4 responses to “What’s in a suitcase?”

  1. linda

    Great isn’t it? – the stories that objects tell. I love the appoach in our “Australian Journeys” gallery – object biography (the object has life) because the notion resonates – reminds me of theatre exercises and brings to mind Annie Proulx’s novel “Accordian Crimes” and Ry Cooder’s song “If walls could talk”.

  2. linda

    Oh, and because I’ve been working on migration stories recently I’d like to share some fabulous stories and resources. Have a look at : this and this

  3. Gita Curnow (nee Brigitte Mielitz)

    I am Elisabeth Peter’s daughter – from What’s in a Suitcase.

    I’d make a change to the following sentence:
    “After WWII (in 1949) this suitcase travelled to Australia with Elisabeth and Johannes Peter (and their daughter Brigitte) from Germany.”
    to
    In early 1949 this suitcase travelled from Germany to Australia with Elisabeth and Johannes Peter (and Elisabeth’s five-year-old daughter Brigitte).

    Additionally, to my ears, “displaced people” doesn’t ring true; for some reason the tag was always ‘displaced persons’. Once in Australia, and beyond officialdom, we were called ‘New Australians’, and I think that term may have died out by the 1960s when there was a veritable flood of Europeans that migrated to Australia.

    I googled Mozaffari – ship in which we came to Australia via the Suez Canal – and it also has ‘displaced persons’. The site, http://immigrantships.net/v11/1900v11/mozaffari19490319.html gives a list of all passengers on board (thought they’d missed me when I wasn’t with my parents but of course my surname then was not Peter but Mielitz). The site doesn’t know the ship departure date from Naples but it took 6-7 weeks to reach Australia. I seem to remember being told we left Germany in late January, had a long, including overnight, train trip to Naples, then spent a couple of days in a camp in Naples before boarding. I only have one memory of being on the train and another of crowds and shambles in Naples. Nothing much. The implication is that the trip I was on was the only immigrant run made by the SS Mozaffari.

    Of the other passengers, we knew from Germany, the Molnar family (they also moved to Beechworth, Vic and then followed us to Adelaide in the mid-1950s), and the Keremidschieff family who remained in camp for two years (they had no sponsor and he had to work on the railways for two years first, then they moved to Adelaide – then, as Aust didn’t recognise his architect standing, they migrated to Canada in mid-1950s. There was another family we knew from pre-migration but I can’t remember their surname at the moment.

  4. Joan Hilderbrand

    Gita recently Yvonne sent me some copies of photos of a house you lived in for a while in Beechworth. I have recently finished a book on the area, and your information arrived too late. however, I would like to make contact with you.
    Joan