Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Julie Kerner

Interviewed by Eve Klein on 7 February 2001
Subject: ,

Julie Kerner. …but what was the most interesting part of it – in those days the refugees weren’t allowed to go into town in anyway they liked. They had to inform the police station what transport they were going to use to get into town, and I chose the ferry, which I enjoyed immensely. Every time I went it was a great adventure for me. If I wanted to go by Wynyard or any other way, I had to go to the police station and inform them that on that day I will not travel this way, I will travel another way.

Eve Klein. Because you were enemy aliens?

Julie Kerner. Yes, we were enemy aliens.

Eve Klein. How did that affect your husband?

Julie Kerner. Well that was very difficult because he had to look for jobs and he couldn’t tell which transport he had to take and we weren’t allowed to use a private motorcar. We couldn’t have afforded any anyway.

Eve Klein. What other restrictions were imposed on so called enemy aliens or refugees?

Julie Kerner. Mostly that we weren’t free to travel wherever we wanted to.

Eve Klein. Wasn’t there any restrictions on the use of the radio, as well?

Julie Kerner. Yes there was. Yes we had to tell what sort of things we had. We could listen to the radio.

Eve Klein. Was that an event that occurred every time you went into the city – that first you had to go to the police and say you were going in?

Julie Kerner. No, if I went by ferry that was all right. I had permission to go into town by ferry.

Eve Klein. Were the police friendly?

Julie Kerner. Yes they were.

Eve Klein. They were compliant – right. Did you have any sort of reaction from neighbours or so that you were an enemy alien, or an immigrant?

Julie Kerner. I don’t think they really knew what an enemy alien is , or an immigrant was. There were so few. In Awaba Street we had not much rapport with neighbours, but when we moved away – after about a year, we moved into Mulberry Street, also in Mosman, because the family that had the two children, they also moved. We separated. They moved into an old home in Middle Head Road, we moved into a tiny little flat – no a house in Mulbring Street.