'Through the Dreadful Circumstances of Fate, a Broken Man’: Anton Reznicek, War and Australian Law, 1911-1930
(2017) 17(1) Legal History 46
23 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2017
Date Written: January 1, 2017
This article examines the life of Anton Reznicek, an Austrian man who came to Australia to test a patented diving suit and was forced to remain in the country as a result of the outbreak of World War I. It traces Reznicek’s arrival, internment and deportation, and the 11-year campaign of correspondence he undertook seeking to receive either the restoration of, or remuneration under, his Australian patent rights. Reznicek’s story is unique on account of the fact that, through his choices, he managed to interact with, or be affected by, a majority of the most significant laws enacted in Australia during the war. This article pieces together a story scattered across archival records, newspaper articles and personal documents, providing an important case study into the individual legal experience in World War I Australia.
Keywords: Anton Reznicek, WW1, World War 1, Diving suit, Austria, Australia, internment, deportation, laws, patent rights, restoration, remuneration
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