Letter to the Editor
After reading The Glasgow Courier, Feb. 1, 2017, articles, “America is not a Country” and “Executive Orders, and Refugees and Us,” I was inspired to tell my story.
My mother was born Oct. 13, 1919, in the German colony of Kamyshin, somewhere on the Volga River in Siberia, Russia. My aunt was 15 years older than my mother (born in 1904), so she was the one who told me the life they lived. The stories she told me were hard for me to believe.
Life was very hard. My grandfather died before my mom was born, leaving my grandma to raise five children alone.
The Russians were cruel and the soldiers would take the German colonies. Anyone in their path would be beheaded. They would steal and rape women and children. My grandmother would hide my aunt and mom in the manure pile next to the barn because she knew the soldiers wouldn’t look there.
Finally the time had come when my grandmother, aunt, three uncles and my mom were able to escape. Contacting a family member already in America, he was able to contact a senator from Iowa, who was able to help my family escape with a pair of amethyst and seed pearl earrings sewn into my grandmother’s coat. Grandmother’s Bible and the clothes on their backs, they made their way from Siberia to Liverpool, England. How they got from Siberia to Liverpool is a mystery, or how long it took. My mom, with grandmother, aunt and uncles, arrived at Ellis Island sometime in 1921.
My family would have never been able to come to America if not for other Americans. We are all from immigrant or refugee families, except for the “true native Americans.” After all, wasn’t America made from immigrants?