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  • Photo by Peter Haberberger (Peter Haberberger)Source: Peter Haberberger
German migrants arrived in Australia immediately before and after World War II. They came as displaced persons or refugees, driven by need, curiosity or a sense of adventure. This is the story of their new life in Bonegilla, Victoria.
By
Adrian Plitzco / SBS Radio German

16 Sep 2015 - 1:10 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2016 - 8:45 AM

They came to start a new life in a new world - and carried in their luggage the memories of what they had left behind. Lots of them landed in the reception centre of Bonegilla.

Listen to the radio feature

Photo by Peter Haberberger

Second World War German migrants arrived to Australia to start a new life and “carried in their luggage the memories of what they had left behind”.

Sure, we live in Australia, but who is a real Australian? Those who call themselves Australian have ancestors who came from somewhere else. From Scotland, or England or Ireland.

"Sure, we live in Australia, but who is a real Australian? Those who call themselves Australian have ancestors who came from somewhere else. From Scotland, or England or Ireland. And privately we all keep our own traditions. I am surrounded by good friends – they are New Zealanders, Britons, Dutch ... we look after each other and help each other out. We all have our own home lands and keep our own traditions", says Genie Fiebig, who arrived in 1935.

SBS German Radio’s broadcaster, Adrian Plitzco, unpacks the story behind the photo exhibition about German migrants in Bonagilla, titled "Memories in my luggage".

The exhibition shows photographs and texts, a digital presentation, information about organisations that assist migrants and memorabilia, which highlight the experience of migration. 

Plitzco picks up these memories from the pictures and the objects shown in the exhibition and transforms them into stories through the power of word and sounds, creating a new space for the “memories in my luggage”.