Turbulent 20th Century - Pre-War and Post War Immigrant Experiences

Author : kkkkkkkk
Publish Date : 2020-11-25

Turbulent 20th Century - Pre-War and Post War Immigrant Experiences

It was during this period that Manoli became a part of an underground organization dedicated for national liberation of his homeland and for union with Greece.

Press censorship, secret police, the exclusion of Greek labor from public works and land left uncultivated for three years or more were given to settlers from Italy. Schools were required to teach Italian and the Greek Orthodox faith of the majority of the inhabitants was strongly discouraged to bring them under greater Italian control.


These policies caused a good deal of Greek emigration from the islands. During the mid-1930s, the situation for Manoli became extremely dangerous that he was left with no alternative but to leave his homeland, his wife and two children to migrate to Adelaide, South Australia.

With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Manoli served as a cook in the Australian Army in Darwin. With the end of the Second World War in 1945 he returned to Adelaide and in 1949 his family were able to join him where they settled in the working-class suburb of Thebarton. Soon after, their son Philip and daughter Stamatia were born in the new country.

Manoli found work at the old South Australian Hotel in North Terrace and worked his way up to be a leading chef in charge of food service preparations and overseeing kitchen operations. In his position, he was able to help many other newly arrived migrants, especially those from Southern Rhodes to obtain jobs as kitchen hands.

Stamatis (Stan) Itsines

Stan Itsines was born in 1938 in the Dodecanese island of Kos at a time when the devastating effects of World War II and the Nazis rolled through Europe. Countless thousands of people throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans were displaced and forced to seek sanctuary in the refugee camps of the Middle East.

At that time Stan's father had a traditional, mixed-farm enterprise on the outskirts of the town of Kos and during one of those German bombings on the island, Stan's mother and sister were killed and the family home was completely destroyed. The family took refuge in the town of Kos while other Greek inhabitants of the Dodecanese found their way to British protection in Cyprus.

In 1944, the Germans removed the residents from their homes in Kos and made the area a base which forced many to flee to Turkey. Stan's father decided to leave his youngest son John with his wife's sister in Kos then took Stan and his other brother Con by boat to the Turkish town of Bodrum (ancient Greek city of Halicarnassus).


The Turks then moved them as well as thousands of other refugees to the Gaza Strip in Palestine where the Greeks were placed in three refugee camps.

When World War II ended in 1945, the British government then helped the Greek refugees to return to Rhodes Island and from there back to Kos. While in Rhodes Stan's father placed him in an orphanage and from there a relative took him into his home. Stan and his family were reunited in their native island of Kos a year later.

In 1964, he migrated to Adelaide, South Australia where he met and married his wife Anna Stiliano who was born in the cotton town of Biloela, Queensland, Australia, to immigrant parents from Mesanagros and Lahania in Rhodes Island, Greece.

Triantafilos Psaras

It is hard to migrate and leave your family behind in order to help improve economic circumstance. There is the trauma of having to leave your family behind, to go from rural life to suburban living and to toil and endure in the farms and factories of Adelaide, South Australia.

World War II and its aftermath resulted in large-scale migrations and for more debilitating changes to come. Triantafilos Psaras was one such young man who was subjected to these life changing forces. To secure his family's financial security and ensure his children's future, he migrated to Adelaide, South Australia while his wife Despina remained in Lahania, Southern Rhodes to continue to work the fields and to raise their young children alone.

Triantafilo is a role model of the traditional, hard-working and dedicated father who wanted to give his children a good education and the best in life so they would be free of limited opportunity. He wanted them to make something of themselves so they would not have to endure the same hardships he had.

Throughout the many hard and lonely years without his family by his side, he continued to work hard and save to send money to help pay for his children's schooling and to help make their world a happier place.


After twenty years, Triantafilo returned to Rhodes Island and to his family. His hard work and sacrifice has reaped the rewards he set out to achieve and opened the door of opportunity for his children so they could realize their dreams.

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Author Website : Turbulent 20th Century - Pre-War and Post War Immigrant Experiences

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