Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Aliens Order, Certificate of Registration

Date: 1939
Overall: 120 x 93 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Walter and Jean Lederer Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Object Name: Certificate
Object No: 00015920
Place Manufactured:United Kingdom

User Terms

    This Certificate of Registration belonged to Arthur Lederer and was issued in the United Kingdom on 12 April 1939. Lederer and his family fled Nazi persecution in Austria and arrived in London, where Arthur was given this alien registration document. It contains a black and white photograph of Arthur and lists details including his date of birth and previous Austrian nationality. The document required him to report changes in residential address to the local police authorities and gave him legal entitlement to reside in the UK.
    SignificanceThe story of the Lederer family provides a glimpse into the experiences of the Jewish population in Vienna prior to World War II. This certificate illustrates the tortuous journey many emigrants were forced to endure in order to find safety and documents the Lederer's personal journey from Nazi-occupied Europe to Australia.
    HistoryBorn in Vienna, Austria in 1889, Arthur Lederer was a talented tailor who made gala uniforms for European royalty and high society. On the eve of Adolf Hitler’s march into Vienna in March 1938, Lederer was working on Archduke Otto of Austria’s crowning robes, believing that the exiled monarch would return.

    In November 1938 Arthur Lederer, his wife Valerie and their son Walter attempted to escape the escalating Jewish persecution in Nazi-occupied Austria. They travelled by taxi from Vienna to the Austria-Czechoslovakia border but were held up by the German Gestapo and thrown into jail. They were released after three days and returned home to Vienna.

    Four weeks later they made another attempt to escape. The family purchased passports in December 1938 and travelled by Austrian Airlines to Prague, Czechoslovakia. The League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations) issued them with Nansen passports, an internationally recognised identity card provided to stateless refugees.

    Arthur then started appealing to his well-connected clients for help to escape Europe. Most clients did not respond, perhaps fearing they would be persecuted by the Nazis for assisting Jews. Eventually Lady Max Muller, wife of the British Ambassador to Spain, provided them with tickets to Australia and the £300 arrival money required by the Australian Government.

    The family travelled to Australia on the Orient liner SS ORAMA, which departed Toulon, France on 17 June 1939. ORAMA stopped at Naples, Italy, Port Said, Egypt, Aden, Yemen and Colombo, Ceylon before arriving in Fremantle, Western Australia. From Fremantle the Lederers sailed to Sydney, where they began their new life in Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Aliens Order, Certificate of Registration

    Primary title: Aliens order, 1920, Certificate of Registration

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.