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Photograph album documenting the voyage of Mr and Mrs Bernhard. German - Jewish immigrants from Germany to Australia

Date: 1938
Overall: 242 x 310 x 39 mm, 1.35 kg
Display Dimensions: 242 x 310 x 40 mm
Medium: Ink on paper on paper covered boards, black and white silver gelatin prints
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Gabrielle Bernhard
Object Name: Photograph album
Object No: 00013885

User Terms

    Photograph album documenting the voyage of Mr and Mrs Bernhard from Germany to Australia in 1938.
    SignificanceThis photographic album is significant as it documents the trip undertaken by Mr Heinz & Mrs Gisela Bernhard, Jewish Germans, in June - July 1938 from their home in Berlin to Sydney. As well as photographs the album contains a variety of memorabilia which together with English annotations provide a highly detailed account of life aboard ship and the anxieties and hopes of a young Jewish - German migrant couple on route to a new life in Australia.
    HistoryOnly 6425 Jewish and non-Aryan Christian migrants arrived in Australia between 1936 - 1947. Originally the Commonwealth government agreed to 15,000 "victims of oppression" visas at the Evian conference in France in 1938. Part of the visa conditions in 1938 was that Jewish German migrants must be in possession of at least two hundred pounds when landing and the means to sustain themselves in Australia. Mr Heinz and Mrs Gisela Bernhard were land owners and successful business people in Germany prior to their departure and were relatively wealthy. Mrs Bernhard was a milliner whilst Mr Bernhard had inherited property. This would fit in with those conditions imposed on Jewish - German citizens wishing to migrate to Australia. What is also clearly evident in the album is the anxiety many of these refugees suffered, this comes across quite clearly in the annotations. This anxiety seems to heighten as Mr & Mrs Bernhard approach Australia, where they are met by a less than sympathetic press. (The tone of a press clipping, in the album, recording Mr & Mrs Bernhards arrival in Sydney, is testimony to the less than enthusiastic reception such migrants generally received). Ominously this press clipping is the last entry in the Album. Later in September 1940 Mr Bernhard was detained as an Enemy Alien. Quite innocently his photographic interests and well known anti-American sentiments saw him fall foul of the authorities. He was eventually released from Tatura in May 1942. For the rest of his life Mr Bernhard worked as a storeman in the wine and spirits industry and Mrs Bernhard worked as a housewife.
    Related People
    Photographer: Heinz Bernhard

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