Tag Archives: boat

Loyal to my Royal Soil (Tonga)

I came from nothing, running from cops handcuffing. I had to make it out so my family could stop suffering. This was the moment I knew I had to search for a better life, a better future, and I found that in America. My name is Siaosi (George) Kuli Vanisi and I grew up on an island in the south ... Read More »

Poverty in Japan 1959

. My name is Jorga Toshinyo (name changed). In 1959, I am 9 years old and living in I live with my mom, dad and my sister. The area I live in is really bad because every day, we are at war with some gangs that live around us, and we can’t afford to eat. We can’t even have a good ... Read More »

Immigration Story Christina Bergmann: Sweden to the Land of Disney

The year was 1954 when Christina left Sweden where she had spent the first six years of her life. The sun was high in the sky and reflected off the huge boat bobbing in the port. Her hands were clasped over a suitcase handle as she and her family walked on the boat with hundreds of other people. She looked ... Read More »

Quy Lee’s Immigration Escape Plan

It was 1975 in Vietnam. Quy was living in Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. All around him, he was seeing effects of the Vietnam War and communist control. Ethnic Chinese like him were being discriminated against to the point where their houses were getting randomly searched and people lived in constant fear of getting captured and dropped off in ... Read More »

Kim Thanh Tran’s Immigration Story: Vietnam to California

They waved glow sticks to attract the attention of anyone who could help them. Thai pirates also prowled the waters; there was always a feeling of imminent danger. Walk into Hair 7 Salon, and you’re greeted by a small jade statue of the Buddha on the front desk. Hairdressers are quickly snipping and cutting while chatting with their customers. Kim ... 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 »

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 »

Mindy Nguyen

She tells the story of her father who tried to escape from Vietnam three times and finally made his way by boat to the Phillipines and a refugee camp there.  Eventually he made it to the U.S. with just the clothes on his back.  He found some entry level work, and was able to become a welder. Read More »

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