My aunt was a seamstress in Georgetown in Washington, DC, and her clientele were government people. So my aunt, by this time in the late 1940s, had made it to the States. She sewed a birthday dress for Mamie Eisenhower.
STUCK BUT FOUND
When the news came that my mom was alive, first of all, and that she was stuck somewhere in Russia, my aunt told the wife of Averell Harriman that news; and she cajoled her husband to reach out to his contacts, his diplomatic contacts in Moscow, who sent an emissary 2000 miles on a train out to this little tiny village in white Russia, which is now called Belarus, and found her.
He shows up in this village, “Where’s the Jewish girl?” “There’s no Jewish girl here.” They finally figured out it was my mom. She was the German girl who is now revealed to be the Jewish girl. He bundles her up, takes her back to Moscow, gets her a passport, actually puts her on an aeroplane so she can fly back to Vienna. She was few one of the people that didn’t have to walk back home thousands of miles after being displaced during the war.
AN AMAZING TRANSFORMATION
My mom at this point is a pleasant girl with little braids and freckles on her face. Six months later, her hair is done. She’s wearing a nice dress, got a pocketbook on her arm. She gets on the USS Eisenhower, a ship, an army ship, comes to the States.
As soon as she turns 18, she leaves my aunt’s house, finds a man, gets married; and a year later, here I am. Isn’t that an amazing story?
WOULD YOU FOR A MOMENT LOOK AT YOUR ANCESTRY AND WHAT YOUR PARENTS CAME THROUGH?
You never know who you really are until you look a little bit at your ancestry and what your parents came through. I know that everyone has a story like this, especially baby boomers. Our parents all served in the war in some capacity or another.
There are amazing stories but understand that what’s really important is to know and to be grateful to your parents, to your father and especially to your mother. Nobody is here without their mother. So remember that on Mother’s Day.
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