Monday, 9 December 2013

Publications printed on the way to Australia

'General Black' concert program
Daily newsletters, souvenir journals and the like were printed on board the ships that carried the new migrants to Australia.  They are typed and often illustrated by someone on board with some artistic talent.   The language varies, depending on who is publishing the item.  Most are in several languages of the Displaced Persons, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, German, Ukrainian, Russian and English. They often include interviews with members of the crew, facts and information about Australia, an itinerary of travel locations, poems, historic items of Lithuania’s history.  Some contains articles talking of preserving Lithuanian culture and traditions when they live in Australia.

Many contain lists of key personnel on-board, details about the ship and even a page for signatures to be collected. 

From the souvenir edition of newspaper printed on board the USAT General Heintzelman in November 1947.  The first transport carrying DP's to Australia, post WWII.

'General Heintzelman' 1947
We have ceased counting the days which have passed since we lost sight of the European coastline.  With each hour more and more miles increase the distance between is and the hopelessness and idleness in Germany, bringing us nearer to a new worthy life in a new land.  We are animated by gratitude for the rehabilitation which we are offered by the Australian Government in conjunction with the IRO.  We are determined to become good citizens of our new country and we fervently desire to take once more our place in a community which will accept us as its members, each one of us working to the best of our abilities, with regard to our individual aptitudes.  

These abilities and aptitudes are a heritage from our native countries on the shores of the Baltic Sea, our only native countries for which there will always be a feeling of longing and reverence in our hearts.  We all are sons and daughters of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and such we will remain, remembering that once were ours.  The fate and suffering of the Baltic peoples ar known to the greater part of the world, to the rest we shall untiringly tell of them until the day that our native countries regain their freedom and independence.

This ship is a link between our distant native country and our new refuge.  Is it our wish that this review be a link between the passengers and the crew on this ship. 
Back cover with signatures of publication on
board General Stewart, Feb 1948

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