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German Influence in Australia
Transcript of German Influence in Australia
A Few German Influences
Australia has many diverse cultural influences, which each contribute to our national identity.
Susan Muffler's German background, with the help of migrants like her parents Karl and Mathilde, have helped German food become a large part of the Australian culture.
Foods such as apple strudel, wurst sausages like bratwurst and liverwurst, and of course, schnitzel have become popular food choices in Australia. Schnitzel particularly, is a regular meal choice in Australian households, restaurants and pubs.
SS Balranald: the ship Karl Muffler migrated to Ausralia on - Source: Susan Muffler
Birthday Cake Design for Susan by her father, Karl - Source: Susan Muffler
Susan's father Karl Muffler, decoarting a cake in the 1970's - Source: Susan Muffler
The Life of Susan Muffler
German Influences Contnued
"We spoke English at home, and hardly distinguished ourselves as German"
- Susan Muffler
Another influence stemming from the German culture is the now common dog breed, the German Shepherd.
A German Shepherd is a large, intelligent breed of dog which originated in Germany. The dog gained immediate popularity for its intelligence and agility, and became a common choice for delivery dogs, rescue dogs and particularly, police dogs.
In Australia the use of dogs in the police force has grown greatly and has proven to be extremely beneficial. With a responsible temperament the dogs can be trained to perfection, and undertake tasks such as such as searching for drugs and explosives, searching for lost people, looking for crime scene evidence, and protecting their handlers. So another thanks to the Germans, they provided us with an important addition to the Australian police force.
German Influences Continued... x2
Oktoberfest. All Australians have heard of it. It is the world's largest funfair held annually in October - with a large amount of beer consumed.
Oktoberfest has a strong German history beginning in the 1800's and has grown to be the largest celebration in the German culture. Oktoberfest reflects all things German - with particular emphasis on the beer and food.
The celebration has gained popularity all over the world and is now one of Australia's largest celebrations.
German-Australia: More German Infuence
In what may be considered negative, and a generalization of the German people, another of the influences to come from the German culture is that of World War II - the war which saw German Adolf Hitler responsible for the slaughter of around 6 million Jewish people.
WWII has a huge part in the history of not only Germans and Jews, but people and cultures from all over the world. In Australia, WWII and the holocaust is a focus in the history curriculum, with high school students learning the causes and implications of the war. There are also two major museums - one in Sydney and one in Melbourne - dedicated to the holocaust.
Susan's father Karl Muffler was held in an internment camp for six years between 1939 and 1945 due to his German heritage. He spent his time practicing cake decorating.
During this time, Susan's mother was forced to relocate to her parents house in the suburb of Prahran in Melbourne. She constrained by official constrictions of her movements, and was not aloud to travel outside a 25 kilometre radius of the General Post Office of Prahran
The two were reunited in 1945, and went on to have their first daughter Jennifer (1946) followed by Susan in 1951.
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Australia’s national identity
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Mandle, W F 1977,
Going it alone: Australia’s national identity in the twentieth Century
, Penguin, Melbourne.
Mass immigration kills Australian culture says demographer
, accessed 02/08/2014:
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Reflecting a nation: stories from the census'
, accessed 02/08/2014:
Purdie, N & Wilss, L 2007, ‘Australian National Identity: Young Peoples’ Conceptions of What It Means to be Australian’,
, vol. 9, iss. 1, pp. 67-82.
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Romanticism, Culture and Migration: Aspects of nineteenth-century German migration to Australia after German Unification
, Lang, Switzerland.
Susan Muffler (1951) is a German-Australian woman who was born in Australia and grew up in Melbourne, Victoria. Susan's father, Karl Friedrich Muffler, migrated to Australia in 1930 to work in a pastry shop in Brunswick. After 5 years working in Brunswick, he started his own cake shopin Her mother, Mathilde Mayer, migrated to Australia from germany in 1929 with her parents. The two met through 'Club Tivoli', an establishment for Germans living in Australia, and married in 1939.
Susan and her sister Jennifer, grew up battling prejudices against their culture due to Germany's involvement in World War II.
Susan's family were keen to immerse themselves into the Australian culture, and to avoid too much association with their German culture.
The Australian Nation
Some More German Influences
As a nation, the Australia has one of the most recognizable cultures in the world. From iconic foods such as Vegemite, our love of sports such as cricket and rugby league, to our reputation as a 'sun and sand' nation, Australia has built a strong national identity. One of Australia's most identifiable aspects is our multiculturalism. The Australian census revealed that over a quarter (26%) of Australia's population was born overseas and a further one fifth (20%) had at east one overseas born parent (
Australian Bureau of statistics, 2013)
. Meaning that different cultures are a large part of our national identity
Along with the delicious German food that has become a part of the Australian culture, the Germans have also helped form one of Australia's most famous wine districts.
The wine industry in Barossa Valley (north east of Adelaide, South Australia) was founded by German settlers, and Tanunda (a major town in the Barossa Valley) is so heavily influenced and populated by Germans that it has its own Germandialect - known as Barossa German, or Barossa deutsch.
The Barossa Valley now produces some of Australia's most recognizable wines including Wolf Blass and Penfolds Shiraz - which without the German influence, may have never occurred.
Proud Australian culture - Source: news.com.au
Harmony - celebrating diversity - Source: harmonyday.gov.au
From schnitzel to Hitler; the Barossa Valley to German shepherd dogs; the German culture has had a widespread influence on the Australian nation. Through the migration of people like Susan Muffler's parents, along with a migrations from a variety of cultures, Australia can develop as a multicultural nation, and can truly evolve into a diverse and culturally accepting nation.
German shepherd dog
Oktoberfest - Source: Gizmodo