Simon Hochberger

Born: Kesmark, Poland, 19 April 1906

Profession in country of origin: Author, graphic

Arrived in Britain as a refugee from Germany 30 March 1939


Male enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee                                            Surname: Hochberger 
Forename: Simon
Alias: -
Date and place of birth: 19/04/1906 in Kesmark, Poland
Nationality: Stateless
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 710 469
Home Office ref: C1073
Address: Kitchener camp, Richborough, Nr. Sandwich
Normal occupation: Author
Present occupation: [added later in red pencil] Enrolled in Australian Labour Corps
Name and address of employer: (see lid)
Decision of tribunal: Exempted "C"
Date 05.10.1939
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes [later crossed out in blue pencil]
Whether desires to be repatriated: No
Hochberger Simon 19.04.06 
Sailed for Australia in SS Dunera, 10th July 1940
Richborough EC
Release authorised for Australian Labour Corps - 9 March 1942

Source: National Archives, Home Office: Aliens Department: Internees Index, 1939-1947

  • Kitchener camp, Richborough, Simon Hochberger, Arrival in Britain card, 30 March 1939, Australia, released December 1942
  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, German Jewish Aid Committee, Arrived in Britain, Kitchener, Richborough, HMT Dunera, Australia, Compound II, Camp 7, Eastern Command, Julian Layton, Australian Labour Corps, Missing luggage compensation claim
  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, Left country December 1942, Released from internment in Australia April 1944, Richborough luggage claim settled 11 February 1946
  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, Statutory Declaration, Luggage claim, Captiain Edward Broughton, OCS Australian Employment Company, 7 April 1943

Source of documents: The archives of World Jewish Relief.

There are further records about Simon Hochberger, housed at the Australian National Archives as follows:

Title Hochberger Simon
Contents date range 1941 – 1945
Series number A367
Control symbol C62925
Citation NAA: A367, C62925
Item barcode 781405
Location Canberra
Access status Open
Date of decision 24 Jan 2019
Date registered 13 Sep 1992
Service Number – V377697
Date of birth – 19 Apr 1906
Place of enlistment – CAULFIELD VIC
Contents date range 1939 – 1948
Series number B884
Control symbol V377697
Citation NAA: B884, V377697
Item barcode 6633497
Location Canberra
Access status Open
Date of decision 30 Apr 2013
Records authority class number 1010873
Date registered 10 Sep 2002
Item details for: MP1103/2, E39787
Title Prisoner of War/Internee;
Hochberger, Simon
Year of birth – 1906
Nationality – Polish polish subject
Contents date range 1939 – 1945
Series number MP1103/2
Control symbol E39787
CitationNAA: MP1103/2, E39787
Item barcode 9906291
Location Melbourne
Access status Open
Extent 3pps
Records authority class number 1006218
Date registered 17 Apr 2007


  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, Letter, Kent County Constabulary, Maidstone, Missing camera, 24th March 1947
  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, Letter, Central British Fund for German Jewry, Missing luggage, 27 October 1944
  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, Metzger, Bloomsbury House, Confiscated camera, 13 March 1947
  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, Envelope, Metzger, Bloomsbury House, 1947
  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, Bloomsbury House, Jewish Refugees Committee, Luggage Department, Missing camera, 17 March 1947
  • Kitchener camp, Simon Hochberger, Police Superintendant, Sandwich, Jewish Refugees Committee, Cecilia Korten, Luggage Department, Missing camera, 17 March 1947

Kindly submitted by Dr Friedrich Voit, a researcher, for Simon Hochberger. All documents from the archives of World Jewish Relief.


A researcher living in New Zealand got in touch recently about Simon Hochberger. He is writing a short biography to accompany a poem written by Simon – who is listed in British National Archives records as a journalist and author.

Below are a few notes from our early email correspondence:

I am researching the life and work of the journalist and poet Simon Hochberger (1906-1947). He was one of the Dunera internees and on his arrival in Melbourne he registered his last address in the UK as Kitchener Camp. I found his name on the 1939 Register.

Fortunately, and thanks to your most interesting and informative webpages, I have learnt a bit more about Hochberger. He contributed to the Kitchener Camp Review and he organized and directed the camp show in August 1939.

Unfortunately, I still do not know from where and how Hochberger got the visa to emigrate to England and the camp. Is there a register of first interviews at arrival or something similar I could consult? He may have come from Vienna, perhaps via Dachau.

In the Kitchener Camp Diary I found the following sentence (19th August 1939), which might not be quite correct: “The show is entirely in English written by Hochburger by chief assistant and was a great success”. The name should read “Hochberger” (correctly spelled in the report on the show in the Camp Review) and could the second ‘by’ be misspelled for ‘my’ referring to Hochberger’s  contributions to the Review?

A major focus of my research relates to German-Jewish writers, their work and biography in the 1930s and 40s, with monographs on Karl Wolfskehl, who fled to NZ and died here, and on Gerson Stern, who emigrated in 1939 to Palestine. A colleague who wrote a short essay on Hochberger – “The Lost Writer”​. In 1946 Hochberger published a remarkable epic poem ​Warsaw Ghetto. It has been almost forgotten, probably because of his premature death only a year later. My hope is to prepare a new edition of this poem and accompany it with a short biography. The still-powerful poem deserves to be better known.

By now I know quite a bit about Hochberger’s life since his escape to England – his stay at the Kitcchener Camp, the Dunera, and his stay in Hay and Tatura (mostly thanks to the Kitchener webpages and files in the National Archives of Australia). After his release from the Australian Army he contributed to the Australian journal The Zionist until he moved to NZ as editor of the NZ Jewish Chronicle. He had only edited two issues when he died.

As far as I have been able to find out, Hochberger’s entire close family perished in the Shoah.

I was most grateful to learn about Julian Layton. I have encountered his name in a number of NAA files, but knew little about his important role, and Grünbaum’s Diary was an eye opener: Grünbaum knew Simon, although he doesn’t mention him by name, but the drawing on the last page of the diary is inscribed “copy of Hochberger”.  Is it a humorous sketch of Simon? The drawing refers to the reception of the internees at Hay.

I know a bit about the family’s Galician origin and background, but I would like to learn more about Simon’s upbringing in Germany, education and early journalist/writing career.

Finally, the State Library of Victoria has put online an electronic copy of Hochberger’s booklet with the poem which sparked my current project.

Kindly submitted by Friedrich Voit for Simon Hochberger

Editor: If anyone has further information about Simon Hochberger, please do get in touch so we can pass it on.

This work (above) is out of copyright.

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Kitchener Camp, Simon Hochberger, Photograph source: The National Archives of Australia
Kitchener Camp, Simon Hochberger, Photograph source: The National Archives of Australia

Simon Hochberger is understood to have no surviving family: a researcher is writing a biography of his life to accompany a poem written by Hochberger.

Working together to try to cover something about Simon’s time in Britain, we realised that this sketch below was in the diary pages of Moshe Chaim Gruenbaum

Kitchener Camp, Simon Hochberger, Sketch found in the diary of Moshe Chaim Gruenbaum
Kitchener Camp, Simon Hochberger, Sketch found in the diary of Moshe Chaim Gruenbaum

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