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Sydney Jewish Museum to investigate whether Wollongong art donor was a Nazi

TJI Pick
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Published: 5 April 2022

Last updated: 4 March 2024

The Museum’s historian, Professor Konrad Kwiet, will carry out the review into whether former steelworker and art collector Bob Srederas hid a secret Nazi past

THE SYDNEY JEWISH MUSEUM will lead an independent review into whether Lithuanian immigrant and celebrated Wollongong resident worked for the Nazi intelligence apparatus during the second world war and possibly carried out war crimes.

Bronius “Bob” Sredersas was a folk hero and former steelworker who has been a well-known figure since he donated his art collection to the Wollongong Art Gallery in 1976.

Guardian Australia reported how a four-year investigation by former local councillor Michael Samaras revealed documents that appeared to show Sredersas, who died in 1982, worked with the intelligence service of the Waffen-SS, known as the Sicherheitsdienst (SD).

Later Sredersas fled to Germany ahead of the advance by the Soviet Union where he applied for German citizenship and attempted to join the SS as a volunteer before he emigrated to Australia after the war.

Wollongong lord mayor Gordon Bradbery and the council’s general manager, Greg Doyle, met with representatives from the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies and the Sydney Jewish Museum on Thursday.

Wollongong council asked for assistance verifying the claims made about Sredersas’ past and engaged Sydney Jewish Museum historian, Prof Konrad Kwiet to carry out the review.

Kwiet is a Dutch Holocaust survivor who served as the chief historical consultant in the specialist investigations unit that worked within the commonwealth Attorney General’s Department between 1987 and 1994 to investigate Nazi war criminals in Australia.

FULL STORY Jewish Museum to lead investigation into claim Wollongong identity collaborated with Nazis (Guardian)

Photo: Professor Konrad Kwiet

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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