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My parents, Johannes (John) and Elisabeth (Lisa) had applied to emigrate to Venezuela and to Australia. John had a brother who lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but the Australian clearance came through first, even though John had already begun learning some Spanish as he was convinced that was where we would end up. John was a 'displaced person', and as far as the emigration people were concerned, that put Lisa and me and that category too. John came from Yugoslavia, although he always called himself a Hungarian. The borders changed after WW1 and even though his parents still lived in the same house in the same town, suddenly they were Yugoslavian and no longer Hungarian. His 1947 marriage certificate states that he was born in Bela Crkwa (about 100km east of Belgrade) whilst his emigration papers state he arrived in Germany in 1945 from Novi Sad (north of Belgrade). With the westward advance of the Red Army during WWII, John fled west, staying ahead of the Red Army. In Czechoslovakia he joined an army for a while as it was his only means of getting some food. He also passed through Poland and picked up a smattering of that language too. My parents had made close friends with people from the displaced persons camp that came to Australia either with us or shortly after us. Because all they all came from various countries in Eastern Europe, and had spent a few years in German camps, their common language was German.

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