Category Archives: 1900 – 1950

Sponsoring Relatives and Safety from Nazis in the US

Henry Schreiber emigrated from Vienna, Austria with his family in 1939 to flee Nazi persecution. They moved to Brooklyn, New York.  Here he is interviewed by his granddaughter.         Austrian flag from 1934-1938, the time when my grandpa was growing up there.   Q: What was life like for you in Austria before you left? How did ... Read More »

A Wave of Immigrants to the Factories in the Northeast (Greece)

              Panayotis Kalogerakos lived in Langadia, a mountainside village in Arkadia, in Peloponnesos, Greece. While it was beautiful there,  Panayotis wanted to leave Greece as a young man in order to escape the fighting that was going on in the Balkans at that time. In addition,  there were attractive job opportunities in the industrialized ... Read More »

From Sicily to the Bronx

          Vita was a young Italian woman who was born in 1934 and grew up in a small village outside Palermo, Sicily during the second world war. As a young child, she did not understand the severity of the war as the children of the neighborhood joked around with the German soldiers. One time, three Italian ... 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 »

Tuckman and Lily Ng

              Stan Ng recalls that in his 1960s and 70s Los Angeles childhood, one of the main activities his family enjoyed was to simply get out on the open road and drive. His dad would go up and down the 101, or make his way towards Santa Monica and drive past the Hollywood landmarks ... 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 »

Unsung Hero: Judge Dennis Cantrell II (Tennessee)

This is my grandfather Judge Dennis Cantrell II. I was born on June 3rd, 1919 in Gainesville Georgia. I was born into a family of 9 and poverty. Not long after I was born, my family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, the things I saw were different than what I had saw in Georgia, or at least what I had remembered. ... Read More »

War Bride from Algeria

My great grandma’s name is Paule Lucienne Zahara Kalfon she is from Algeria her and her family were Sephardic Jews and lived there during the holocaust. I interviewed my dad about my great grandma (she goes by nana, it’s what she wanted to be called after I was born). She is my dad’s grandmother. I interviewed my Dad about her ... Read More »

Family (China)

At first, I thought it was just a cold. He had all the signs of a cold – he coughed at night, he sneezed, had headaches, had a runny nose. I urged my husband to stay home for just a day. He worked as a waiter at the Golden Pheasant at night and ran a small pharmacy during the day. ... Read More »