• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0942

Vidau, Serafima

(1909 – 1998)
  • Born 1 January, 1909
  • Died 23 February, 1998
  • Occupation Nurse


Serafima Vidau was of Swedish descent but grew up with a foster family in Estonia. After finishing secondary school Serafima joined a step-sister in Finland and began training as a nurse. She returned to Estonia and married in 1931. Her first two sons were born before the war.

In 1942 the family travelled to Germany with the intention of migrating overseas. Instead she spent several years in displaced persons camps, with her husband often absent due to ill-health and work. Two more sons were born in 1943 and 1945 – the latter the night before the war ended. During the four years before they were able to migrate she returned to nursing.

The family arrived in Melbourne in December 1949 and spent some months in Victorian migrant camps before reuniting in Adelaide. Both Serafima and her husband got factory jobs and with the help of their eldest son’s pay were able to buy their own home in Woodville in 1952 – the same year that Serafima gave birth to her fifth son. Her husband died three years later and she returned to nursing to support her younger sons.

Published resources

Archival resources

  • State Library of South Australia
    • Interview with Serafima Vidau [sound recording] Interviewer: Dana Kautsky