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Full Circle for Mick

Full Circle for Mick

Автор Michael Kramer

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Full Circle for Mick

Автор Michael Kramer

Длина:
292 страницы
4 часа
Издатель:
Издано:
31 авг. 2015 г.
ISBN:
9781742845623
Формат:
Книга

Описание

In 2010, Carolyn and Michael Georg Kaspar Friedrich Lampman applied for passports at the Albury Post Office and while hers went through immediately, (she is Australian born), his application resulted in a phone call being made to Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and that department refusing him a passport on the grounds that his Australian Naturalisation Certificate “Did not say if his gender was male or female.” It did however; state that “Michael Georg Kaspar Friedrich Lampman presented himself before me at the Millicent Council Chambers on .... To swear allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors. This makes one wonder if the clerks at DIAC are conversant enough in the English language to know that “Himself” can only mean a male. Michael’s reason for wanting his passport was to return to Vietnam and to fulfil his promise to a Buddhist Monk to return as a qualified engineer to help to rebuild the country that he had helped to destroy as a young Australian soldier in the Vietnam War during 1968 and 1969. At a later date, DIAC cancelled his citizenship papers, (he was a naturalised Australian Citizen, originating from Germany) even threatening to send him to jail for two years, for “Falsifying an Official Document,” resulting in him then using “Engineering Problem Solving Techniques” to rectify the situation as he was now also driving illegally on the grounds that in NSW it is not legal for someone to hold a driver’s licence unless that person has either “Approved Residency Status” or Australian Citizenship. This is the story of a man’s battle and final victory against rampant bureaucracy, racism and PTSD. It deals with the first symptoms of PTSD, its diagnosis and its treatment and self-help strategies.

Издатель:
Издано:
31 авг. 2015 г.
ISBN:
9781742845623
Формат:
Книга

Об авторе

In 1967, he volunteered for service with the Australian Army in the Vietnam War, and was told that seeing how he was only twenty years old, he would need the signatures of his parents in order to join the army. Yet, the Australian Government was calling up males aged twenty years for service in the war if they wanted to serve or not. This prompted him to simply alter the date of birth on his Australian Naturalisation Certificate from 01/03/1947 to 01/03/1946 and he was in the army and this action was something that would become a problem forty five years later. He went on to serve in Vietnam with the First Battalion of Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) and continued to serve until he received a medical discharge some ten years later. As a treatment strategy for diagnosed PTSD, he was instructed to undertake tertiary studies which resulted in his better management of PTSD and his becoming a much better person as a result. In time, he was to undertake studies and now holds the Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering, and the Associate Degree of Civil Engineering. He operates his own architectural and engineering drafting service, providing a high level of competent drafting work. In 2010, he applied for an Australian passport which was refused by Immigration on the grounds that his Naturalisation Certificate did not list his gender. At a later date, the Australian Department of Immigration cancelled his Australian Citizenship papers, which have since been re-issued to him as well as an Australian passport. At a function held at his home, it was suggested that he put the experiences into a novel and this is the result.


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Full Circle for Mick - Michael Kramer

Full Circle for Mick

Michael Kramer

Full Circle for Mick

Copyright © 2015 Michael Kramer

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Smashwords Edition

The information, views, opinions and visuals expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect those of the publisher. The publisher disclaims any liabilities or responsibilities whatsoever for any damages, libel or liabilities arising directly or indirectly from the contents of this publication.

A copy of this publication can be found in the National Library of Australia.

ISBN:  978-1-742845-62-3 (pbk.)

Published by Book Pal

www.bookpal.com.au

About the Author

In 1967, he volunteered for service with the Australian Army in the Vietnam War, and was told that seeing how he was only twenty years old, he would need the signatures of his parents in order to join the army. Yet, the Australian Government was calling up males aged twenty years for service in the war if they wanted to serve or not. This prompted him to simply alter the date of birth on his Australian Naturalisation Certificate from 01/03/1947 to 01/03/1946 and he was in the army and this action was something that would become a problem forty five years later.

He went on to serve in Vietnam with the First Battalion of Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) and continued to serve until he received a medical discharge some ten years later. As a treatment strategy for diagnosed PTSD, he was instructed to undertake tertiary studies which resulted in his better management of PTSD and his becoming a much better person as a result. In time, he was to undertake studies and now holds the Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering, and the Associate Degree of Civil Engineering. He operates his own architectural and engineering drafting service, providing a high level of competent drafting work.

In 2010, he applied for an Australian passport which was refused by Immigration on the grounds that his Naturalisation Certificate did not list his gender. At a later date, the Australian Department of Immigration cancelled his Australian Citizenship papers, which have since been re-issued to him as well as an Australian passport. At a function held at his home, it was suggested that he put the experiences into a novel and this is the result.

Preface

I dedicate this book to the past and present members of the First Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment or 1RAR.

This is a work of fiction, but is based on a true story. All characters are imaginary and no such people exist or have existed, either living or dead. The inclusion of the name of any real person, either living of dead is entirely accidental and is a matter of coincidence.

The major events presented here did in fact occur and I have tried to be as exact as possible in describing these. I refer to such things as the names and dates of operations against the enemy by 1RAR during its second tour of duty in Vietnam. As far as I can both recall and research, the names of the operations against the enemy and the dates that these occurred as well as the results obtained are correct, and are a matter of record.

All other things presented in this novel including individual actions against the enemy, are a work of fiction and should not be represented as factual.

Readers in countries outside of Australia, e.g. USA, are reminded that this novel is written in Australian English and that all spelling is correct in that language. A glossary of terms is at the rear of this book.

Signed: Michael Kramer

Contents

Introduction

The beginning: Friedrich Lampman and Swakopmund

First of March 1947, Cologne, West Germany

Migration Agreement with Australian Government

Heyfield

Mount Burr

Nangwarry

The School Bus

Millicent

Northern Territory

Australian Army

Training Schedule for Nine Platoon C Coy 1RAR

JTC – Canungra

The French Takeover

The Post-war Period

Trooping of the Colours Parade

Andy’s Bakery

Vietnam

The Enemy

Operation Pegasus

Religion

Some Weapons Used by Enemy Forces in Vietnam

Operation Blaxland

Operation Toan Thang 1

Operation Toan Thang 2

Operation Elwood

The Buddhist Monk

Operation Platypus

Operation Nowra

Operation Windsor

Operation Capital

Australian Field Hospital – Vung Tau

Coming Home

Back in Australia

The Marriage

Back in Australia and First Signs of PTSD

Colonel Campbell of Army Intelligence

The First Darwin Posting

Third Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR)

Second Darwin Posting

Diagnosis of PTSD

The Study of Engineering Honours Degree

Boat People!

Discharged

Walla Bloody Walla

Insurance Consultants

The Nam Bus

Graduation

Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)

The Australian Citizenship Fiasco

Daily Telegraph 26/August/2013

Support from Other People

The DIAC Meeting 23/September/2013

Citizenship Papers Regained and Australian Passport Issued

Glossary of Terms

Introduction

My name is Jim Clark. I am a Defence writer for News Limited. In August 2013, an article written by me appeared in the newspapers. The story was about the plight of an Australian Vietnam Veteran who was originally a German immigrant. In 1967, he volunteered to serve with the Australian Army in Vietnam. He was only twenty years old, and this posed a dilemma. He was told that, being under the age of twenty one, he would need the signatures of his parents in order to join the army. These not being available, he simply altered ‘1947’ to ‘1946’, allowing him to be admitted into the Australian Army and become an officer in the infantry forces. During his service, he was both decorated and wounded in action.

Forty-five years after he signed up to go to war for Australia, this Vietnam Veteran was in trouble. That is when I came to know him. In August 2012, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) cancelled his Australian citizenship papers for Altering an official document (his Australian Naturalisation Certificate).

When I first met Michael Lampman, he appeared distressed about the situation. The New South Wales Government was about to take away his driver’s licence, because in NSW, it is not legal for someone to have a Driver’s licence unless that person is either an Australian Citizen or has an official document granting him/her evidence of Approved Residency Status in Australia – and Michael now had neither one.

I thought that just one interview would give me the background for his story. It was enough to get the newspaper article written, but I found myself wanting to know a lot more. When the article was published, both readers and colleagues were astounded by the story. When I discussed the case and its background, a number of my colleagues suggested that a book would be needed to tell the whole story. That is how I found myself interviewing Michael eight times, with additional follow-up discussions, with the vague idea of writing a series of articles. This book is the result.

I have since been in contact with Michael, and he tells me that the citizenship problem that brought us together has finally been resolved. This then, is the story of one man’s battle and final victory against official disinterest, rampant bureaucracy, and even racism. But it is more than that. It is also the story of how he battled Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), entered into mature-age studies, qualified as an engineer, and finally achieved his dream of starting an architectural and engineering drafting business.

The beginning: Friedrich Lampman and Swakopmund

To tell this story satisfactorily, we must begin with Friedrich Lampman (his surname anglicised from the German ‘Lampmann’). Friedrich, commonly nicknamed Fritz was a German engineer who worked in the Shanghai area of China in the late eighteen hundreds. He built some of the first railroads in China, including one from the Shanghai district towards the border with Vietnam and Southern China. With the monies paid to him by the German Colonial Organisations active in China, he travelled to the colony of German South-West Africa, now called Namibia.

Upon arrival in German South-West Africa, Friedrich began work building the infrastructure of Swakopmund (the port city of Namibia), including the jetty, railways and street layout as well as some buildings. He went on to open a salt mine and two diamond mines.

In 1917, a son was born to Friedrich and Anna Lampman. He was christened Friedrich Wilhelm Paul Lampman. The family lived in Swakopmund, in a home that Friedrich Senior designed and built. The local population named the home ‘Lampmannsdorf’ (Lampmann’s Village). This name was also applied to the machine shop and foundry established by Friedrich Lampman Senior, when some houses were erected around these industrial buildings. In time, Lampmannsdorf became a suburb of Swakopmund in its own right.

As World War One was approaching, a number of people said, We will beat British Forces and they will not come here. This was not the case, with the victorious British in fact taking over German South-West Africa. Friedrich lost his diamond mines to a well-known international diamond company.

First of March 1947, Cologne, West Germany

With the wind blowing hard, in the middle of a fierce storm, Edeltraut Zimmerman began her journey from her home to 1054 Olpenner Strasse in Cologne, West Germany. Edeltraut was a respected and well experienced midwife, and she was on her way to assist with a childbirth. The expectant mother was Hildegard Lampman (née Koch). This was a home birth, as the address at Olpenner Strasse was one of very few buildings in Cologne to not be extensively damaged by Allied bombing during the war – which at this point had only been finished for a little over eighteen months. As such, the home was highly prized. For a short time, it had even been used as a headquarters by occupying Allied Forces.

Edeltraut slowly drove her much-loved Volkswagen Beetle car to the given address at Olpenner Strasse, wishing all the way that the wind would die down and not push her little car around so much, as it was becoming difficult to control. She finally arrived safely at the Lampman residence and made her way to the front door of the two-level home, ringing the doorbell. The door was opened by Anna Lampman, who received her warmly and ushered her inside to where Hildegard was in labour. Anna was Hildegard’s mother-in-law – the mother of Friedrich Wilhelm Paul Lampman. Hildegard had been in labour for four hours now and was looking forward to the birth so that the pain would finally end and she would have her child.

After a while, Edeltraut felt around and pronounced that this was going to be a breech birth. This meant that the child was positioned the wrong way and was about to come feet first instead of head first. It was just as well that she was experienced in such more difficult births. As Hildegard pushed, she found that things were becoming more painful all the time. As the baby finally emerged, Edeltraut slowly rotated it… and not long afterwards they heard the sound of an infant crying. Edeltraut then cut the umbilical cord, washed the baby, and handed it over to Hildegard, saying, Congratulations, Mrs. Lampman, you have a fine and very healthy son! Hildegard accepted her new boy with great love and relief.

Hildegard was born a Prussian, and she therefore followed her family’s Prussian tradition of giving the first son four Christian names. She named her son Michael Georg Kaspar Friedrich Lampman. Many years later, this was to prove a problem for Michael – a story that we will cover in greater detail later.

From now on, I’ll refer to Michael by his preferred name of Mick; this was also the name that most people who came into contact with him knew him by. His father, Friedrich Wilhelm Paul Lampman will from now on be simply referred to as Fritz, which was his nickname. His mother, Hildegard Lampman, will be referred to as Hildegard.

Hildegard was industrious and skilled in knitting and sewing. These skills were of particular importance in post-war Germany, in particular 1947-1949, when there was a shortage of many items including clothing and footwear. So, after recovering from the birth, Hildegard began making jumpers and pants for the infant Mick. She consistently worked on new items and in due course, had enough clothing for her son. She then enrolled Mick into a kindergarten and went on to work in the reconstruction effort that was evident throughout Germany.

Due to the huge number of buildings that were little more than the shells of walls – and the fact that these were a constant danger to the public in the form of falling bricks and masonry – many people formed work gangs to demolish the bombed-out buildings. The material recovered was then reused for new buildings. This was to mark the beginning of what people later called the economic miracle of West Germany. The Chancellor of West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) at the time was Conrad Adenauer.

On the twenty eighth of November of 1948, Andreas Christopher Lampman was born. We shall refer to him as Andy from now on. He was a healthy baby and his arrival occurred without complications. Again the birth took place in the Lampman Home at 1054 Olpenner Strasse, Cologne. By now, some of the difficulty in obtaining things had eased and Hildegard was able to secure a well-made pram with large wheels.

Hildegard walked into Cologne regularly. On at least one of these trips, she took Mick – who was a toddler and could walk quite well by now. To this day he remembers the then cityscape of Cologne and its central business district. Andy was also present, but in the pram.

On the eighteenth of December, 1949, Hildegard, Andy (in the pram) and Mick were en route to the Kindergarten when an unknown woman approached them and began screaming at Hildegard, You fucking high class arseholes are all alike. You live in a totally undamaged house that is multi-storey and could easily be used to accommodate people like me who have to live on the street but you will not do that. I and others must live either in the bombed out ruins or under bridges while you have the luxury of an undamaged home and heating, yet you and other people like you have the hide to look down upon people like me, you high society bitch!

Hildegard, the daughter of a banker, immediately said, Yes, I am high society and in total control of my destiny when compared to the likes of you. Yes, I live in an undamaged home and you cannot come into it. So, instead of bemoaning your fate, get on with your life, you gutter wench, or return to the gutter where you belong and let the hard working people of this city get on with their own lives – you low-grade bitch!

Hildegard’s husband, Fritz, had just returned from the assembly line of the now General Motors car known throughout the world as Opel, where he worked as one of the production supervisors. When Hildegard told him of the encounter with the woman in Cologne city, his reaction to this news was, Well, my dear, I personally think that you have done the correct thing and to hell with the bitch. I also think that you will get a lot more of this sort of thing – people are desperate for good shelter with heating and very envious of people like us who have it. I think that I had better inform my brother Andreaous about this situation because he is a lieutenant in the Cologne Police Force. I also think that we should keep an eye on this situation and if this sort of thing continues, we should consider various alternatives.

Hildegard was thrilled by this response, because she took it as a hint that Fritz was considering leaving Europe. For a long time, she had wanted to leave Europe with its petty international squabbles and the possibility of war because of them. She wanted to be free of the threat of war and she wanted her sons to grow up in a country free of it too. For this reason, she said, Fritz, I have been investigating the possibility of us all leaving Germany and migrating to another country. I have looked at a number of possibilities and I have a shortlist of places where we could possibly go to. The first of these is your birthplace of Swakopmund, in German South-West Africa. I have also obtained information about migrating to Canada and Australia. In all cases, I do not have information on possible employment and home availability. So, where do you think we could go?

The answer from Fritz was, If we go to German South-West Africa, it will almost be like returning home. However, we must remember that after World War One, the victorious British have taken over everything there, including the two diamond mines that my father established. These are now owned and operated by DeBeers. Even though there is a suburb in Swakopmund named after Dad, I suspect that the British authorities will not take kindly to a German returning to Swakopmund, in particular now that the full atrocities of the Nazi Government of Germany during World War Two have become common knowledge. We must be practical. Let’s face it: if we stay here, we have shelter and heating, food, some cloth and clothing. We do not have to learn another language and we can stay among our own people. I have a responsible position here, and there is no guarantee that I could even obtain work in another country so, I favour staying in Germany – even though it will be difficult for the next few years.

This did not suit Hildegard at all, and she said, I want my sons to grow up in a country where there is little likelihood of that country becoming involved in a war. I don’t ever want my children to experience a war, no matter what the circumstances. Fritz, you are very good at languages and I know that you can already speak English, so how about us migrating to Australia?

To this Fritz replied, My love, are you really serious? By simply staying here and riding out the temporary hard times, we are assured of doing well financially. Already, we live in a two-storey home that is large enough to accommodate us and my parents. My position at Opel is a responsible one and it pays good money. All we have to do is to keep on going and in time, all will be well. Cologne is already rebuilding and it is just a matter of time before all of this war damage will be just a memory. I am really against us leaving Germany. It will be hard for us in an English-speaking country because of the last war, but if you still feel this way after a year, then perhaps we should consider it. We will need to consider all financial matters, including the likelihood of obtaining work, pay scales and the probable cost of both building and accommodation. Also, how we will be received by the local people, bearing in mind that it will not take them long to work out that we are German. Germans are not very popular people in both English and French-speaking countries at the moment.

Hildegard became alarmed that the idea of leaving Germany may be shelved, so she said, Fritz, you have a choice, either start doing what is necessary for us to migrate to Australia or Canada, or I will do so and go there on my own with my children. The choice is yours.

Although the idea of migrating to another country seemed totally crazy to Fritz, he contacted the Australian Immigration Department Office in Cologne and found out about assisted passage from Germany to Australia and what this required of him and his family. Below is the undertaking that Fritz had to make and sign with the Australian Government to receive assisted passage from Germany to Australia:

Migration Agreement with Australian Government

I, Friedrich Wilhelm Paul Lampman, of 1054 Olpenner Strasse, Cologne in consideration of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia having agreed to make free grant towards the cost of my passage to Australia pursuant to the migration agreement made between the Governments of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Federal Republic of Germany on the 29th day of August 1952, DO HEREBY CONVENT with the Commonwealth of Australia in manner following –

(1)   That I will remain in employment approved by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia for a period of two years from the date of my arrival.

(2)   Should I require for special reasons to depart from the Commonwealth of Australia before the expiration of two years from the date of my arrival, I will prior to my departure pay to the Commonwealth of Australia a sum equal to the amount that was granted to me by the Governments of the Commonwealth of Australia and of the Federal Republic of Germany and by any international organisation towards the cost of my passage to Australia pursuant to the Migration Agreement herein before referred to.

(3)   That while in Australia, I will use every endeavour to learn the English language, and will regularly attend the nearest free night class made available by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia for the purpose of providing migrants with instruction in the English language.

Dated this................................ 19 Jan 1952

Signed………………. Witness..............................

It was now that ASIO completed their investigation of Fritz and it was found that de-nazification had not been carried out. However, Fritz was considered to be useful to the Australian intelligence service, so the immigration application was approved.

On a sunny day in June 1953, the family of Hildegard and Fritz Lampman boarded the Australian Ice Breaker Nelly Dan at Bremen Haven. The Nelly Dan was normally in the service of the Australian Antarctic Expedition, but had been temporarily reassigned to the Australian Immigration Department to help in providing passage for migrants to Australia. There were many people seeing off their friends and relatives who were leaving Germany for Australia. Many of the migrants brought rolls of paper streamers which they threw from the deck of the Nelly Dan towards their friends and relatives on the wharf below them. The people on the

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