Brief history #1: 60 years in the U.S.

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Blog entry by oldnovice posted 05-14-2012 06:00 AM 2284 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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My brother and I celebrated our 60th year in the United States of America!

Unfortunately our parents did not see this milestone although they were looking forward to this celebration. Our family landed in NYC knowing no English (Dad had a few lessons of British English which did cause a few issues) and having less than $5 in U.S. cash. We were sponsored as part of the WWII refuge program and crossed the Atlantic, in 11 days, in a converted WWII troop carrier.

My Dad told us that he came to the U.S. for a better future. Things in Germany were rather bleak; the Berlin air lift had just ended, Germany was split into the three allied zones and USSR, and much of the manufacturing had been destroyed. He believed that the U.S. would provide opportunities that Germany could not. He was right; he put two sons through college, one lawyer and one engineer, owned three apartment buildings and traveled around the U.S. and several times back to Germany to visit relatives. They did see the Berlin wall come down, something they thought would never happen.

After law school my brother worked for legal services, served as a director of the same, taught various aspects of law all over the world (including China … go figure), written books on renters rights, now nearing retirement, is employed by his Alma mater. I worked for three of the country’s biggest hi-tech companies in all aspects of engineering in areas from electronic components, semiconductor packaging, ATE (Automated Test Equipment), distributed control systems, micro-Array DNA synthesis and, laser interferometers. Also served quite on a number of U.S. and international standards committees and have seven patents. My Dad was right!

Mom and Dad became citizens at the first opportunity while my brother and I became citizens later (my neighbor tells me that we did by choice and not by accident of birth). I am retired, my brother is nearing that time and we both cherish the fact that my Dad, and Mother, made the decision to move to the United States of America.

I hope I didn’t bore anyone with a little of my history!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

6 comments so far

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 5213 days

#1 posted 05-14-2012 06:25 AM

That’s what makes America great, all the people who come here to make a better life for their families. Thanks for sharing your history.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4602 days

#2 posted 05-14-2012 07:14 AM

Happy Anniversary Hans. Thank you for sharing your story.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 4589 days

#3 posted 05-14-2012 10:51 AM

Congratulations on your anniversary. You and your brother have done both your parents and the United States proud.

-- John from Hampstead

View TrBlu's profile


386 posts in 4119 days

#4 posted 05-14-2012 03:34 PM

Thank you for sharing your story. We too often forget what hardships many generations faced to live in the United States. I hope you tell these stories to your grandchildren and keep your father’s legacy alive.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4989 days

#5 posted 05-14-2012 07:13 PM

Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on your 60th!!!
A “TRUE” US citizen!

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4658 days

#6 posted 05-14-2012 10:44 PM

Thanks for the story. I am sure many of us here resonate with that pretty well. My family came over a generation earlier than yours, mostly from Denmark.

Have a good one, happy to hear your story.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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