Shortlist year: 
2018
Shortlist category: 
Prize for Australian History
Published by: 
NewSouth Publishing

About the book

Book cover - Beautiful balts by Jayne Persian.

170,000 displaced persons arrived in Australia between 1947 and 1952. Australia's first immigration minister, Arthur Calwell, scoured post-war Europe for refugees, displaced persons he characterised as 'Beautiful Balts'. Amid the hierarchies of the White Australia Policy, the tensions of the Cold War and the national need for labour, these people would transform not only Australia's immigration policy, but the country itself. Beautiful Balts tells the extraordinary story of these people. It traces their journey from the camps of Europe after the Second World War to a new life in a land of opportunity where prejudice, parochialism, and anti-communism were rife.