Category Archives: Russia/E. Europe

Tania, an immigrant student in North Carolina

I am kindhearted and Artistic I wonder if all the people in Mongolia were in New York City I hear that I am going to be successful in life I see my goal I want to Graduate I am really friendly I pretend to be smart when I am really not I feel that all my goals are going to ... Read More »

The Miracle of Life

Morrie’s early years were gruesome and filled with fear, but they shaped a man who taught his son to stand down for nothing and stand up for everything. It wasn’t something you see often. Nazi soldiers flooding the streets as Polish residents were called out, manhandled, and forced to their knees. The air was thick with crackling tension, only broken ... Read More »

Lazar and Dena Kasofsky Leave Russia

Larry Klein’s grandfather Lazar Kasofsky, born in 1884  in the rural town of Slonim, Russia, was the eldest of seven children in a Jewish family. Late 19th Century  Russia was a dangerous place for Jews. In addition, the Russian army conscripted boys at age sixteen, many never to be seen by their families again. With these facts in mind Lazar’s parents, Jacob and Ester Hanna, decided ... Read More »

Ivan (John) and Sarahfina’s 10 year odyssey

My Grandma and Grandpa decided to leave Simbirsk, Russia and begin a new life in the United States. They started their emigration from Simbursk in Oct. 1900 traveling through Siberia to China. Eventually they left Harbin Manchuria China, with John (Ivan), their only surviving child, and made their way to Kobe, Japan. In March of 1910 – 10 years since ... Read More »

Ninel Breslau

As I walked into the Stevenson House, I noticed that everyone waiting to meet us was smiling. They seemed genuinely happy to see a big group of 63 girls walk into their midst. We were there to interview the residents of Stevenson House about their lives and learn a little more about their immigrant pasts. I sat down in front ... Read More »

Irina Osenina

Irina is a Russian immigrant who made the move from Moscow to Atlanta, Georgia to California starting in 2006. Irina had a good childhood. She was born in Moscow, Russia and was an only child. She had (and still has) a good relationship with her family. Irina went to a branch of schools called Pioneer Schools: which are similar to ... Read More »

Sophie and Eli Katz

The Austro-Hungarian Empire seems like a historic place in a very distant past, but for Irene Abrams, its presence is ingrained in her vivid memory of her beloved grandparents and their journey to America. “My grandfather was a rope maker. He was very tall and strong. My “Zaida” was six feet tall. My “Bubba” was tiny, she was five feet ... Read More »

Lidiya Nazarenko

Lidiya was born in the Ukraine in July 1929. When Lidiya was a young child, she moved to Kharkov, Russia. The government there was oppressive, and they killed Lidiya’s father when she was only five years old. When Lidiya was ten, World War Two started. The Nazi party occupied Kharkov, and there was always a lot of fighting nearby. Despite ... Read More »

Rivka Lifschitz – the odyssey

Bob Rosenzweig shared with me the story of his grandma’s harrowing journey from Bobroisk, Russia, to Osaka, Japan, to Seattle, WA, and finally to Detroit, MI. His grandma’s name was Rivka Lifschitz. Rivka was born around 1896 in Russia. Her husband, oldest daughter, and oldest son had gone first from Russia to Detroit, MI in 1911. It was around 1914 ... Read More »

Phillip & Bessie Espar

Bessie and Phillip Espar were born in a small Yiddish town of Olizarka, Russia. They married young and had three children; Meyer, Ruth, and Sadie (the interviewee). Meyer and Ruth were born in Russia and Sadie was born in the U.S. Phillip was known to be spoiled and high-spirited, and was always ready for a fistfight. He was apprenticed by ... Read More »

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