by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Memento : Issue 26
IN THE 1950s AND EARLY 1960s, more than 10,000 Russians from north China found refuge in Australia. Most came from the city of Harbin, which had been the centre of a thriving Russian community in the first half of the 20th century. Among them was author Mara Moustafine, who arrived with her family in 1959 as a young child. Mara’s family witnessed 50 turbulent years of history in Harbin – the influx of refugees from the Bolshevik Revolution and civil war, the Japanese occupation in the 1930s, liberation by the Soviet army in 1945 and China’s Communist Revolution in 1949. Mara Moustafine’s book, Secrets and Spies: The Harbin Files (Vintage, 2002), tells the story of her family’s life in China through this period, as well as the tragic fate of her grandmother’s family, who returned to Soviet Russia to escape the Japanese occupation, only to be caught in Stalin’s purges of the late 1930s. Her book was awarded a 2003 NSW Premier’s Award and short-listed for the 2004 National Biography Prize and the 2004 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. Mara’s quest to find her family history took her to the archives of Russia and China as well as the National Archives of Australia. (to page 12)