Mr Baum (Warren Mitchell) has become unhinged by the injustice of his internment. He’s harmless enough but he has made himself the camp spokesman and has approached the soldiers on duty in the tower to explain that a terrible mistake has been made.
A poignant scene in this bleak and godforsaken internment camp, as poor Mr Baum, played with great pathos by Warren Mitchell, tries to explain, with deference and formality, in a very Middle-European way, that the prisoners are not Nazis but people who have escaped the Nazis. The gulf between the jailors and the jailed means that Mr Baum won’t be understood and nothing will change.
It’s significant that after the war, around 900 of the over 2000 'Dunera Boys’ as they became known, decided to remain in Australia. They were compensated for what had happened to them, while many of them and their children have made a mark as Australian citizens. It does seem odd that although so many of them were grown men when they were interned, they were called the 'Dunera Boys’.