Project Description

Maria DZELEBDZIC (nee Kreiger) was born in Cloppenberg, Germany on 17 June, 1915. She married Peter Mosen and by the time WWII broke out they had three sons, Gunter, Klaus and Peter (jnr).

Peter Mosen joined the German Army and was killed at the Russian Front at the age of 36. Maria, being left with three young sons, sold her jewellery to feed and clothe her children. Maria recalls her experiences during the war. After the war she met Yugoslavian, Voislav (Voya) Dzelebdzic, a member of the British Occupational Force.

They married in 1950 and migrated to Western Australia staying in a holding camp in Northam. Along with other migrants Voya was sent to Collie to build barracks and work on the water supply. The women followed later. They lived in tents as the barracks had not been completed. These were trying times for Maria; in hospital for three weeks after the birth of her son, John, she suffered acute homesickness, experienced language difficulties and discrimination.

Like most migrants they were short of money. A daughter, Margaret, was born in 1953. Voya went on to the dole when his work with the Water Board ceased. Maria worked cleaning homes. Later Voya worked in a coal mine, the Railways and the State Electricity Commission until he retired and they moved to Busselton.