A building that was used to lock up civilian internees and prisoners of war (POWs) during World War II has been put on the South Australian Heritage Register.
The Camp 10 Detention Cell Block, part of the Loveday Internment Camp Complex in the state's Riverland region, was entered, and is the last of three cell blocks remaining at the site.
The complex, covering about 180 hectares, was established in 1941 and held German, Italian and Japanese internees from across Australia, and internees and prisoners of war from the Netherlands East Indies, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Britain and the Middle East. About 6000 detainees and 1400 military personnel were at the site at its busiest, before it closed in 1946.
POWs were locked up at that particular block for failed escape attempts, espionage, physical violence and acts of civil disobedience, among other behaviours. Imprisoned POWs included members of a small Nazi 'elite' who tried to gain control over the other detainees in early 1943.
Some walls in the block's cells are inscribed with the names, dates and crimes of the people they held.
The complex's Piggery Breeding Pens, which were used as part of the agriculture work done at the site, is the only other state heritage listed place that represents what life was like for detainees.
The site is now privately owned, but the more information about it can be found at the Barmera Visitor Information Centre, Barwell Ave, Barmera SA.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.