Can anyone make out what this says? Regarding Immigration to Australia from Germany.


Just wondered if anyone could help me out.

I’ve obtained some records from the Australian archives about my grandfather who was Estonian, however I’m struggling to read some of the writing on this particular page. Just wondered if someone was able to make out some of this writing? Also if possible, does anyone have any knowledge about his particular circumstances or could tell me where to look for more information?

Any help would be appreciated.



Handwriting on form in italics below.

Knowledge of English: Nil

Reason for coming to Germany:
(a) Forced - German Army
Estonian Div. - Pioneer Corps

(c) Pass

Employment in own country: Apprentice carpenter

Employment (a)on arrival in Germany: POW until 4/11/46
(b) Later: Labourer etc - US Army - PX etc - 2 years

Suggested employment in Australia: Builder’s labourer

Remarks: Accept

Signature of selection officers: [illegible initials - possibly R W] Wilson

Note that the typed date “June 1949” has not been completed, while the stamped dates are “4 Juli 1949”. “Juli” is German for July, which suggests that the form was completed in Germany by an English speaking, probably Australian, selection officer short on office supplies and using a German date stamp.

But now I wonder how this man got accepted in Australia in 1949 ?
Remember Australia (Like UK) ; near bankrupt.
and this guy: Nil English understanding, profession: apprentice! carpenter…and why accepting an estonian who by majority were forced back to Stalin hands by order of the British Army ?!

Australia was nowhere near bankrupt at the end of WWII. It had to manage change from a war time to peace time economy, but it wasn’t saddled with huge debts like Britain with its Lend Lease debt to the US.

Churchill complained around 1942-43 (can’t recall date) that Australia was profiting from selling primary production goods to the UK, which was true.

Rationing in Australia ended in 1948, and would have ended much earlier if Australia had not been diverting food to Britain after the war.

When the war ended in August 1945, rationing was only gradually phased out as Australia continued to support Britain with food parcels and exports for a number of years.

Sugar rationing, for instance, was finally abandoned in July 1947. A major increase in the world production of sugar meant that Britain no longer depended on Australian supplies.

The meat situation was quite different. In Britain the meat ration had been further reduced and in an effort to support the British public, the Australian Government maintained meat rationing and price controls until 1948.

Rationing in Britain ended in 1954, but part of the reason for that was Britain supporting British occupation troops and people in other nations outside Britain as part of post-war occupation and reconstruction.

This man was fairly typical of a lot of post-war immigrants to Australia, from all parts of Europe.

They wanted a better life and built a better Australia, in many ways.

It wasn’t unusual to have former enemies working on the same site, and getting along together or at least not converting their past enmities into conflict. I worked with a German Heer Stalingrad veteran on a building site in the 1960s, along with Yugoslavs of various varieties (Croat, Serb, sundry others), Poles and who knows what as they couldn’t speak English too well.

We got our share of former Nazis and the like from various parts of Europe, but it seems that they may have been increasingly favoured by our ultra-conservative intelligence services as the Cold War intensified.

Correct me if I am wrong, RS*, but … after the war, Australia operated a very open immigration policy for a long period. The basis of this was that there was a lot of Australia, and too few people to occupy it productively. In this context, even an apprentice carpenter would have been a valued immigrant to a land of opportunity. Former enemy ? What the Hell. Up to relatively recently, Australia has benefitted greatly from immigrants, who in turn have found their promised land. Seems like a good deal to me. Advance, Australia Fair ! JR.

Open yes, but to Europeans and especially to Britons, although the preference for Britons wasn’t always maintained.

Not open to Asians.