German competence overcomes obstacles

Sydney, June–August 1929

Instead of focusing on long-established Auslandsdeutsche communities this text focuses on mobile individuals: two German physicians working in Australia.

The chapter focuses on Sydney’s Macquarie Street, a hotspot of renowned doctor’s offices. Describing the long road to getting an office in Macquarie Street, Ross first takes the example of a young German physician who practices medicine in the Australian countryside,  but hopes to move on to Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide. He can’t call himself a physician before sitting the official examination, but this obstacle is compensated, Ross asserts, by the good reputation of German physicians.

In a similar fashion, Ross tells the tale of a more established German physician’s recent career. Again obstacles–anti-German resentment and envy, his detention during World War I–are overcome through competence, crowned by a comeback to Macquarie Street. The focus on these upwardly mobile professionals provides a counterbalance to the usual focus on well-established, and often anachronistic, Auslandsdeutsche communities in Ross’s writing (see: “Germany means religion, soul, god”).

Joachim Schätz








Colin Ross. Die Doktorstraße. In: Der unvollendete Kontinent. 1. Aufl. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus; 1930; 158–60, 160 verso.


Topic: Auslandsdeutsche
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30


See also




Scroll to page top