Delmenhorst DP camp



Inara Bush of Australia has supplied us with these photos leaving Delmenhorst arriving in Melbourne. If you see your family in these photos, email her to receive higher 1200 dpi images:


Aug. 17, 2007, Inara writes: Most of the photos were taken by my father, Arvids Buss (1909-1999). I am grateful that he was an avid photographer. He had kept many rolls of negatives from our DP years and most of the images are scanned from these.

Delmenhorst map
My mother, Alise Buss (pronounced Bush), my elder sister, Anita, and I, Inara, were evacuated from Riga by ship in July 1944. The Soviet Army re-occupied Latvia in October 1944. My father, Arvids, a soldier in the Latvian Army, remained in Latvia. He tracked us down in the hamlet of Hermannsried some weeks after the war ended on May 8, 1945. We lived in DP camps in Windischbergerdorf, Bamberg, Wildflecken and Delmenhorst until we boarded an IRO ship at Bremerhaven in 1950, bound for Australia under its DPs Immigration Scheme.
entrance sign   front street
Delmenhorst Augut 1950 -Inara, age 9, in front of European Reception Center and 603 IRO   Front entrance
Anita, Alise and Inara in front of the dining room.   Canteen
Alise, Anita and Inara at the building housing Australian Immigration Dept. offices. The building was named Canberra after Australia's capital city and seat of its Federal Government. Delmenhorst 1950.   Departure hall at Delmenhorst 1950
A friend with Alise, Anita and Inara. The billy can I am holding was a life-saving gift from a friend in Dresden. It was the only container we had to receive Red Cross soup at railway stations and bomb shelters at the height of the bombing of Germany in 1944/45.     DPs arriving at the train for Bremerhaven.
    Buying ice cream during a train stop on the way to Bremerhaven. Anita 3rd from left.
Anita on right (wearing dark scarf).   Anita and friend in front of Inara and Alise.
Bremerhaven Columbusbahnhof (train station)   First sight of "Nelly," the former troopship which would take us to Australia.
    Trainloads of DPs boarding the Nelly, August 22, 1950
During the 35-day voyage, DPs were not permitted below deck during the day except at mealtimes, irrespective of the weather. "Cabins" consisted of rows of bunks sleeping about 50 people. Men and women were segregated. Anita and Inara.   The Australian government paid IRO a fee of 10 pounds for each adult to provide passage for healthy DPs who agreed to work for two years wherever they were directed by the government. Alise, Arvids, Inara and Anita.
DPs were not permitted to disembark at refuelling ports of call. During the slow passage through the Suez canal, traders sold souvenirs from boats alongside the ship. We bought small carved ebony elephants.
On board the Nelly after docking at Station Pier, Melbourne Sept 1950. We disembarked on the folloing day to a train which took us to the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre. Anita, Alise, Arvids and Inara.   Inara on right outside one of the corrugated iron huts housing DP immigrants at Mildura Holding Camp in Australia, 1951.
Arvids on left at his workplace on an asparagus farm near Melbourne, the first work he was assigned in Australia. No European qualifications were recognized at the time. My father was a radio technician. My mother, Anita and I were sent to a holding camp in Mildura, over 500km away. We joined him in Melbourne six months later when he was able to guarantee housing for us after being permitted to move to a job in a radio electronics factory in Melbourne.


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May 26, 2021

I am trying to retrace my parents' steps. Your 7th picture in this site, shows a lady on the left which you simply called a 'friend'. This lady looks like my mother. I sent this to my sister and she confirmed it. Can anyone provide any details as to what camp, what time, the lady in the pictue, etc.

Thank you so much. Wolodimir Wolowec


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