Hans Eberhard Wulff

Hans Eberhard Wulff
Loveday, South Australia. 16 March 1943. Group of German internees apprehended in Australia now interned at No. 14 (10?) Prisoner of War and Internee Group. Back row, left row right: R36748 Bruno Schmidt; R36615 Paul von Kurtz; R36660 Heinrich Naumann; R36732 Dr Ernst Schaefer; E. Richter; R36646 Graf Eugen von Mensdorff. Front row: R36767 Henry Schubert; R36369 Hans Aderholdt; R36838 Hans Wulff; R36497 Hans Grote. Note: The number is an assigned POW number. Prefix R indicates apprehended by the British Forces in Iran. AWM 030191/10

Hans Wulff was one of some 500 Germans who were living in Iran until they were interned by British military authorities during the Second World War and transported to Loveday. They spent most of the rest of the war in Loveday.

Wulff was born in Lüdinghausen in Germany in 1907. He studied Mechanical Engineering, but he also showed a great gift for languages and for the craft of goldsmithing. From 1936 he lived and worked in Iran, enough time for him to become fluent in Persian. Things changed dramatically in August 1941 with the British invasion of Iran from Iraq. Like other German men he was transported by the British military to Basra in Iraq, and from there they were shipped to Australia via India. In Loveday Wulff taught jewellery making and goldsmithing to fellow internees.

After release from internment in 1946 he was given the choice of remaining in Australia, which he accepted, working hard to raise the money to bring his wife and three children to join him from Germany. For a time he taught Mechanical Engineering at the University of New South Wales while retaining and expanding his interest in Persian arts and crafts, an area in which he successfully completed a PhD.

That thesis was the basis for his 400-page opus magnum The Traditional Crafts of Persia, Their Development, Technology, and Influence on Eastern and Western Civilizations, published in 1966. Sadly, he died just a year later. He was in Pakistan leading an Australian team funded by the Smithsonian on the second leg of an operation to record and salvage the crafts of the Middle East.



John E. Wulff,     ‘Hans Wulff (R36838)’,  https://www.german-civilians-of-persia-wwii.com/hans-wulff. Accessed 15 March 2021.

Theodore A. Wertime, ‘Hans Eberhard Wulff (1907-67)’, Technology and Culture, Vol. 9, No. 3 (July 1968), pp. 459-461. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3101654