Category Archives: Russia/E. Europe

Piano Teacher from Belarus

              Darya Novik (name changed) was raised in Belarus when it was a former Soviet Union state. When asked, she said she had a “pretty ordinary childhood.” She lived in the 2nd largest city in Belarus, went to regular school and music school and grew up playing piano. “Just like everyone else.” Once she ... Read More »

Jewish Immigrants And Community Leaders

David Weber immigrated from the Pale of Settlement, Russia (now an area in Ukraine) in the late 1800s, at around 20 years old. The Pale of Settlement was an area in the Eastern section of Russia where Jews were required to live by the Russian Czars at that time. Living in the area limited opportunities and freedoms for Jews that ... Read More »

A Russian Artist Leaves a Legacy

Rissa Rasnovsky was born in the late 1800s in Borzna, Russia (now Ukraine) in the Pale of Settlement. The Pale was an eastern section of Russia where the Russian Czars and government ordered Jewish people to live in. Places other than the Pale of Settlement were mostly forbidden for Jewish people to reside in, limiting the opportunities and freedom Jews ... Read More »

No Return Trip (Lithuania)

My grandmother, Fruma Dushnitzer, did not intend to become a US immigrant when she came to visit in July of 1939.  She and her 3 year old daughter Fagie, came on a ship, “The New Amsterdam”, to visit her parents in Chicago, as they had never met their granddaughter.  They had emigrated from Lithuania to Chicago in the late 1920’s.  ... Read More »

Eleven Year-Old Sweatshop Worker (Russia)

                Lena Solomon, née Hurwitz, was Russian and Jewish, and was born in 1902 in the Russian city of Pskov. Although age was rarely discussed and remained mysterious within their family, it is speculated that she must have been the third youngest sister of eight sisters who survived through infancy. Various circumstances led ... Read More »

Safer in the US (Russia)

It was a cold winter night in St Petersburg 2008, Tatiana (name changed) was around 30 and had 2 children, still working her night shift in her pharmacy to earn enough to pay for all the life necessities during the cold Russian winter. She then received a interesting phone call. It came from her father residing in the United States. ... Read More »

The Path of Science

          I was soaring through the air as quickly as an eagle chasing its prey. Around me, the landscape progressively shifted from large clusters of oak trees, to gentle, sloping valleys, to vast ponds that stood so still, they barely had so much as a ripple on the surface as I flew past them. I had ... Read More »

Through the Tunnel to the Dream

Little did I know that not only the war would last longer than I expected, but I wouldn’t see eye to eye with the country I once stood proudly for. A war broke out in Bosnia and an opportunity presented itself for Haris Japic to emigrate to Italy. After two years in Italy he admired the American Dream and sought ... Read More »

Fight or Flight – The Story of Harry Newman Knopfer (Poland)

The trees whizzed by me; I knew that if I stayed much longer I’d be killed. In the days right after the first World War, you could never trust anyone. After what felt like hours of running, noises and light began to appear. The hammer of a blacksmith, the cry of a baby. This is what I’ve been looking for. ... Read More »

Being Polish in America (Poland)

I moved to America for better opportunities in science and research. I was thirty four years old and only knew basic English words. In Poland, I learned how to read in English, but not speak and make conversations. I came to America from Poland for my job as a scientist. I was originally supposed to stay for three months for ... Read More »

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