By: Mary Antin
The Promised Land
Being a Jew in Russia at the end of the 19th century was not easy at all. Jews were persecuted because of their religion. So the Jews found comfort in their ancient traditions. When Mary Antin’s father decided that keeping to his traditions did not suit him anymore, he found no place in Russia. So he emigrated to America with his family. Life was not easy, though as a child, Mary describes life in Boston as almost perfect. A smart and dignified girl, Mary takes the good things in anything and writes her autobiography with a smile.
From Plotzk to Boston
An intensely personal account of the immigration experience as related by a young Jewish girl from Plotzk (a town in the government of Vitebsk, Russia). Mary Antin, with her mother, sisters, and brother, set out from Plotzk in 1894 to join their father, who had journeyed to the “Promised Land” of America three years before. Fourth class railroad cars packed to suffocation, corrupt crossing guards, luggage and persons crudely “disinfected” by German officials who feared the cholera, locked “quarantine” portside, and, finally, the steamer voyage and a famiily reunited...