Czechoslovaks in the Australian Army during the Great War

The Historie a vojenství ( History and Warfare) journal published my study on the topic of Czechoslovaks in Australia Army during 1914-1918

From the Australian Army to the Czechoslovak Legions in France.

The present study deals with the story of Czechoslovaks who decided to leave or emigrate from Austro-Hungarian Empire and on the eve of the Great War found themselves on the very periphery of British Empire in remote Australia. Drawing upon Czech and Australian archive sources, it examines the extent of Czechoslovak national’s participation in the emerging Czechoslovak foreign resistance movement that was led by T. G. Masaryk. Is focusses primarily on both successful and unsuccessful attempts of these individuals to join the Australian (or other allied) Army. Apart from this analysis and quantification it compares some of the personal histories of these individuals during and after the War.

The summary can be found here. Even more detailed information is available in:

List of Czechoslovaks in the Australian army during the Great War or

KREISINGER, Pavel: Přes australskou armádu do československých legií ve Francii. Příspěvek k účasti Čechoslováků v australské armádě za Velké války (1914–1918). Historie a vojenství 65, 2016, č. 1, s. 4–20.


Jindřich Nermuť (1917–1990)

The Moderní dějiny (Modern History) journal published my study on the topic of Czechoslovak exile in Australia after 1948.

The Life and Fate of a farmer, Member of Parliament, post-coup exil and ‘Australian’

The biographical study looks at the political activities of farmer and People’s Party Member of ParliamentJindřich Nermuť (1917–1990), who went into exile after the Communist coup in February 1948. The contribution focuses on his political activities during the era of the so-called Third Czechoslovak Republic (1945-1948), the circumstances of his departure into exile and his first years in exile (1948-1949). Finally, it discusses the activities of Jindřich Nermuť in various exile and expatriates' associations in Australia, specifically Tasmania (1950-1990), which ended with his premature death. The Communist-controlled Czechoslovak intelligence services showed great interest in Nermut’s political activities even before the Communist coup. This interest reached its peak in 1959 when a surveillance file with the codename ‘The Australian’ was opened on him.

The summary, details and photographs documenting the life of Jindřich Nermuť can be found here. Even more detailed information is available in:

KREISINGER, Pavel: Jindřich Nermuť (1917–1990). Z životních osudů rolníka, poslance, poúnorového exulanta a „Australana“. Moderní dějiny 23, 2015, č. 2, s. 221–254.


Study trip to Australia

From November 1st to December 1st, 2015, I made a study trip to Australia, which was organised in the framework of a students’ project of the Faculty of Arts, Palacký University (IGA: The Historical Development of the Society from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age). Its aim was to explore archival resources concerning the Czechoslovak-Australian relations during WWII.

First, I spent three weeks in Canberra, the capital of the Commonwealth of Australia and the site of the National Archives of Australia. I made basic research into the topic there, studied more than 100 signatures and made electronic copies of them. I also visited the Australian War Memorial, went through all its permanent exhibitions and made some complementary research in the memorial's research centre.

For the last week, I stayed in Sydney, where a branch of the National Archives of Australia is located. I made more complementary research, studied over 30 signatures and made their electronic copies.

All the gathered information will be used to finish my dissertation thesis (2016) as well as in the subsequent monograph (2017).


Czechoslovak Jews in Australia during the WWII (1939-1945)

On October 7th, 2015, I made a conference contribution on Czechoslovak Jews in Australian emmigration during WWII at an international conference of doctoral students in Košice, Slovakia.

The contribution focused on the lives of Czechoslovak Jews who decided to leave the country after Munich and March 15th 1939, and who – due to the outbreak of the WWII – found themselves at the very periphery of Czechoslovak exile, in the remote Australia. Drawing on research in Czech as well as Australian archives, it analyses to what extent the Czechoslovak Jews participated in the support of the Czechoslovak foreign resistance movement, including the unsuccessful recruitment for the Czechoslovak military unit in the Middle East or the presence of Czechoslovak Jews in the Australian army. Apart from this analysis and quantification, the paper also outlines the war experience of certain selected individuals, for example MUDr. Marco Braunstein (Brunton), an Australian army officer, Wolfgang Erich Reiser, a member of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), or Felix Süssland (Sládek), a captain and the main organiser of the recruitment for the Czechoslovak foreign army.

An extended version of the contribution will be published as an independent study in a journal (conference proceedings).


Rosenfeld brothers in RAAF

The name list of Czechoslovaks in the Australian army during the WWII has been updated upon notice of the Slovak historian Mgr. Milan Herčut.

Two brothers of Eric Rosenfeld (born 13.11.1912 in Plzeň/Pilsen) have been added to the list: Max Rosenfeld (born 18.11.1907) and Arnold Rosenfeld (born 5.9.1914). The Rosenfeld family (father Julius Roselfeld emigrated to Australia at the end of the 19th century and married an Australian from Melbourne named Elizabeth Halinbourg) was deeply patriotic and loyal towards its Czech origins. For this reason, Max and Arnold have been included in the list, even though they were born already in Australia.

All three Rosenfeld brothers served as officers in the RAAF during the war.



A new article about MUDr. Braunstein (Brunton)

Lieutenant of the Australian Army Dr. Mark George BRUNTON (1893–1963)

Let’s take a look at the life of a descendant of a Russian Jewish family, whose lengthy journey through internment camps ended in Czechoslovakia; he studied medicine here and got married – only to run again before long, this time to the other end of the world.

After leaving into exile, MUDr. Braunstein served in the Australian Army as a lieutenant under a new name, Dr. Mark George Brunton.


First test version launched

The website is still under construction, but the first test version has been launched already, including an introduction to the project, information about the author, a list of Czechoslovaks in the Australian army during WWII, and a contact form.