Contrasting takes on the lady in the wheelie bin

KATHERINE SCHWEITZER lived a remarkable life: Holocaust survivor, refugee, wife, a generous benefactor to good causes in Sydney.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 December 2006.

A woman who was a member of a social group of Hungarian Holocaust survivors, which included Ms Schweitzer, put forward a premise that she may have argued with a taxi driver. “She was a terrible racist,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified. “She didn’t like Aborigines, or any other race.

“She didn’t like any advantages they were gaining.”

The Australian, 29 December 2006.

Another reminder of the complexities of ‘racism’ – that even those who have been its victims do now always draw the conclusions we might expect.

6 thoughts on “Contrasting takes on the lady in the wheelie bin

  1. Back in the day when I was professor of media, I used to go out inbetween classes and make videos of old ladies rummaging around in wheelie bins in the inner city ghetto a few blocks away from the campus. Then I would ride my nountain bike around at night without lights on and make secret videos of streets with “gangsters” where famous riots had started. Just in case you were wondering where your HECS and higher ed taxes go.

    In the west, it is not an unknown phenomenon for older ethnic ladies to be in those type of bins whilst alive, maybe she found some tough competition from another treasure hunter. It is a documented social phenomenon after all.

    Seriously, I think the line from her old Bondi jewish buddy about a “cab driver” is polemic bulldust aimed at the Islamic community.


  2. Alright, I am going to solve this murder from the other side of the world using only the links that you have provided.
    No obvious struggle.
    Bin inside the building.
    People from her own community who knew her but claim that she was unkown to them.
    At the same time they say she was racist and therefore likely to have been killed by a black or a muslim who are current media scapegoats in Sydney.
    Older neighbours who are more likely to know her and gain access to her flat without question have quickly pointed the finger at young people who have moved in.
    She probably had a lot of money compared to most and people in her community and age group would have known this.
    It is an inside job, ie older members of her own local community killed her. Probably for money, considering the way Rivkin felt about money, killing himself when his financial luck ran out, it is quite plausible that this was the motive.


  3. On a bus recently when a group of women wearing full veils got on and sat down. The old man sitting next to me started yelling at them – they should not dress like that, this is Australia, filthy migrants and so on.

    Funny thing was that it took a while to understand what he was saying because his own accent was so thick.

    Other people on the bus started telling the old guy to shut up and leave them alone, all in ordinary Australian accents. Then one of the veils spoke up and, in an Australian accent, said she was part Aboriginal.

    Ghassan Hage wrote about the same thing, Christian Lebanese abusing Muslim Lebanese for not being sufficiently Australian.

    Is it mostly the culturally insecure who have the problems with this stuff?


  4. Andrew
    Perhaps you and your commenters have overlooked the final comment of Mrs Schweitzer’s friend,


  5. One could just as easily argue that being a victim of scapegoating might promote or reinforce a dog eat dog attitude and actually teach scapegoating.


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