World War One: “Out With the German Names”

There’s no doubt that almost every Australian family was affected by World War One in some way or another.

One sad fact that came out of World War One, was the intense hatred of Germans that emerged, together with all things German. The German families who emigrated to Australia and were happily living their lives, being a part of so many local communities. However when war broke out they were suddenly classed as an “enemy alien” purely because of their heritage, with many sent to concentration camps. Yes, even in South Australia.

South Australia had a substantial German population, so much so that many towns and other geographical localities had German names. However, come the start of World War One … and all things German was “the enemy”, so to have German place names was no longer acceptable. To rectify this a Bill was passed to change the name of numerous German named towns and localities towns in South Australia.

To make life easier for all I have compiled a listing of the places that were affected, together with their new name.

German Place Names in South Australia
Original name Substitute name
Bartsch’s Creek Yedlakoo Creek
Hundred of Basedow Hundred of French
Cape Bauer Cape Wondoma
Berlin Rock Panpandie Hock
Bethanien Bethany
Bismarck Weeroopa
Blumberg Birdwood
Blumenthal Lakkari
Buchfelde Loos
Carlsruhe (or Karlsruhe) Kunden
Ehrenbreistein Mount Yerila
Ferdinand Creek Ernaballa Creek
Mount Ferdinand Mount Warrabillinna
Friedrichstadt Tangari
Friedrichswalde Tarnma
Gebhardt’s Hills Polygon Ridge
German Creek Benara Creek
German Pass Tappa Pass
Germantown Hill Vimy Ridge
Gnadenfrei Marananga
Gottlieb’s Well Parnggi Well
Grunberg (or Gruenberg) Karalta
Grunthal Verdun
Hahndorf Ambleside
Hasse’s Mound Larelar Mound
Heidelberg Kobandilla
Hergott Springs Marree
Hermann’s Landing Moramora (& later Nildotti)
Hildesheim Punthari
Hoffnungsthal Karawirra
Hundred of Homburg Hundred of Haig
Jaenschtown Kerkanya
Kaiserstuhl Mount Kitchener
Klaebes Kilto
Klemzig Gaza
Krause Rock Marti Rock
Hundred of Krichauff Hundred of Beatty
Krichauff Beatty
Kronsdorf Kabminye
Langdorf Kaldukee
Langmeil Bilyara
Lobethal Tweedvale
Mount Meyer Mount Kauto
Muller Hill Yandina Hill
Neudorf Mamburdi
Neukirch Dimchurch
New Hamburg Willyaroo
New Mecklenburg Gomersal
Oliventhal Olivedale
Hundred of Paech Hundred of Cannawigra
Petersburg Peterborough
Hundred of Pflaum Hundred of Geegeela
Rhine Flat Landing Wongulla
Rhine Hill Mons
Rhine Park Parklo (& later Kongolia)
Rhine River North The Somme
Rhine River South The Marne
Rhine Villa Cambrai
Hundred of Rhine North Hundred of Jellicoe
Hundred of Rhine South Hundred of Jutland
Rosenthal Rosedale
Hundred of Scherk Hundred of Sturdee
Schoenthal Boongala
Hundred of Schomburgk Hundred of Maude
Seppelts Dorrien
Schreiberhau Warre
Siegersdorf Bultawilta
Steinfeld Stonefield
Summerfeldt Summerfield
Vogelsang’s Corner Teerkoore
Hundred of Von Doussa Hundred of Allenby
Wusser Knob (or Wusser Nob) Karun  Knob

Some of these places have since reverted back to their original German name, while others didn’t.

Trove has many articles that relate to the changing (or not changing, or changing back) of the German place names. Here’s links to just found of them I found interesting:

5 Responses to “World War One: “Out With the German Names””

  1. Crissouli says:

    You wonder why, but then again, we didn’t live in those times. My grandparents and family, including my then young (to be) father, took in two Italian migrants, prisoners of war, who were seconded to help on the farm.
    They were supposed to be housed separately to to the family, but my grandmother wouldn’t hear of it, so they were treated like family. They became lifelong friends and my grandparents were later to be godparents to the children of one of them after the war. One returned to Italy permanently, the other only went back to marry his lady, then returned to Australia to live. My grandparents were migrants themselves and couldn’t bear to think others were treated badly when they hadn’t been.

    • Alona says:

      Beautiful story. And I love your grandparents for their way of thinking. I’m sure their kindness and way of thinking helped shape the lives of those young migrants.

  2. Pauleen says:

    Isn’t Chris’s comment German ancestors were lucky but I wonder whether that was in part because they were also part of the Irish catholic community. It must have been so sad for them to be pilloried in these ways, either personally or publicly, or both, when they’d been Australians for so long. Part of why I won’t get on the ethnic-bashing bandwagon. Thanks Alona.

    • Alona says:

      I agree, many families had been in Australia for several generations and with Australian-born children and grandchildren who were suddenly being vilified. It’s so sad.

  3. Jenny Joyce says:

    Thanks for posting that, Alona. A very useful list

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