Benalla Migrant Camp 1949-1967

Hans-Joachim and Elisabeth Gebauer

GEBAUER Hans-Joachim and Elisabeth

Germany (Silesia) 1963-1965

Gebauer Story

(Below are extracts from a story that was published in the Benalla Ensign, by Angela Townsend in early 2012:)

Born in Breslau-Slizhan in what was then Germany (now Poland), Hans Joachim (Joe) Gebauer grew up in the mining town of Gottensburg. After the war, Joe and his wife Elisabeth decided to emigrate and set sail for Australia aboard the Greek liner Arcadia and arrived at Fremantle in November 1963.

They were transferred to Bonegilla for a short time, before moving to the camp at Benalla Airport in 1963 still.

Joe said the camp had everything one could want, from a picture theatre to a kindergarten, youth club and tennis club. ‘‘A town within a town,’’ is how Joe describes it.

After two years in the Benalla camp, Joe and Elizabeth bought a brand new home in Harold St in 1965, where Joe still lives. The photos are all dated 1963-65.

The Gebauer documents tell the entire story of the family's journey to Australia: the receipt for the fare on the ship, 652 Deutsche Mark ( about 300 dollars of today's money).

An excellent character reference by the local authority in his home town, a 'certificate of leaving' in all the family member's names, two boarding passes, a list of items to be packed, the menu on the Greek liner they travelled on and finally passport photos for the whole family at the time of migrating.

Anna Gebauer wrote on our Facebook Page on 13/11/2017: The Gebauer family was the largest family to migrate from Germany in 1963.

"We had 9 children and 1 on the way. We lived in the migrant centre for two and a half years. Only have good memories of the place."

Hans-Joachim and Elisabeth GEBAUER
Hans-Joachim and Elisabeth Gebauer - Germany

Benalla Migrant Camp School Pupil Register

Name Date of Birth Parent Camp Date
Christa Gebauer Tuesday 1st May 1951 Joachim 02/12/1963
Hans J Gebauer Saturday 21st March 1953 Joachim 02/12/1963
Peter Gebauer Saturday 1st May 1954 Joachim 02/12/1963

Records in Benalla Cemetery for GEBAUER

Please note that the records retrieved from Benalla Cemetery do not mean that the individuals listed were camp residents, they merely share the surname.
They are presented in that they may be of assistance for genealogical purposes.

Name Died Age Burial Location
Anne Margarete GEBAUER 1965 ROMAN CATHOLIC External Link
Elisabeth Maria GEBAUER 2003 LAWN External Link
Hans Joachim GEBAUER 1970 17YRS ROMAN CATHOLIC External Link
Hans Joachim GEBAUER 2014 91YRS LAWN External Link