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After the war, when he found his way back to Berlin, he discovered that this building, in Invalidenstraße 44, was situated in the Russian zone.

Hans lived in the American zone and, reluctant to travel every day into the Russian-occupied part of the city or move there, he resigned.

My mother, born in Berlin, now an Australian, still has a few German family documents, and for me these have been a valuable source of information about my German forebears, her side of the our family.

However, most of what I know about about my German ancestors I learned directly from my German grandfather, who was happy to answer my family history questions.

The journey took four days, 55 hours of flying time. By way of comparison my grandfather’s salary on starting with the Australian Public Service as an experienced cartographer was £222 a year and the average earnings for men in Australia was about £220 a year.

There were two overnight stops, one in Cairo and the other in Singapore. The Australian government paid my grandfather’s fare.

This had a series of templates for recording family history. Decades afterwards, my grandfather remembered very clearly his trip from Berlin and his arrival, on 11 August 1949.

The first flight on the route had departed 1 December 1947.

On Friday 18 August, a Scottish researcher, Chris Paton, will be speaking on British Isles research. Herr Wiessleder will also be visiting Brisbane, Auckland, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth.

—Disclosure: I have accepted the opportunity to participate in the Unlock the Past Researching Abroad Roadshow 2017 as a Roadshow Ambassadress and agreed to promote the Roadshow in return for free entry.

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