Angela S. and Gerit J. Bussemaker photograph albums, 1923-1966

Overview of the Collection

Bussemaker, Angela Saturnia
Angela S. and Gerit J. Bussemaker photograph albums
1923-1966 (inclusive)
195 photographic prints (1 box and 1 folder) ; various sizes
Collection Number
Activities in the life of John and Angela Bussemaker (who were probably "Displaced Persons" or refugees) following World War II, including their life in Europe, their trip to America, and their life in Seattle
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public. Use viewing photocopies of the albums first.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the Washington Women's Consortium

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Gerit (Johnny) Bussemaker was born in Holland in 1912. He lived with his aunt and uncle after his mother died in 1924. He attended college in Rotterdam, Holland and worked as a civilian interpreter as part of the Special Services division of the U.S. Army in Bad-Nauheim following World War II. On August 17, 1946, he married Angela Saturnia, who was born on February 1, 1922 in Lithuania.

Between 1947 and 1951, the Bussemakers traveled through Europe, sightseeing and visiting friends. In 1952, they immigrated to the United States from Holland aboard the U.S.S. Ryndam . The Bussemakers traveled across the United States by bus, arriving in Washington State in 1953. They lived in Auburn, Washington until 1954, when they moved to Seattle. Johnny worked as an agent for the New York Life Insurance Company and Angela worked for Pacific Northwest Bell. In 1957 they purchased a house at 6210 43rd Avenue Northeast, Seattle. John died in early October 1966 at the age of 54. Angela died on December 18, 2004 at the age of 84.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

It is highly likely that Angela and Johnny were displaced persons. The term "Displaced Persons" was first widely used during World War II and the resulting refugee outflows from Eastern Europe, when it was used to specifically refer to one removed from his or her native country as a refugee, prisoner or a slave laborer. Combat operations, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and general fear resulted in millions of people being uprooted from their original homes in the course of World War II, becoming displaced. Estimates for the number of displaced persons varies from 11 million to as many as 20 million. The majority were inmates of Nazi concentration camps, labor camps and prisoner-of-war camps that were freed by the Allied armies. In addition, many were people who had been forced to work in German factories and farms, and others who fled their countries to escape Communist rule.

As the war ended, these people found themselves in unfamiliar places facing an uncertain future. Allied military and civilian authorities faced considerable challenges in resolving the problem of displaced persons. Most were unable, or unwilling, to return to their native countries, and therefore lived in Displaced Person camps until they were able to immigrate into a new home. Over time, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, and Australia all opened their doors to immigrants.

The United States began allowing displaced persons to immigrate into the U.S. in 1948. As a condition of immigration, the displaced persons were required to have sponsors in the United States. This sponsor would help arrange housing and employment for the new immigrant.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Two photograph albums documenting Angela and Johnny Bussemaker's lives in post-World War II Europe, and eventual immigration to the United States. Both albums include handwritten captions, apparently composed by Angela Bussemaker, dating and describing many of the photographs. The first album documents time spent living and working in Germany, as well as traveling around Europe. The second, later album documents the couple's immigration to the United States, from their trip across the Atlantic, to their arrival in New York, a trip across the United States and their life in Seattle.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Photocopies of the original photographs are available for viewing.

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Source: Aurora Antique Pavilion, 2006.

Processing Note

Processed by Marion Brown, 2009.

The photographs were removed from the albums for preservation purposes and placed in envelopes in album page order. Photocopies were made of the album pages to show the original arrangement of the photographs on each page.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/1 1.1a
Ten men in uniform with drinks and Angela Bussemaker
Written on the page: Johnny's buddies at a party-- I was the only female in the bunch --alas I did not speak English but had a great time with my new American friends.
1/1 1.1b
Card written in Lithuanian
Written on the page: Johnny wrote in Lithuanian a birthday greeting for me-- I never could find out how he did it because he did not know Lithuanian.
1/2 1.2a-c
Johnny and Angela
Written on the page: Johnny and I in 1947 in Bad-Nauheim-- Johnny in American uniform working as civilian interpreter.
1/2 1.3a
Johnny in uniform
1/2 1.3b 1947
1/2 1.3c
Johnny in uniform at a desk
Written on the page: Johnny's work place and office.
1/3 1.4a-b
Johnny with his American buddies in Bad-Nauheim
1/3 1.4c 1947
1/3 1.4d
Johnny outside a building
1/3 1.5a 1947
1/3 1.5b-c
Angela outside a building
Written on the page: Bad-Nauheim--1947--Visiting Johnny at work.
1/4 1.6a-b
Angela and Johnny in a garden
Written on the page: Johnny and I in Munich
1/4 1.7a-b
Portrait of Angela
1/4 1.7c
Angela and Johnny
1/5 1.8a
Tennis court and players
Written on the page: Johnny playing tennis--competition--he won--1948.
1/5 1.8b
Two women on a bench
Written on the page: Anetta DeRosa and I watching John play tennis--Bad Nauheim--1948.
1/5 1.8c
Anetta DeRosa and Angela walking on a path
1/5 1.9a
Johnny and some of his tennis trophies
Ted Russell (Photographer)
circa 1948
1/5 1.9b
Angela facing a tennis court
Written on the page: Tennis 'widow'-- that's me.
circa 1948
1/6 1.10a
Two people, likely Angela and Johnny
circa 1948
1/6 1.10b
circa 1948
1/6 1.10c
Two people, likely Angela and Johnny, at the front gate of a house
circa 1948
1/6 1.11a-b
Anetta and Angela in Bad-Nauheim
1/6 1.11c
Anetta and a horse
Written on the page: Anetta is getting friendly to the horse I rode.
1/7 1.12a-b
A dog--possibly a German Shepherd
Written on the page: My first dog 'Ceasar'-- Johnny gave the dog to me as a puppy--1948--Bad Nauheim.
1/7 1.12c
Woman (likely Angela) playing with Ceasar
circa 1948
1/7 1.12d
Ceasar and a small dog
circa 1948
1/7 1.13a
Johnny walking Ceasar
Written on the page: Johnny and I with Ceasar.
1/7 1.13b
Angela with Ceasar
1/7 1.13c
Johnny hugging Ceasar
1/8 1.14a
A German Shepherd dog
Written on verso: Poor Tyiao with his ears hanging down! But we still love him very much. Some day you will see him again.
Circa 1952
1/8 1.14b
1/8 1.14c
Johnny and Ceasar
1/8 1.15a
Angela and Anetta
1/8 1.15b
Anetta, Marco and Ceasar
Written on the page: Anetta and her son Marco--Visiting in us Bad-Nauheim. Ceasar was alway [sic] guarding Marco.
circa 1949
1/8 1.15c-d
Portrait of Angela
circa 1949
1/9 1.16a-d
Written on the page: Anetta's brother took these pictures when I visited Anetta & Renato in Heidelberg.
1/9 1.17a-d
Portrait of Angela
Likely also taken by Anetta's brother when Angela visited them in Heidelberg.
1/10 1.18a-d
Portrait of Angela
Written on the page: 1949--Heidelberg visiting Anetta & Renato & Marco.
1/10 1.19a
Angela and Johnny's Aunt outside a restaurant
Written on the page: Holland--Utrecht. Johnny's Aunt & Uncle--1949.
1/10 1.19b
Johnny's aunt and uncle with Angela
Written on the page: Holland--Utrecht--1950--Johnny's Aunt & Uncle & I came from Zeist for dinner & shopping.
1/10 1.19c
Angela with Johnny's aunt and uncle
circa 1949
1/10 19d
Johnny's uncle talking with Angela
circa 1949
1/11 1.20a-b 1950
1/11 1.20c
Johnny's aunt, Johnny and Angela around a table in Zeist, Netherlands
1/11 1.21a-c 1950
1/12 1.22a-1.22d 1951
1/12 1.23a
Kay Curtis, Johnny and Marie in an office in Nuremberg, Germany
1/12 1.23b-c 1951
1/12 1.23d
Johnny in front of the Palace of Justice
Written on the page: His working place.
1/13 1.24a
Angela and Johnny with a child
Written on the page: With our friends the Matson's daughter Pamela-- we were crazy about Pam '51.
1/13 1.24b circa 1951
1/13 1.24c
Johnny looking at ruins across a canal
circa 1951
1/13 1.25a-d
Angela and Kay Curtis in various locations
Written on the page: On a trip with Kay Curtis visiting Bavaria and Northern Italy.
1/14 1.26a
Four people outside a shopping center
1/14 1.26b-c
Angela, and four other people sitting on a bench
1/14 1.26d
Angela, Johnny and a woman (possibly Kay Curtis) around the trunk of a car
1/14 1.27a
Angela, Johnny and a woman outside a building
1/14 1.27b
Johnny, Angela and a woman around a car
1/14 1.27c
Two women crouching near snow
1/15 1.28a
A woman holding a baby
Written on the page: Going to Italy with Anetta and Marco.
1/15 1.28b
A woman and a man holding a baby
This may be Anetta, Renatto and the baby, Marco.
1/15 1.29a
Two women and a baby
Written on the page: Anetta, Marco and I in Italy.
1/15 1.29b
A woman (possibly Anetta) with a book
1/15 1.29c-d
Two women and a baby near railroad tracks
1/16 1.30a
Angela in Italy
1/16 1.30b
Angela and Count Caiatano in Italy
Count Caiatano is part of Renato's family.
1/16 1.30c
Angela and Renato on a street in Italy
1/16 1.30d
Angela outside a magazine shop in Italy
Written on the page: Italy--I didn't like what I saw.
1/16 1.31a
Johnny sitting on a cliff in Capri, Italy
1/16 1.31b undated
1/16 1.31c
Angela working in Anetta's garden on Ischia, Italy
1/16 1.31d
A stone building in Ischia
Written on the page: Ischia--Anetta and I stayed in this tower when we wanted to be alone-- Tower belongs to Anetta.
1/17 1.32a-d
Angela in various locations in Italy
Written on the page: Travels in Italy.
1/17 1.33a-d undated
1/18 1.34a undated
1/18 1.34b undated
1/18 1.35a
Angela near a canal, possibly in Italy
Written on the page: Travels. Angela is standing next to a sign written in Italian. It is likely this sign translates to "To Train to Rome".
1/18 1.35b-c undated
1/18 1.35d
Three women on a street, possibly in Italy
1/18 1.36a circa 1956
1/18 1.36b
Angela outside a mission, somewhere near San Francisco, California
circa 1956
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/19 2.1a
Postcard of theS.S. Ryndam
Written on the page: The ship we came over as immigrants from Holland to N.Y. 1952.
1/19 2.1b
Portrait of Angela
Karl Harren, Nuremberg, Germany (Photographer)
Written on the page: The photos below the way we looked when we landed in N.Y.
1/19 2.2a
Angela and Johnny sitting on a couch together looking through a book
Written on the page: 1952. The night before we left Holland looking at old family photos of John.
1/19 2.2b
Kay Curtis sitting at a table
Written on the page: 1952 Kay Curtis who found sponsors for us to come to U.S.A.
1/19 2c-d
Angela and Johnny on the deck of theRyndam
Written on the page: On 'Ryndam' crossing to N.Y. We both look cold--Feb, '52.
February 1952
1/19 2.3a
Johnny leaning against a wall
Written on the page: On the ship 'Ryndam' somewhere on Atlantic Feb '52. Going to N.Y.
February 1952
1/19 2.3b February 1952
1/19 2.3c-d February 1952
1/20 2.4a March 1952
1/20 2.4b
Helen and Ed Thwaits reading papers
Written on the page: Two most wonderful people-- Helen and Ed Thwaits--They met us in Hoboken, N.Y. and gave us such warm reception and home.
March 1952
1/20 2.4c
John and Angela Bussemaker
On verso: Am so glad we have this.
circa March 1952
1/20 2.5a-e
Angela and John at a party
Written on the page: Kay Curtis' friends in Chicago who were so hospitable and gracious to us--they treated us like royalty. On the way west & sponsors whom we never met--the end of March '52. We stayed with Ed Rager & his mother. He was an artist.
March 1952
1/21 2.6a
Angela in front of an American Airlines airplane
Written on page: Helen Thwaits took this photo at the airport--3/52 we took a bus across USA. Could not afford to fly. On verso: My Lovely Daughter!
1/21 2.6b
Blurry photo of Angela and John at the airport
On verso: Some wind.
1/21 2.7a
John and a man standing next to a small plane
Written on page: Chicago '52-- Ed Fager's friends gave us a "ride" in a small plane all over Chicago--BRRR-- On verso: 'Johnny' Bussemaker and pilot, Boatwright, at Lombard, Ill., after flight over Chicago. 3/31/52
March 31, 1952
1/21 2.7b
A man and Angela near a small plane
On verso: 'Angie' Bussemaker and pilot, Dunakin at York TWP airport, Lombard, Ill. after flight over Chicago. 3/31/52
March 31, 1952
1/22 2.8a
Angela and John standing near a lake
Written on page: At Lake Meridian--Vivian's Home- '54.
1/22 2.8b
John and Angela in front of a New York Life Insurance Company sign
Written on page: The very first New York Life convention in Victoria B.C. I attended.
circa 1953-1966
1/22 2.8c
Angela standing next to a car
Written on page: Our first car in U.S.A. --taking a trip to Calif. 1953.
1/22 2.10a
View of a house from the sidewalk
Written on page: Our very first home in Seattle 6200 43rd Ave N.E. On verso: Our house.
circa 1959
1/22 2.10b
Angela standing in front of the house
On verso: My roses!
1/22 2.10c
Angela standing on the steps in front of the house
On verso: Front door. July 1959.
July 1959
1/22 2.11a
Side of the house and roses
Written on page underneath photo: This is kitchen entrance. The window is in the kitchen and also you can see the entrance to backyard--don't look at the garbage can.
circa 1959
1/22 2.11b
Angela lounging in a lawn chair
On verso: Summer 1959. In backyard.
Summer 1959
1/22 2.11c
Angela, John and their car
Written on page: Our 2nd car. On verso: Driveway. Garage + car. 1959
1/23 2.12a
Angela and John on a lawn chair in the backyard
On verso: under patio 1959. Covered with 'silver lace'.
1/23 2.12b
Angela and John sitting on steps
Written on page: In our back-yard -1959.
1/23 2.12c
Patio and lawn chair
On verso: Summer 1959. Where we spent summer evenings.
1/23 2.13a
John and Angela in the backyard
Written on the page: Our backyard. Note under photograph: Our backyard. I am really sorry this is so dark, that you can hardly see us, but at least you can see us smiling.
circa 1959
1/23 2.13b
Side of the house with snow on the ground
1/24 2.14
Angela sitting on a couch near a Christmas tree
1/24 2.15a
Johnny and three women sitting in lawn chairs
Written on page: 1965--Cascade, Colorado--Visiting Ed & Helen Thwaits. This picture is at Lucia's Home (Thwaits Daughter). Johnny was feeling pretty good in this trip--he wanted to be with the Thwaits one more time.
1/24 2.15b
John and Ed Thwaits with their hats on in a pool
Written on page: Johnny & Ed Thwaits having a great time in a swimming pool at their Denver condo 1965.
1/25 2.16a
Johnny and Helen Thwaits in Colorado
1/25 2.16b
Johnny sitting in a chair holding a cigarette
Written on page: Johnny 2/1966 at Barb's & Joe's home on Einars B'day--Johnny died in October of that year.
February 1966
1/25 2.17a
Johnny with his aunt and uncle in Holland
1/25 2.17b
Johhny's Uncle Henry
Written on page: Johnny's uncle in whose home he grew up after his mother died. Johnny was 12 years old at the time. On verso: 12.9.1940. Jan's Uncle Henry.
December 9, 1940
1/25 2.17c
Uncle Henry and a dog
J.H. Kolling, Zeist (photographer)
1/26 2.18a
Man, women and two children
circa 1910-1920
1/26 2.18b
Three boys in sailor suits
circa 1910-1920
1/26 2.19a
Three boys, one in a sailor suit
circa 1910-1920
1/26 2.19b
Portrait of a young boy
1/26 2.20a October 13, 1922
1/26 2.20b
A group of 26 boys and one man
This is possibly a sports team.
1/26 2.21a
A boy and a woman sitting in a chair outside
July 1927
1/26 2.21b
Two boys and Uncle Henry around a bicycle
1/26 2.21c
A boy playing a violin
1/26 2.21d
A boy on a bicycle
1/27 2.22a May 1923
1/27 2.22b
Boy leaning on a boat railing
1/27 2.22c
Two boys and a woman
1/27 2.22d
Three men lounging in lawn chairs
On verso: Pinksteren, 1931. Translated this means "Pentecost" in Dutch.
1/27 2.23
Young Johnny dressed as a cowboy
On verso: J. Bussemaker [illegible]1 Augustus .27.
August 1927
1/28 2.24a
Two boys holding cigarettes, Enschede, Netherlands
On verso: Saeuduskr. 5 Enschede.
1/28 2.24b
Two boys
1/28 2.24c-d
Three young men
Pentecost 1931
1/28 2.25a-b
Sports team
1/28 2.25c
Three boys on bicycles
The bicyclist in the right foreground is likely Johnny. On verso: 30 Juni 1929. Haverskaad Enschede.
June 30, 1929
1/28 2.25d
Two boys walking on a sidewalk
The boy on the right is likely Johnny.
1/29 2.26a
Johnny standing next to another man
1/29 2.26b
Johnny standing in a street
1/29 2.26c
Johnny and another man in a suit outside a large brick building
1/29 2.27a
Johnny and a woman sitting in an outdoor cafe with two waiters standing behind them
1/29 2.27b
Johnny and a woman in a car
1/29 2.27c
Johnny standing by a fountain
1/29 2.28a
Johnny and another young man
1/29 2.28b
Johnny in an outdoor cafe
1/29 2.28c-e
Portrait of Johnny
28c is a passport photo dated May 10, 1935.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Form or Genre Terms

  • Photograph albums

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)