Hermann Homburg was born on 17 March 1874 in Norwood, South Australia. He attended Prince Alfred College, before going on to complete a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Adelaide in 1896. Following graduation, he was admitted to the Bar and joined his father’s offices, Messrs. Homburg and Melrose.
In 1906, Hermann was elected as the Member for the Murray House of Assembly, became Attorney-General in 1909, and then Minister for Industry in 1912. He held the positions until 1915, when he resigned due to the ongoing tensions of being a German-Australian during World War I. When WWI ended, Hermann was once again elected as Attorney-General and Minster for Industry from 1927-1930.
Following the outbreak of World War II, Hermann was interned on 25 November 1940, before being released on 21 December 1940, on the condition he leave South Australia. He relocated to Victoria in 1941.
In 1942, Hermann was permitted to return to South Australia with restrictions on his movements and associations. Five years later his South Australian Lutherans and wartime rumours was published. Essentially a record of his experiences of both World Wars, the book contained comments and incidents which were 'intended as a brief defence on behalf of a section of the South Australian people who had to endure much odium during two War-time periods'.
Hermann never returned to politics, practicing instead as a solicitor until his death in Dulwich on 12 December 1964.
1. The Mail 1912, 'Interesting people', The Mail, 21 September, p. 2., viewed 9 Nov 2022, <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58189918>.
2. Calendar of the University of Adelaide 1899, W.K. Thomas & Co., Printers, Adelaide, p.32.
3. The Journal 1915, 'Mr. Homburg’s career', The Journal, 19 January, p. 2, viewed 12 Dec 2022, <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203530594>.
4. Chronicle 1906, 'The Murray election', Chronicle, 30 June, p. 39, viewed 9 Nov 2022, <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88121152>.
5. The Wakefield Companion to South Australian History 2001, Wakefield Press, Kent Town, p. 263.
6. Port Pirie Recorder and North Western Mail 1915, 'Mr. Homburg resigns', Port Pirie Recorder and North Western Mail, 19 January, p. 3, viewed 9 Nov 2022, <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article95313597>.
7. Parliament of South Australia n.d., ‘Hon Hermann Homburg’, Former Members, viewed 31 January 2023,
8. Harmstorf, I 1983, 'Homburg, Hermann Robert (1874–1964)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, viewed 11 November 2022, <https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/homburg-hermann-robert-7069/text11609>.
9. Gumpl, GC & Kleinig, RH 2007, The Hitler club: the rise and fall of Australia’s no. 1 Nazi, Brolga Publishing, Melbourne, p. 166.
10. Homburg, H 1947, South Australian Lutherans and wartime rumours, Adelaide.
11. Homburg, H 1947, Introductory note, South Australian Lutherans and wartime rumours, Adelaide.
12. Harmstorf, I 1983, 'Homburg, Hermann Robert (1874–1964)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, viewed 11 November 2022, <https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/homburg-hermann-robert-7069/text11609>.
Government Photolithographer (SA), December 1927, Excerpt from 'Executive Council'. Image from State Library of South Australia, General Collection, Item B 4614.