During the brief career of America 1940-1941, before the conversion in the troop transport West Point, the ship was the basis for two German spies who operated in the so-called Duquesne spy ring. Both were disguised as crew members (one from their butcher, the baker others) and militarily relevant information should be sent to the Nazi authorities.
Of particular importance was the observation and sharing warship movements from the American coasts and reports on the status of the military defense and fortification of the Panama Canal expansion.
Both were later uncovered by the FBI and sentenced together with other spies spy ring to prison.
The Duquesne Spy Ring was a spy program of the Nazi regime to collect "war Important information" about the United States. To about 30 spies were distributed in key positions in the United States. They worked camouflaged on ships, aircraft or even in fancy restaurants. In addition to the collect and pass on information, were also sabotage their mandate.
On 18 May 1971, Australis was a political "black ban" - prevented strike of dockers' unions from leaving Sydney. The departure was delayed by almost a day. The background to this was that the unions wanted it against the ruling military dictatorship in Greece, known as the Colonels' regime protest. Although this action had no official response of the Greek authorities to follow, insecure but many passengers, so that the strike partially filled the envisaged purpose.
During the period of the military regime were forbidden world famous "Zorba's Dance" from
Mikis Theodorakis to play in Greece. The composer, who is politically active for the left-wing opposition, was temporarily arrested and later went into exile. The sold as souvenirs on board the Australis records at the popular Sirtaki dance song had to be taken out of the offering. The song was played but despite the ban in Greece on board on the high seas.
The song is blocked in the studio version on Youtube in Germany, but the scene with Anthony Quinn, through which it became famous around the world, can be viewed here:
The two crew members of America convicted of espionage (red circle bottom left and right). The red circle on the left above shows a third of the spy ring that copied blueprints of America, where among other things planned artillery gun positions and orientations were plotted on the deck of the ship.
The picture shows him at his conversion by a hidden camera, as a double agent (who uncovered the German spy ring ) Plans of America disclosed and explained.
From 1967 to 1974 Greece was ruled by a military dictatorship that came to power through a coup. Political activity and expression were severely restricted. The regime was tolerated by most Western NATO allies Greece, especially the United States, for strategic reasons. Student protests in late 1973 initiated a the end of the regime to risk a war against Turkey in the framework of the Cyprus issue escalated collapsed by the refusal of the Greek army in the summer of 74th Greece was back to democracy.
On the question at issue now as the shipping company Chandris in these conditions generally positioned, is the managing director of Chandris Shipping Co. in Australia, JL Arlaud, the following answer:
"We are a private company and are completely independent in our policy. We have to answer to no one for our actions and are free from any political pressure what soever".
"The Age", 5-24-1967 Page 7
The story begins in 1973 in Las Palmas. Two fishermen, the Bulgarian and Romanian Ilia Pener Vidrei Siciu desert of two deep-sea trawlers and crept as stowaways aboard the Australis in the harbor. The two did not have much to lose and hoped for a better life beyond the then Europe and the world dividing iron curtain. Their plan was simple: Once on board the Australis they would be safe, and then apply for asylum while in a ship of the country.
But the reality was different. The two were identified by their action Stateless and no country on the route of the Australis was willing to take them. Them it was not even allowed to enter the country. Thus the Australis forced to their new home for a long time. When the Australis was for their annual two weeks in dry dock for overhaul of Rotterdam, they were offered to leave the ship for the time spent with the little exhilarating prospect to come ashore in deportation, which they refused with thanks.
For work, the two contributed aboard the Australis, they were not even allowed to be paid on the basis of regulations. A spokesman for the shipping company Chandris expressed little confidence and stressed laconically, as long as the theory would both remain on board until the Australis would be scrapped or it would die. Not even their home countries Bulgaria and Romania, the two wanted to have back. The diplomatic missions told that former compatriots are no longer welcome. However, this message was the permanent guests of Australis really care. In her old life she wanted to return under any circumstances.
The output of this story is not known. The only certainty is that the two have circled the ship at least three times with the world. Anyone who has information about the fate of the two is cordially invited to share.
Souvenir record with Zorba's Dance on A- site, sold aboard Australis in 1966.