Journal Entry Russian Immigration. Essay

1201 words - 5 pages

December 16,1886I was a young man when my family's journey began in the search for freedom. We resided in a decent little neighborhood just in the outskirts of southern Russia. All the families around knew each other very well therefore I could never understand why my family always seemed so miserable. I mean I heard stories and watched the news about bad accidents from muggers to murderers but I never seen anything like that around where we lived. Until one night my father did not come home, my mother told me he was just working late, but I knew something else was wrong, it was way after any working hours. I became so frustrated of waiting for my father I guess I ended up falling asleep because next thing I remember was being woken up at 3:30 am by my mother hysterically crying. I knew it was my father so all I could do was sit there and hug her. The officer told me he had been found in an alley after being brutally beaten, and he was already dead upon their arrival. Witnesses claim they saw him get jumped outside of the synagogue which he had been seen leaving earlier that afternoon. My father always carried his valuables on him, all his money, personal information cards, and bank account numbers. None of this was on him when he had been found, which only meant one thing, they could be coming for us next. My mother spent days searching for friends or family we could stay with for awhile until we could get ourselves together. But with our luck we were helpless.We've heard many stories about America, that is was "the land of opportunity". But we could only dream about living there. A scary thought which never left my mind was that my 18th birthday was approaching, which meant I had to enlist in the Russian army, which for jews was like asking for an early death, because not many Russian jews came out of the army well if even alive.I've seen it myself that out in the streets Russians would get discriminated against, the hardest thing to believe was that it was in our own country, by our own people. Discrimination occurred mostly because we had different beliefs or a different culture, which was not good to display in public. Judaism was a major religion which had it really hard in Russia. We as Russian Jews had no way of escaping this society which had been making our lives unbearable. Jews could not speak their minds or walk down the street showing any support in the Jewish belief or they would be punished for it.I told my mother I would rather die than enlist in the Russian army and she broke down in tears. Both she and I knew immediately we needed to get away from this life and we had to do it fast. The next morning we packed our most valuable belongings (which wasn't much) and began out journey to the free world. We had no money, no place to go, and nothing to live for except an ambition for freedom. We took the bus to the nearest train station where we wanted to see the soonest routes away from home. We planned to head all the way out west...

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