My story is about the journey my grandmother took from Germany to America. She went through many hardships in Germany and had to overcome them in America.

                   In 1957 my Great-grandparents left Germany and came over to America with their 3 daughters. They left their home with nothing more than the clothes they had on their back. My great-grandfather had been a soldier in the German army during World War II. He never believed in what he was fighting for but he also did not have much of a choice. During the war, my grandma was born. She does not remember much but from what she does and what she was told by her parents it was a really rough life. There were many days that they would have to spend in an underground room because there were threats that their town could be bombed. Her mother was basically living as a single parent during this time since her husband was off at war. They were also often wondering where their next meal would come from. 

                    Fast forward ten years and they had moved to Berlin. My grandma now had two sisters also. They had been looking at a way to come over for America because they knew things were going to be much better for them. A church in Altoona PA was kind enough to sponsor their trip and transition over to America. This was set up through an organization in Germany. Since my Great-grandfather had been a Nazi he and his family were no longer safe in their country. The Russians were now there. One night they got a tip that they had to leave because the next day they were coming for him. Within an hour they put all the clothes that could possibly fit on their bodies and gathered their most important belongings. They then got a flight to America. 

                     Once they landed on American soil they took a huge sigh a relief, the fears were now all over for them. They received their first ever refrigerator and their own apartment. My grandma and her sisters were all able to achieve their American high school diploma! As of today they live great lives and wouldn't change anything about their experience. They often look back on that little church and the community who so graciously sponsored their move to America. Without them, things would have been so different and they may not have survived. My grandma keeps the newspaper article from the day they came over right on her living room wall. To her, it symbolizes the American dream and her American creed. In Germany, they had absolutely nothing. By being able to come to America they finally got to start another life. My mother and her sister and brother now have well-paying jobs and they have families that they help provide for. This was only possible because of the church and the community came together and decided to fully help them move over. They donated their time and money just to help one family.  This is what America is. Communities helping other communities people helping other people. Coming together to help others is what we do best. America is the place to start over and become what you want to be. This is our families American creed.




Elizabethtown Area High School 11th Grade Government & Economics (Elizabethtown Area High School)

An end-of-semester project that challenges students to really think about what it means to be an "American"

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