Thursday, 18 September 2008
Immigration Records to Australia
Records of people who arrived under the Displaced Persons scheme 1947 to 1953 are held at the National Archives of Australia. Occupation by the USSR forced many people to flee Eastern Europe towards the end of WWII. Many ended up in Germany with smaller numbers settling in Italy, Australia and Holland. Unable to return home they awaited resettlement by the International refugee Organisation (IRO). Under the IRO scheme each person was required to complete two forms;
1. A screening card: this records the persons name, date of birth, sex, nationality, educational standards, fluency in languages, religion, dependants, employment in the past, suggested employment.
2. IRO Medical Examination Form: this included the person’s name, date of birth, colour of eyes, and hair, weight, height, name of camp allocation, place of birth, passport photograph, signature and medical questionnaire including x-ray negative.
This documentation has been preserved by the National Archives and is searchable under surnames under the keyword search. You are able to access the original records by visiting the reading rooms in Canberra or a digital copy can be requested for a fee. Once digitised the copies are loaded onto the website when anyone can then view them. For family history research this is a fantastic resource for family members who participated in the scheme.
The South Australian Genealogist February 2003, Vol.30, No.1