Black and white digital photograph of Margit Schmideg with her sons Stephen and Peter seated on the deck of the MS Aurelia on their way to Australia in December-January 1956-57. The Margit migrated to Australia with her husband Zoltan and their sons Stephen and Peter from Hungary, arriving in January 1957.

Stephen and Peter Schmideg fled Budapest with their parents Zoltan and Margit after the Soviet repression of the Hungarian revolution in 1956. Zoltan and Margit had already survived appalling experiences and loss of family as Jews during World War II. They managed to escape to Austria, before being processed and joining their ship the Aurelia in Genoa, before finally arriving in Melbourne on 28 January 1957.

Description of Content

Woman and two male children seated on wooden slatted seats on a ship's deck.

Physical Description

Black and white digital photograph.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection of objects and photographs provides a rare opportunity to document the experiences of migrant children, both at point of arrival in Australia and subsequent settlement. The toys represent the interweaving of both Australian and American popular culture in the 1950s, on the cusp of the launch of television in Australia, as well as the increasing popularity of Australian native symbols to represent an Australian identity. The photos of the children at play with the items is a rare opportunity to document the objects in use at the time. They also demonstrate the role of some community groups (in this case Jewish) in greeting newly arrived migrants and the recognition of the special attention children might require, particularly after traumatic experiences in countries of origin.

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