Voitre Marek, an artist now with works at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Gallery, migrated to Australia in 1948.
Voitre met his wife to be, Vera, at University during WWII. In February 1948, everything changed when he was told that if he didn’t join the communist party, he would never be able to exhibit his artwork. It was then that the decision was made to leave Czechoslovakia. Voitre’s younger brother Dusan, also wanted to leave, so they arranged with a cousin who lived on the border, who was also part of the underground movement, to cross the border into Germany.
After arriving into a camp in Germany, and not having the bartering skills that other Czechs possessed, Voitre begain making a bust for an American Commander. Voitre would travel to the American Commanders quarters once a week. His progress payments consisted of two peanut butter sandwiches.
Voitre and Dusan travelled to Australia on board the SS Charlton Sovereign. The ship ran into many troubles on the journey to Australia, taking three months to arrive, after stopping in Gibraltar and Jakarta.
After arriving in Australia, Voitre, Vera and Dusan decided to make Adelaide their home, taking jobs on the railway to start their new lives over.