Before And After Bonegilla Analysis

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Guest Speaker Ivan Bozanic Draft 2 Ivan’s wife, children and grand-children insisted he write a book so that his entire family would know his story of where he came from before arriving in Australia at the age of 17 in October 1949. He wrote his autobiography titled, ‘Before and After Bonegilla.’ Prior to WW2 Bonegilla was a huge army training centre; it is situated near the Snowy Mountains in the Albury Wodonga area. In 1948 it was converted into a migrant centre to accommodate refugees from Europe. Ivan came from the Dalmatian Island Vis, formerly Yugoslavia, now Croatia; it is about 73 nautical miles from the coast of Italy. The Bozanics were one of the earliest families on the island. Italy occupied the island in WW2; Germany occupied…show more content…
On the night of the evacuation there was a terrible storm. On the boat everyone was seasick, to go to the toilet was too dangerous in the rough conditions, people were sick where they were, the stench was terrible. When they arrived in Italy they were about 70 kilometres from the front line. They were then placed on a train, after travelling about 50 minutes the train stopped and they started going backwards. They ended up in a railway yard with nothing to eat or drink for two days, they were starving when they got on the boat and anything in their stomachs was evacuated due to sea sickness, they were barely alive, there were some deaths on the train. Ivan’s sister had a young baby who continually cried, this possibly saved their lives as the police came to investigate. After they had been fed and cleaned they were on their way again, this time they went to what used to be a prisoner of war camp in Sicily, there were double rows of bard wire all around, here they stayed for two days. They were then taken to Egypt by ship, on the way Ivan’s sister contacted typhus, she was removed from the ship as soon as they arrived in Port Said. They continued to the Red Sea to a place called El Kharatha from here they were taken by truck to El Shatt, this was a terrible place. The heat reached 50 degrees, the sand storms and flies were shocking. The little food they were given was not nutritious, soon there was a measles epidemic, children with complication from the measles died by the hundreds. Ivan had the measles but he was one of the lucky ones who survived as did his sister who contacted typhus. A cemetery was built on that desolate desert, this cemetery contains 865 graves, later a 6 metre statue was erected, and this is meticulously maintained by Croatia. They endured living in tents for five long years in the Sinai

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