First Person

People-Smuggler and Saviour

John, Kevin, Tony and Julia, as well as the overwhelming majority of my fellow Australians, vehemently agree on one thing: people-smugglers are the lowest form of life. I demur. All animals may be equal, but all people-smugglers are definitely not. Let me take you back to the beginning of 1944, to German-occupied Europe. The Nazis are militarily doomed, but they have achieved one of their war-aims: the overwhelming majority of Europe’s Jews have already been exterminated. The few survivors are either dying in labour camps, like the Plaszow hell depicted with uncanny accuracy in Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s Ark, or hiding…

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