The Promised Land: Migrating to the Lucky Country

  • Warner Max Corden
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought book series (PHET)


Our family of four—consisting of Rudolf, Kate, Gerhart, and myself—left Southampton, the principal port in England, on 16 December 1938 for Australia. Aunt Elli waved us goodbye. We were off to the Promised Land. We arrived in Melbourne on 25 January 1939. On the way, the ship stopped in Adelaide, which was on that particular day extremely hot, which, indeed, shocked us.

Once settled down in Melbourne, my father built up a business—a manufacturer’s agent and wholesaler for ladies’ handbags. This was eventually sufficient to finance the family. He found it hard. But it helped that my father was a natural salesman, a “people person”. The Germans did not allow us to bring any money from Germany. But we did have some help for the early period.

The first impressions on my parents and myself of Australians were very favourable. Australians seemed very friendly. There was certainly some hostility to refugees, expressed in publications of various kinds, but we never actually met hostile people. All this is discussed in this chapter.


  1. Blakeney, Michael, Australia and the Jewish Refugees 1933–48, 1984Google Scholar
  2. Johnson, Paul A History of the Jews, 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warner Max Corden
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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