Sunday, December 30, 2007

Letter from Ann

My only first cousin Ann Garland and I have been in touch with each other for years and both our families have recently asked to find out a little more about our family history. So I set up a personal blog where I insert family information on an intermittent basis in-between my daily mundane journal entries.

Recently I asked Cousin Annie for information on how we were able to emigrate to the US. After the war. Annie said it was too long a story to share on the phone so she wrote me a letter which I will do my best to copy verbatim as follows:

“Dear Abe, these are the events you asked for to the best of my recollection. H.A.I.S. Stands for Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. During and immediately after the war (WWII) this private agency tried to locate and identify holocaust survivors. They published their findings each day in the local Yiddish newspapers in New York. My dad [Morris] read the Yiddish daily called “The Day” (I don’t know the Yiddish spelling) [Forward]. Each day dad carefully scanned through the names of the survivors H.I.A.S. Located. Then one day he became very excited when he found the name Nathan Stark living in an American displaced persons camp in Frankfort or Main (?)

He immediately called H.I.A.S. and asked for the procedure for contact and eventual transfer to the United States. Soon letters were exchanged between Nathan and my dad all in the Yiddish language.

Thereafter I remember packing food packages to be sent to Nathan and his family. I vividly recall packing 5lb. bags of Domino sugar, cans of Bumble Bee tuna and other non perishable foods. I believe Nathan trading some things for fresh foods for the family.

At that time the a person had to have a sponsor before the U.S. allowed immigration into the states. Mom and dad asked a friend of theirs Mr. Jake Peterman who owned a hotel in the Catskills to sponsor Nathan and his family; so as to assure they wouldn’t become a burden on America. I don’t remember how long the process took from first contact to the landing of the Stark family in Boston harbor, but I do remember making out endless documents for my dad to start the immigration process.

Mom and dad found an apartment and job for Nathan and your dad can take it from there.


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