Anna : A Hungarian with memories from before WW2
Anna's story highlights how complicated defining "nationality" can be sometimes, and though I'm trying to use a standard based on the Australian Census's "Country of Birth", there is a category "Eastern Europe, not fully defined", showing that many people in Eastern Europe throughout the 20th century were displaced or found themselves within changed borders.
Anna was born in the 1920s in what was then Yugoslavia ( today it is Croatia), but only a few years before it had been part of the Hungarian area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In fact, as a result of being on the wrong side in WW1, Hungary lost 60% of its territory, leaving many Hungarians living within the borders of different countries. In Anna's case, she would grow up in Burgenland, Austria, on the border with Hungary, and the majority were Hungarian speakers and her early schooling wasin Hungarian.
Of course, WW2 and the German annexation brought some shocking changes and Anna suddenly found herself at high school where instruction was suddenly only in German. The Nazi occupation was a hard time, but after the war, she met a Hungarian emigre in a refugee camp and married him two weeks later.
They emigrated to Australia in 1950 and settled down for a time in country Victoria. Later they moved to Sydney. After her husband died, she would visit her son, who had moved to Tasmania, initially to pick apples...and eventually she moved here.
But this is the briefest of summaries of a long life. Listen to the episode to hear about life in rural Austria in the 1930s and 40s and more about the migrant experience from a member of a generation of which fewer and fewer remain.