Update from Ruth Bloch–Celebrating 60 years in America
Want to share something with you all. October 11th, 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of when I came to this country. I shared that information with my 2 cousins on Saturday October 10th who came over to America with me and my family. Danny and John Berger. Danny was born after the war in Italy in 1945 and John was born in Italy in 1948. Their father was Leon Berger one of my mother’s brothers who escaped and survived Jacenovac Concentration camp.. After I wrote them that piece of information a lot of e mails went back and forth and John was even able to find his green card which he e mailed me… Unbelievable piece of souvenir…It seamed to have awakened their interest in our journey and Danny is doing a re-visit today to the piers of New York with his wife Susan so he asked me if I could remember anything being that I was the oldest . Well I dug deep into my memory and here is what I came up with….
Danny I wish I had all the answers you are looking for …..All I know we docked at the pier first passed the Statue of Liberty (what a sight!) it was evening. Stood in line at the Pier Mom Bob (my brother) and I and your Mom John and you, as soon as we went through immigration and customs we were on our way to our new home in America that Mom’s Cousin Jessie Newman found for us (who was married to my Mom’s first Cousin Elsie) They sponsored us to USA . They came over to US in the early 1930’s . In the meantime your father and my father finalized all the papers and followed us. Our new home was on 55th St and Broadway in Manhattan, it was an apartment with full facilities.
I used to baby sit for you and John when ever your parents would go out and they paid me so my first purchase was a doll that was taken away from me by the Nazi’s (remember in 1949 I was 12-l/2 too old for a doll) then I got that out of my system and when I made more money I bought myself a Schwinn bicycle that I didn’t even know how to ride but my brother Bob taught me how to ride once we moved to Forest Hills. I was sooooo proud of that bike..Because it was out of my own money I had earned…Had it for many yrs to come and rode it back and forth after school. I would go back to PS 144 after school and hit a tennis racquet against the wall …After I married I moved to Baltimore MD. I have since visited the place a couple of times since we came to NY that day… it is now a Condo.. I don’t remember the time frame my family and your family bought a duplex house on Clyde Street in Forest Hills Queens which Jessie Newman also found for us. I believe it was the beginning of the new school year Sept 1950. He lived few blocks away close to PS 144 on Ingram Street which I have also visited since… As a matter of fact went to his house and 2 men were sitting on the porch… I told them who I was and that my Aunt and Uncle lived there in the 50’s and told them the history of the house. They appreciated it and let me in to look around…. Not much had changed. I took photo’s and sent them on to Harriet in Florida who is Jessie and Elsie’s Granddaughter.
All this took place when I went back to New York for my 45th Forest Hills High School Reunion…I had Eileen Pottish Waldshan (a childhood friend) with me because she too lived in the area and also visited her home from her childhood…She was one of the girls that befriended me even when I did not speak English….I still remember some of those girls were nice as can be and kind even though I spoke very little English….Which was pretty great considering that kids that age can be very cruel..By the way I am on e mail with Harriet , Jessie & Elsie Newman’s grandaughter… She lives in Florida and keeps me posted on their children .. Daughters Alice (Harriet’s Mom) , Naomi and 3 of their brothers that have since passed away… . Harriet herself just became a grandma … Wow I believe you just made me dig deep down into my memory where all this information was stored all these yrs and by the way the more I think about it I believe we docked at a Pier on 45th Street but not 100% sure…
Love Cousin Ruth