The Accounts Of August Baier: A Biography

951 words - 4 pages

“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.” These words of Alex Haley truly expressed to me personally the imperative need and importance of my family history and heritage. As I believe, family is a gift often cherished, but few take the time to discover and thank those who planted the roots from which a family grows. To express gratitude to my ancestors who planted such roots I have travelled back to discover the past and configure the life of my great grandfather, August Baier.
During the early 1900’s, the teddy bear was introduced, the first silent movie was presented, Kellogg’s started selling cornflakes, the first electric washing machine was invented, and plastic was created. Around the world the Russo-Japanese War was in motion, Queen Victoria died, and troops fired on a defenseless group of demonstrators during the Russian Revolution. At the same time, my great-great grandfather was born. Born abroad sea in the year of 1907, my great-great-grandfather emigrated from Russia to the little town of Spring Butte, North Dakota.
Life in Russia during the early 1900’s was exceedingly repulsive, especially for the peasants, of which my ancestors presumably were. The conditions my ancestors lived in can be described as arduous, burdensome, poor, and unhygienic. The house of which peasants lived were cramped and lacked insulation. This made the peasants, moreover my ancestors, prone to diseases such as pneumonia, which was immensely lethal at the time. For those of the lowest social class who possessed neither capital nor production means and had to earn their living by selling their labor, life was harsh, onerous and full of displeasure. The dreadful life the people of Russia lived was led by an autocratic ruler by the name of Tsar Nicholas II. He was very patriotic, but not reluctant for change. He had no endeavors for change to improve these awful conditions. Peasants had very meager, little to no rights. It is highly probable that they were freed slaves. Tsar’s loyal army would mute any strike by the people to improve these conditions. Peasants were distressed, impoverished, abhorred, and oppressed. In other words, peasants were not contemplated as human beings. Their voices were muted, and they had no say in taxes and how they were spent. My ancestors lived in an unfathomable, continuous cycle of poverty. Acknowledging the fact that life for my ancestors was unbearable, they left their harsh life and could finally breathe free when they emigrated from Russia to the United States around the year of 1907. During the early 1900’s, an abundance of people would...

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