“I’m your mummy. I love you. This is your brother, Ivan,” said Mrs Trimmer, as they embraced on the wet tarmac at Perth airport.

“He hasn’t changed at all, he’s just like his photos. Doesn’t he look like his brother?” she said.

Barry was taken into custody in West Berlin by German authorities on Wednesday after urgent messages between the Australian and West German Governments, and left Frankfurt on the first available flight to Perth.


He was originally taken from a Perth children’s home without his mother’s permission in April 1964, when he was two years old.

Officials from the Department of External Affairs believe he was taken to East Germany to be trained in Communist political activities and then sent back as a young man to lead his people.

Details of his discovery were given by the Minister for Immigration, Mr Lynch, in the House of Representatives on August 25.

On Sunday night it was learned that Mrs Rita Heisler, with whom the boy had been living in Frankfurton-Oder, East Germany, had crossed the border into West Berlin three weeks ago to arrange at the Australian Government offices there for a member of her family to travel to Australia.

An Australian Consular official recognised her and immediately alerted the Australian embassy in Bonn.

Australian and West German officials turned a blind eye to Mrs Heisler’s legal efforts — including an injunction preventing his leaving West Berlin — to retain the child.

Barry with his mother, Mrs Kathy Trimmer, at Perth airport.Credit:Staff photographer

Barry walked off the aircraft with officials from the External Affairs Department and holding the hand of his companion on the flight, Miss May Miller.

He seemed bewildered and found it very hard to talk.

The reunion brought to an end a tug-of-war story between the German woman who wanted Barry educated behind the Iron Curtain, and a part-Aboriginal mother who simply wanted her son raised in his home.

When the family finally were alone at Perth airport, Barry seemed to relax. For the first time he was able to talk to his mother and brother. Mrs Trimmer pressed her son close, and said, “I just can’t believe you’re home, my darling. I just can’t believe it.” Then the two boys played for a few moments with a toy car and smiled shyly at each other.

Then television, radio and press surrounded the children — and their reunion was delayed even longer. Miss Miller said that throughout the flight from Melbourne Barry had been looking forward to meeting his “real mummy” and brothers.

Miss Miller said that throughout the trip he had asked about his family. “He referred to Mrs Heisler as his ‘other mother.’


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