

Right – I am with my husband Norman at the Queensland Literary Awards ceremony in Brisbane where my book White Woman Black Heart was a finalist for the main award – the Premiers’ Award for a Work of State Significance. My brother Greg and sister-in-law Lynne are behind us. 

Left – My follow up memoir, Secrets and Lies (2021) which is doing well on Amazon Aust. For a closer look, click here

The Shocking Truth of Recent Aboriginal History, A Memoir”, by Barbara Miller is a heartfelt historical and personal account about the Aboriginal people of Australia. It is a story about their fight to preserve their ancestral land, their culture, and customs. It is a fight against big mining companies and their very rough treatment of the Government.

This is the third book about the Australian Aboriginal people that by Barbara Miller that I have read. It is as if one is sitting around a fireplace night after night, and being taken back in time. What makes it special is the depth of researched material, and the detailed references from newspapers, conferences, meetings, and quotes.

The reader also gets an insider’s view of the cultural clashes in the Australian society. On one hand, the values of innovation, disruption, and change are desirable. Yet, the indigenous people valued security, conformity, and stability. There are some very shocking revelations in the book, such as the Government policies of withholding wages of the indigenous employees or disallowing the Aboriginal people to receive a formal education beyond a few years …

by Monica Rubombora, South African author

BOOK OF THE MONTH FEATURE

The #1 New York Times bestseller. Over 3 million copies sold!

Given up on your new year resolutions yet? Try this. Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

You can get it here

Question –What is on your reading list for the new year?
Let me know via email

Newsletter Jan 2022 no 1

Hi all you wonderful readers – No doubt some of you are still on holidays and some are back to the grind. No! Not the grind – an exciting new year full of lots of opportunities and adventures

Review of White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon by author Barbara Miller

This is a highly engaging and inspiring memoir. At its centre is the story of Mapoon which has all the elements of a great drama with the violent expulsion of the community in 1963 and their triumphant return eleven years later. As the author explains she came almost by chance to be at the very centre of the drama which in turn dramatically changed her life. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in political and social change over the last 50 years.
 
Professor Henry Reynolds,FAHA FASSA University of Tasmania, eminent historian and award-winning author
Check it out as it is only $2.99 US for the ebook https://www.amazon.com/dp-B07CCMV6CP/
 

Wansee 80th Anniversary

We have two very important anniversaries coming up which we should remember because of the gravity of the inhumanity to man shown at each. On 20 January, we have the 80th anniversary of the Wansee conference when Nazi leaders developed the Final Solution to expedite the genocide of European Jews. This horrific story is told in both the above books, If I Surviveabout a Polish Shoah (Holocaust) survivor and Shattered Lives Broken Dreamsabout Aboriginal William Cooper who led the Australian Aborigines’ League on the protest re Kristallnacht to the German consulate in Melbourne in 1938. Both books can be found on my website with amazon links for ebooks. 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The other anniversary is on  27 January, the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In November 2005, it was declared International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Excerpt of horrific story from If I Survive

P 55 “Using bullets to kill Jews was not quick enough, used too much manpower and rattled some who had to do it. A conference was held to plan Hitler’s Final Solution on 20 January 1942, at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin. Head of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), SS General Reinhard Heydrich, ran the meeting. Adolf Eichmann wrote the protocols, which included the words “transportation to the East”, a euphemism for the genocide of Europe’s Jews, who numbered about eleven million at the time. Josef Bühler, State Secretary of the General Government of occupied Poland, asked for the Final Solution to occur in Poland because transportation was not a problem. About 1,700,000 Jews were killed in Operation Reinhard.

Aktion (Action) Reinhard was the name given to the plan to send Jews to their deaths at Treblinka, and the other extermination camps built in Poland – Belzec and Sobibor. According to the Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, a fourth death camp had already opened at Chelmno, today’s Poland. The Nazis gassed the first Jews there in mobile vans on 8 December 1941. (Scapbookpages.com 1998)

 

BOOK OF THE MONTH FEATURE

Anne Sarzin and Lisa Miranda Sarzin wrote Hand in Hand: Jewish and Indigenous People Working Together as a project for the Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) NSW who published it in 2010. While more stories could be added to it now, it is the most comprehensive, valuable, and inspiring book available on this important topic. The book has a focus on working together for reconciliation and justice.

For NAIDOC Week 2021, the JBD began a digital portal to build on the book. As their website says:

“The portal will provide a comprehensive overview of the Jewish-First Nations relationship in NSW and an inspiration to local Jews and others to continue and take part in the journey. This digital portal will expand on the Sarzins’ work and document the history; highlight key personalities and personal stories; catalogue collaborative work being done today and offer opportunities to get involved in it; present the work of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, and give access to important resources from other organisations.

“Here are just a few of the collaborations which will be featured on the portal:

 

European Quest to Find Terra Australis Incognita

I published  European Quest in 2014 and it is only available for sale through my website but I will soon upload it on Amazon. It is the fascinating story of Pedro Ferdinand de Quiros, a Portuguese explorer under the command of the King of Spain who had a great desire to find the large unknown land that he and others believed filled the gap between South America and South Africa and balanced the norther and southern hemispheres. He travelled through the south pacific and encountered Indigenous people along the way, landing on Vanuatu in 1606 and then was forced back. His second in command, Torres continued on and alerted Europeans to a strait between New Guinea and the land to the south. However, he was beaten by 6 months by Dutchman Janszoon who was the first European to set foot on Australia. 

I am also writing a new book that will focus on this story from a Christian point of view as there is a huge interest in Australia and the Pacific that de Quiros, a devout Catholic, prophecied “the south land of the Holy Spirit over the Pacific from Vanuatu to the South Pole. The island in Vanuatu where he made his declaration from is called Espiritu Santo or Holy Spirit in Spanish and they believe they are the custodians of this prophecy. 

Norman and I were asked to speak at the Vanuatu Prayer Assembly in 2012 and 2013 and we went to the very place where de Quiros made this declaration and met with villagers there. Quiros made it on May 14 1606 which was Pentecost or Shavuot and so the villagers celebrate it each year and also celebrate the birth of the modern state of Israel on May 14. How amazing! So much more to tell.

Question –What is on your reading list for the new year?
Let me know via email

Kristallnacht To Cooper Protest Special 9 Nov – 6 Dec

To commemorate the anniversary of Kristallnacht or the Night of the Broken Glass and the response by Australian Aboriginal William Cooper in leading the Australian Aborigines’ League on one of the few private protests worldwide against Kristallnacht, I have a $10 discount on my William Cooper Gentle Warrior book with free shipping in Australia.  – https://barbara-miller-books.com/

 

FREE EBOOK SHATTERED LIVES BROKEN DREAMS
8-12 NOV

To raise awareness about the horror of Kristallnacht and the Holocaust and to let people know the amazing story about how Aboriginal people in faraway Australia, led by William Cooper, protested the treatment of Jews by the Nazis, I have my book Shattered Lives Broken Dreamsfree as an ebook for 5 days. Kristallnacht was 9-10 Nov so my book will be available free from Monday, November 8, 2021, 12:00 AM PST (Pacific Time, USA) to Friday, November 12, 2021, 11:59 PM PST. Bear in mind the US is 19 hours behind Sydney time. Here is the link to get your copy so share this with your friends and please let your organisation know – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084Q4SSTX

WHAT HAPPENED AT KRISTALLNACHT?

It is the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht on November 9 when the sounds of breaking glass shattered the lives of many Jewish people in Germany, Austria, and Sudetenland. It was the start of the Holocaust, a turning point in the history of antisemitism that would lead to mass genocide. Gangs of Nazi storm troopers destroyed 7,000 Jewish businesses, set fire to more than 900 synagogues, killed 91 Jews, and deported some 30,000 Jewish men to concentration camps. While the official death toll was 91, it may have been in the hundreds. Their resilience in the face of this horror is a tribute to Jewish people. We say never again. If we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it.

Despite Aborigines not being citizens in their own land, William Cooper led them to the German Consulate in Melbourne on 6 December 1938 in a protest against the treatment of Jews. They knew what oppression was like. Cooper, a Christian, and his people, the Yorta Yorta tribe, many of whom were also Christian, related to the Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. William Cooper was honoured at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem in December 2010 and my husband Norman and I were privileged to be there with his descendants to witness the event.