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Sydney Jewish Museum

Nazis in Australia: When History and the Law Collide

Sydney Jewish Museum
Sydney Jewish Museum
148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Thursday 6 June from 6pm to 8pm


General admission: $35SJM Member: $20

On 25 January 1990, Ivan Polyukhovich, a resident of Adelaide, was arrested for collaborating in Nazi war crimes. He was just one of many supposed Nazi war criminals who came to Australia and made their homes there, to live out their lives in peace and security.

Following his arrest came one of the most extraordinary chapters in Australia’s legal history – one that few Australians know happened at all.

Join us at the Museum for a tour of our display, followed by a panel discussion exploring the Polyukhovich v Commonwealth trials, led by educator Erin O’Brien. This panel will include the perspectives of Greg James, Chief Prosecutor; Professor Konrad Kwiet, the historian called to the stand; and former head of the Special Investigations Unit, Graham Blewitt AM.

Together, we will explore some of the challenges of prosecuting war criminals, as we consider the nature of antisemitism in Australia and the public response to the revelation that hundreds of Nazi war criminals made their homes in our backyard.


  • Greg James, formerly Chief Prosecutor of Polyukhovich v Commonwealth

  • Graham Blewitt AM, former head of the Special Investigations Unit

  • Professor Konrad Kwiet, the historian called to the stand during Polyukhovich v Commonwealth

Image: Konrad Kwiet, March 1990 in the Secret Military Archives in Prague. Courtesy of Graham Blewitt.

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