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

(New link update!) Barbara Miller Books Newsletter Nov 2021

 

Hi all you wonderful readers – the holiday season is fast approaching and I wish you some wonderful time out with family and friends. Also, let’s hope you can snuggle up with a book around a fireside in colder climates or lay on a beach and read while listening to the waves lapping on a sandy shore. Mine will be the latter.

Barbara miller book ebook promo

Book Launch 7 Dec 12md AEDT Zoom

Zoom ID 116 446 220 Passcode: 498888

You are invited to a zoom book launch of my book Secrets and Lies on Tuesday 7 December at 12md AEDT i.e. Sydney time and Monday night 6 December 8pm New York time. I launched it on amazon for NAIDOC and it has been bestseller in a number of categories from time to time. I was invited to have a physical launch at the Cairns Tropical Writers Festival but it was postponed till next year due to covid. So this zoom launch will enable my friends and book lovers from around the world to join in.

Review

Secrets and Lies: The Shocking Truth of Recent Aboriginal History, A Memoir, is both a political chronicle and a personal memoir – a journey the young Barbara took into political activism and personal transformation, which became life-long. Barbara Miller shows the political and the personal can be two sides of a life journey of service.

There is critical history in this book from an activist on the inside.  Yet the book also shows that political activism is not enough. It must be balanced by personal integrity and pursuit. The journey from the political into the personal, with fulfillment in spiritual practice, is also illuminating. Can we do one without the other?  I think not, whatever the spiritual practice is. 

Barbara’s book bought memories of the days of the Aboriginal Co-ordinating Council (ACC), both of us working at different levels within the ACC to respond to the directions and needs of the old reserve mission controls moving into deeds of grant in trust and ‘self-management’. Barbara’s political background provided essential insight and sound analysis. Mine saw the failure of the services delivered by a racist regime, with the ACC working to meet their legislative responsibilities. Barbara supported this work through research. Hers has been an inspirational journey of service at many levels.

Judy Atkinson, Emeritus Professor, PhD AM

Here is an interesting earlier interview I did with a Native American interviewer, Marina Maria of Faith City Outreach for her podcast:


Check out Marina Maria’s new website!

https://www.globalgospelworshipradio.org/

 

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/

Shattered Lives Broken Dreams is available from Amazon as well as my website but William Cooper Gentle Warrior is only available from my website and is not available as an ebook.

BOOK OF THE MONTH

Keith DeLacy, A Philosophical Journey

Your Price: $39.95
ISBN:9781922449603
Connorcourt Publishing

Sadly Keith DeLacy passed away a few days ago of cancer at 81 years of age but he managed to publish his memoir in time – in September 2021. He even spoke at a function in Brisbane one week before he passed. An outstanding treasurer in the Queensland government, he is reported by a Gympie newspaper as being critical of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in his book, having worked with him in the Goss government. I knew Keith personally in my early days and he seemed to be a person of integrity.John Roskam

DeLacy weaves together a tale of family, sport, politics, and business with candour, humanity, and profound insight. Anyone who wants to understand modern Australia must read this important and significant work.’ Gary Johns

 
‘When he became Treasurer in the Wayne Goss government he knew that Labor had a bad reputation for reckless spending. He set about making sure that he would not repeat the mistakes of other administrations. He succeeded. De Lacy has had a celebrated career after politics as a company director and entrepreneur.

Pre-publication Interview I did with Sylvia Tabua of Torres Strait Islander Radio on my book Secrets and Lies. It was a phone interview and my husband Norman videod me

GET $10 DISCOUNT OFF MY LATEST BOOK

Amazon Australia has a promotion on the paperback of my book Secrets and Lies which would make a good gift. It is $10 off the paperback when ordered by the amazon app. Enter code MAX10 at checkout. Here is the link to get the special – https://www.amazon.com.au/Secrets-Lies-Shocking-Australian-Aboriginal/dp/0648870928/

If you are an avid reader and are in KDP select, all my ebooks are free. I am in KDP select as I pay a low monthly fee and can read 10 books free as often as I like. Sounds good?

Question – What is your favourite book and why in a few words? Or a book that impacted you as a child? Let me know via email

Newsletter Sept 2021

Hi all you wonderful readers – I’m blessed to be living in Cairns in the Sunshine state of Queensland and we have only had 3 days of lockdown due to Covid-19 this year, faring much better than crowded cities like Sydney and Melbourne coping with the Delta strain.

In fact, except for the QR code requirement at venues, life has not changed much in Cairns since Covid-19 struck. My best wishes go out to all of you who have had your lives curtailed by many restrictions. A big hug to all of you who have been doing it tough. I only hope that during this time, you’ve been able to use it creatively to try out new things and to catch up on things you didn’t have time to do before. Maybe you even have more time to read books. Anyway, there is light at the end of the tunnel, so all the best.

Below are 2 photos taken by Norman of the Cairns Esplanade at night. Maybe we should be called a City of Lights.

During NAIDOC Week (National Aborigines and Islanders Week), I was interviewed about my new book Secrets and Lies

by Trevour Timms of Bummera Bippera Indigenous radio in Cairns
for National Indigenous Radio.
Here is the short but lively interview:

Mp3 format

High Maximum quality (WAV) file
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s9j-9RqC5l3NPsI3ORLXd-vbDWSmrW5d/view

SPECIAL PROMOTION

FREE EBOOK – White Woman Black Heart from 14-18 Sept on amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CCMV6CP
Oppressed Aborigines forced off their land at gunpoint. Over a decade later, one passionate young woman would take up their fight. Melbourne, 1970’s. Twenty-three-year-old university student Barbara Miller always stood her ground, even when it made her an outcast in her own family. So when she became a radical Christian advocate for social change, she didn’t think twice about joining the movement for Aboriginal justice. Boldly relocating to tropical Cape York and linking up with a Black activist and mentor on the frontline, she plunged into a life-changing battle despite the State’s threat of legal prosecution.

14-18 Sept the following ebooks will be reduced to 99c on amazon.
The Dying Days of Segregation in Australia – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GF864Q6
Did the deep north of Australia experience racism, discrimination, and segregation? Yes. But it was different from the deep south of the USA. A system similar to South African apartheid existed on Aboriginal reserves like Yarrabah in Queensland till as recently as 1984.

White Australia Has A Black History
https://www.amazon.com/dp/064847223X
Some say he was Australia’s Martin Luther King. William Cooper saw his Aboriginal people dying around him and decided black lives matter. Starvation and discrimination took their toll. He became passionate that they should have a voice in Australia’s federal parliament.

Shattered Lives Broken Dreams
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084Q4SSTX
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?

BOOK OF THE MONTH

There were certainly plenty of good books to choose from. The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku is not new but it is certainly acclaimed. It is the WINNER OF THE ABIA BIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR 2021.

Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you. Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed in November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested, and taken to a concentration camp.

Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country. Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom, and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’.

Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

  • SHORTLISTED FOR THE ABA NIELSEN BOOK BOOKSELLERS’ CHOICE – ADULT NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021
  • SHORTLISTED FOR THE INDIE BOOK AWARDS FOR NON-FICTION 2021
  • LONGLISTED FOR MATT RICHELL AWARD FOR NEW WRITER OF THE YEAR 2021 

Interview I did with ABC Radio Cairns for Reconciliation Week on my book Secrets and Lies

 

REVIEW FEATURE

Authors depend on reviews so I help other authors out with reviews when I can so I have decided to feature a few occasionally in case you’re interested. They are usually inexpensive and quick to read as ebooks on amazon.

Instead of the reviews this month, I have included an exciting opportunity for you with a feature called BOOKS YOU MIGHT LIKE.
They are from other non fiction authors. Check it out now – https://storyoriginapp.com/to/RWP8CwX

 

Question- What is your favourite book and why in a few words? Or a book that impacted you as a child? Let me know: 

bmiller-books@bigpond.com 

One of the books that impacted me in childhood was Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, an 1852 anti-slavery novel that had great impact in the US.

 

CAIRNS – CITY IN A RAINFOREST – PAINTING BY ABORIGINAL ARTIST MUNGANBANA. If you want to see more, go to www.munganbana.com.au