During the Second World War, because of concerns they might subvert the war effort, people of German, Italian and Japanese descent or nationality were interned on Somes Island in Wellington Harbour. More than 20 of the internees were naturalised British subjects who had been in effect stripped of their citizenship rights. The conditions of internment were not harsh and some of the internees were able to earn pocket money by making small objects for sale. The man in this photograph, German-born Oscar Coberger, is working with pāua shell.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: W. Wynne Mason, Prisoners of war. Wellington: War History Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1954, plate facing p. 339.
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