Balduin Göner AKA Baldwin ‘Paul’ Goener
Balduin Göner, later known as Baldwin ‘Paul’ Goener, was a German born man who lived most of his life in Queensland, Australia. He was a naturalised British subject for 27 years when World War Two broke out. His naturalisation was issued on July 17th 1912, three years after his arrival in Australia. He was investigated and interned among beliefs that he was not behaving as a true British citizen in Australia. In the documents concerning Göner it is said that he was a mechanic, and a clever man who held correspondences which concluded with the phrase ‘Heil Hitler’. Many other comments are made about this gentleman in many reports, all of which aim to suggest that Göner was acting as a spy for his Father land. This led to his internment in Gaythorne, Queensland, and in Tatura camps between September of 1941 and October of 1944.
Despite being a naturalised British subject for almost three decades, this man was locked up, had his rights taken
away from him and was treated as a
prisoner. All of this action took place because he was born in a country that was then involved in WW2. Just two dot points from a large report on Göner by the Commonwealth included comments such as “there is no doubt that he would commit acts of sabotage”, that he was “the ideal type” to do so, and that he knew too much about the war and its progress. All of the aforementioned report follows on to condemn Göner as a criminal, a spy, and a disloyal British subject living within Australia. Whether or not this is all true remains unknown to the public, as the matter of civilian internees is not portrayed in the media and is a little researched part of Australian history. However, when sorting through communications between Göner, his family and others known to him, a contradiction of his loyalty becomes visible. The image below contains two letters, one from Göner and one to him that clearly shows a loyalty to his adopted country of Australia, and then another loyalty to his fatherland of Germany. It can be seen how the Commonwealth may have speculated that Göner was more loyal to his home country than Australia, therefore resulting in him possibly acting as a spy.