Coming to America: The Extraordinary Journey of Morris Moel

Mark Lamster interviewed 97-year-old Morris Moel, who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine, a part of the Soviet Union in 1922. The story is typical of that era's immigrants, which means it was a heroic struggle to get here. His father came first, then Moel was separated from this mother when she went to Warsaw, and then his grandmother died. But Moel's mother arranged for strangers to get the youngsters out of Ukraine.
The Russian part of the border was all forest. And we were stopped. I heard rifles being cocked while we were walking. Russian soldiers. And the soldiers searched everyone and took everything that was valuable and said you’ve got to go back, and I guess they [the guides] knew another route so we got through. And the Polish border was absolutely free, but it was all snow. I was so little and my older borther dragged me across that border. Finally we got to the other side inside Poland. Stayed in a house for half a night and we were then taken to a train station. And that train took us into Warsaw. The first time I was in a train. And my mother was waiting for us in an office. We told her my grandmother died. She never knew about it.

It took many more months for Moel to actually reach America. Link -via Jason Kottke

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