Estonian families in Geislingen were given the opportunity to emigrate to America, Australia, or Brazil.
Elle’s mother wanted to emigrate to the United States, but didn’t have a complete family. Elle deliberately went out on the street to find a husband for her mother. Studying several, she picked a man named Korstnik and brought him to meet her mother. As a practical matter, they married.
Elle’s family were arranging for emigration to the United States when Elle’s mother met her brother, Elle’s uncle Heino, on a street in Geislingen. Heino said that he was going to emigrate to Australia, so Elle”s mother decided to do the same.
Elle’s grandmother and great aunt made arrangements to enter an assisted living facility in Berchdesgaden. They would remain in Germany.
The ship on which they traveled had refugees from many nations. They had German as their common language. Elle learned to speak German on the ship to Australia.
Heino migrated to a refugee camp near Melbourne, southeastern Australia. Mother and the three young girls left the ship in Perth, Western Australia. They were sent to a refugee camp in Northam. Elle was about 11 years old.
Elle spoke no English on arrival in Australia. A few days after they arrived in camp, Mother developed a headache and sent Elle five miles into town to buy some aspirin.
When she arrived at the shop she didn’t know the word, ‘aspirin’, and couldn’t get the chemist (druggist) to understand what she wanted. She was about to give up and go home empty handed, when she recognized an aspirin bottle on the shelf.