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Australia accepted us as emigrants in 1948 and we left Deggendorf in mid-winter. I remember on our last Christmas Eve walking with my step-father John round the corner to the main square where the tall ‘tannenbaum' Christmas tree was in front of the Rathaus (council chambers). From memory, the train trip to Naples to board ship was overnight. I remember being on a train and darkness and then nothing, so I probably slept most of the time. I also do not remember much of Naples, other than some aimless wandering about with the families we knew who were also going on the same ship to Australia. And a cold, cavernous room where our belongings were on the floor amongst a sea of low beds. I assume everybody was accommodated in the one huge hall for a few days before we obtained clearance and embarked. I also do not remember embarking – probably too much shoving and waiting in thick anxious crowds for a young child to be able to see anything other than adult legs and midriffs. Our ship, the SS Mozaffari, was a converted troop carrier with two large holds. Men and older boys slept in a squash of double bunks in one hold and women and children in like conditions in the other. There was an ablutions facility at one end of each hold – I cannot remember what it looked like inside, only remember the distaste of having to use it (it was probably dirty and stank). Everyone spent their free time up on deck, lounging about or playing games. One of the stewards must have taken a shine to me as I remember him talking to me although I did not understand what he said, and he sometimes brought me an ice-cream (very memorable). On board ship there was a measles epidemic and I must have been the last child to come down with it. The ship arrived at Fremantle on 19 March 1949 and we disembarked in Melbourne on 24 March.

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