At the end of World War II, one in every six refugees in Europe was Lutheran. Many Germans, Latvians, and Lithuanians sought a new home in Australia, and the Lutheran Church in Australia played a pivotal role in assisting their migration and resettlement. Almost overnight the Church found itself responsible for the provision of chaplaincy and immigration services, alongside the support of migrant pastors and the establishment of migrant congregations. Immigration records created by the Church’s departments and congregations provide a rich source of migration information. This project has resulted in a greater understanding of the records held at Lutheran Archives which tell the stories of these migrants. These stories range from the administrative legwork undertaken by the Board of Immigration’s Executive Officer from Bonegilla to the local communities across Australia where migrants eventually settled, worked and worshipped. This presentation will touch on these newly-discovered stories and research opportunities.
About the Speaker
Adam Kauschke is an archivist based at Lutheran Archives in Adelaide, serving Australia’s largest national religious archive since early 2017. Since October Adam has been working on the post-WWII migration records project in order to improve the accessibility of these records for the migrants, their families and the researching community. This kind of work brings together individuals and families, and enables them to discover their own histories, which is what Adam finds most rewarding about his work.