Category Archives: 1900 – 1950

Polly Bergtraun

Polly Bergtraun grew up in Holland during the time of the Holocaust. When she was a teenager, Holland was raided by the Nazi’s. Every year after the Nazi occupation the situation for Jewish people worsened. She was forced out of her school and her home and she had to give her valuables to the Nazi party. As the situation became ... Read More »

“From Russia With Love”

Dey Rose was one of 8 featured storytellers at the Media Center’s salon called “Foreign Correspondents: Immigrant Odysseys.” Her story, recorded in this 10 minute video, is about her grandmother.  She has also submitted this story in writing here.  Dey is an instructor in the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Read More »

Chiu Yook Lon aka Wong Foon Yen

Imagine for a moment…  It is the ides of February 1926.  You are Chiu Yook Lon, an eighteen-year-old woman and a passenger on the Pacific Mail Steamship President Pierce, bound for San Francisco from Hong Kong.  The seas are rough, and you are seasick the entire twenty-eight day voyage — a voyage destined to end in a ferryboat ride to a minimum-security prison ... Read More »

Conflicting Traditions

When I was first getting started to begin writing this story, I felt as if this was going to be a difficult topic for me. After watching all the stories on madeintoamerica.org I did not think that my story had anywhere near the same difficulties. I have lived in the same culture my entire life, and I was born into ... Read More »

Italian War Bride Francesca Nicolina Tommasina Sorvillo Stewart

I am from Naples, Italy. Naples is a beautiful city. But October 1, 1943 when the American troops finally came in the city, Naples was a big gigantic mess. No electricity, no gas, no water and no food, just garbage everywhere. You see, when the German troops left they blew up and destroyed whatever was left. Anyway, I’ve barely started ... Read More »

History of the Fine, Dorosin & Kopelov Families

(Editor’s Note: This is a bit of a departure from the usual format. It is a fascinating research paper written by Maddie Bennet, for her 11th grade US History class at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, CA.) I am a third generation American Jew, and, like many Jews, my roots go back to Eastern Europe.  My research focuses ... Read More »

Palomba Aroesta

My grandmother, Palomba Aroesta, was 26 when she immigrated from Paris to the US. Before living in Paris, she resided in Salonika, Greece where she was born in 1900 and lived until she was 7 years old. My grandmother was the youngest daughter in her family of 8 children, most of whom where already married with families of their own. ... Read More »

Thomas Henry Sanders

          My grandfather, Thomas Henry Sanders, worked at Rudge-Whitworth in England, a bicycle manufactory in Coventry, England and left because of a broken heart. His best friend who also worked at Rudge-Whitworth got the girl. They stayed good friends! My grandfather took a job teaching finance in Japan.  I guess you could do that in those ... Read More »

The Time of His Life

My father was born, in 1895, in what is now Ukraine. When he was 13, in 1908, he was apprenticed as a tailor. In about 1914 he immigrated. He traveled by horse and carriage, other surface transportation, boat and train to Chicago. On the boat, for the first time in his life, he was without adult supervision. He had the ... Read More »

Ingeborg Baehr Hirschhorn

My mother was born in Germany in 1927. Her dad was a dentist and her mom was a housewife. They lived in Bamburg and had a nice, comfortable, multi-story house. With the rise of Hitler, things became increasingly worse for her family. Mom, along with all the other Jewish kids in the Catholic school she attended, was thrown out of ... Read More »

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