Category Archives: Russia/E. Europe

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 never experienced such a combination ... 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 »

Immigration Story of James Larkin (Ireland)

Filling the air of the living room with the unique smell of tobacco, James Larkin smokes his pipe as he reads the newspaper. His son-in-law, James Connors, asks him, “Want a whiskey Pops?” to which James Larkin nods in the affirmative. Wafting in from the kitchen is the smell of raisin bread, freshly baked by his daughter. This is 1940s ... Read More »

L’dor Vador (Ukraine)

It was a sunny afternoon in Los Feliz, California when my great-grandfather Avram Yitzhak Lehrer, fondly called “Opi” by his children and grandchildren, sat in his garage smoothing out the figures of his latest sculpture, “L’dor Vador,” meaning from generation to generation. In the sculpture, 19 figures stand with their arms around each other, radiating from a Torah (the Jewish ... Read More »

From Wola Ducka, Poland to New York: The Story of David Milliken

Lubelska to Trakt Lubelski to Słoneczna to Zdrojowa. Every day; Lubelska to Trakt Lubelski to Słoneczna to Zdrojowa. This was the path my great-grandfather took to the local grocery market in Wola Ducka, from his house. Clouds of dirt rose behind him as he cycled into town to get food for dinner. Three miles there, three miles back, every day ... Read More »

True Courage (Poland)

As Atticus Finch said in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what”.  It was courage like ... Read More »

Lester Torok (Hungary)

My Grandma was a spoiled brat. When she graduated high school she demanded her father to buy her a fur coat. Lester Torok, my great grandfather- who I unfortunately never had the honor to meet- immigrated from Hungary when he was a young boy. He came with his mother and two siblings. My grandma told me his story to the ... Read More »

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