Getting to America By: Adam Kronick
My mom is usually home when I get home from school, but I didn’t find her. So when my dad got back from work I asked him “Do you know where mom is” he didn’t. So then we asked our neighbors and friends and they didn’t know where she was either. We think that she went missing so we told the police. The police told us that they found her dead. So today my papa left to go to the U.S.He got on a ship and left. Before he left he gave me some gold coins and said “keep these coins so that when you get to the U.Syou will have money to live until I find you or use them as money to buy the tickets” “Ok seeyou in the U.S” I said and then he was gone. We put the gold coins in my little sister, Ruth’s shoe. So now I need to go and get a job and I might have to steal some valuables and pickpocket people so I can go to the U.Squicker. We will also have to live by on our own, my younger sister Ruth, my younger brother Lou and me Leon. I got my first job. It is in a sweatshirt factory. The factory makes clothes for citizens. On my way home I pick pocketed someone. I also got some money for my job. I will have to do this a lot if I want to be able to get the ticket to the U.S.In the wallet I pick pocketed I didn’t find a lot. There was only 100 rubles in the wallet and that was it. I was disappointed to only find 100 rubles in the wallet. And Ruth is complaining that her shoes
are uncomfortable becauseof the coins and that she wants to throw them out. We, Lou and I, always convince her to not throw the shoesout. When I was coming back from my job I stole some cigarettes becauseI think that I will be able to sell them for a good amount of money. I am starting to think about buying the tickets. I will need to buy 3 tickets and each ticket costs 900 rubles. I have about 600 rubles right now plus the gold coins which I have not sold yet. Once I get more money I will sell the gold coins. But I should have at least 1800 rubles when I sell the gold coins so I can buy the tickets and buy some food for the ride and hide the food in a bag which I will need to buy also. So I will have to work for awhile more and pickpocket more people and get more valuables to sell. So we will need to survive for a couple more weeks. YES!!!!!!!! I finally bought the tickets for the ship to get to the U.S.The ride is in two weeks on July 24 at 4:00. We needn’t even sell the gold coins. For the next two weeks I will have to keep my job at factory so we can have food. We will save some of the food. If we do that we can have it on the ship. So we don’t starve on the boat they also give you food and water while you are on the boat. SoI don’t think starving will be an issue. The ride will be about 70 days so we will need a good amount of food. We will also want to have money when we are on the boat so we can buy things or food from other people or from the boat. We also have the gold coins so if we get to America we can buy food when we are looking for our dad. Or if we really need to we can use the coins on the boat to survive. Today we will get onto the ship and start our journey to the U.S.Right now
I am on the boat. I’m a little scared becausethe Titanic sunk just around 7 years ago. We are about to start the ride and we have gotten onto the ship and we have food so we wouldn’t die of starvation. I am so excited to be going to the U.S.I wonder what it will be like? I wonder if I will find my dad? I hope that I find my dad. Today on the 70th day of our trip we landed on the U.S.We had finally gotten off of that terrible boat. The conditions were terrible, it was so crowded and they only gave us one loaf of bread a week. When we got off of the boat I see my dad standing right in front of the boat like he knew we were on the boat. I ran right to my dad and we hugged and we talked about what we had been doing while we were away from each other. He said that he had been waiting outside of every boat when he didn’t have to be at his job and he was waiting for us to come off but it hadn’t happened. He said he had been doing that for the last month. He told us that he had gotten a new job and he got a house and that we are going to love it here.
Author’s Note In Getting to America Leon, his sister and his brother had to immigrate to America like their dad did. Between 1820 and 1920 over 3 million people immigrated from Russia to America. A lot of Jewsleft Russia becausethey were being persecuted just for being Jewish. They would buy tickets and then get on to a boat with terrible conditions to go to America. A lot of people left during the 1910sbecauseWorld War I started in 1914 and there were fighting before it started. Life in Russia was getting harder. World War I had just ended but there was still conflicts. There was also some fighting happening even though World War I had just ended. Somepeople didn’t agree with the government’s decisions. There were some riots. Jewswere getting discriminated and sometimes they even got persecuted. Becausethey were getting persecuted a lot of people left Russia, especially Jews.At the time the leader of Russia was Vladimir Lenin. The conditions on the boats were really bad. The boats were really crowded so if one person got sick everyone did. Most of the tickets costs 25-30 dollars or 750-900 rubles. Rubles are the currency they use in Russia. One dollar equals about 30 Rubles. Usually families would send an older male overseasfirst so they could work and send money back to their family. There were always a lot of people in a little spaceso no one had a lot of space. If one person got sick usually everyone would get sick. They didn’t get much food or drinks while they were on the boat. Somepeople starved to death or died of dehydration. Sometimes they would just throw the body overboard into the sea. They had to travel over the Pacific Ocean so it took a while to get to America. It taken about 65-70 days to America. Life in the United States of America was different than life in Russia. The president at the time was Woodrow Wilson. Somepeople would say that it was better and some people might say that it was worse. I think that most Jewswould say that it was better. I think they would say that becausethey were not getting persecuted. There were more jobs available in the U.Sbecausethe U.Swas a growing nation. Leon was based on my great grandmother, Gertrude Steinman. I wrote this because I thought that I should share her story and that it would make a good story. I think it’s important to share the story becauseif she was afraid to do the things she did and didn’t show her leadership my family might not be alive. There would have been a very slim chance that I would be alive if she didn’t come to the U.Sand stayed in Russia.
Works Cited Geography of Russia.” Wikipedia. N.p., 27 Jan. 2012. Web. 1 Feb. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Russia>. This page is good if you want to learn more about Russia geography. It talks about the borders and deserts and forests and mountains and plains and about its position. I used it to find out how big it was and if there were any major mountains. Pendergast, Tom, and Sara Pendergast. “Immigration was a two-way street.” U.X.L American Decades 1910-1919. 2003. Print. This book was about everything in 19101919. I used it to find out more about immigration. This book would be good for people who wanted to learn more about the time period 1910-1919. Whitley, Peggy. “1910-1919.” American Cultural History. Lone Star College, Nov. 2008. Web. 1 Feb. 2012. <http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade10.html>. This website would be good for anyone who wanted to know something about the 20th century. They have a page for each decade during the century. I used this website for facts about the 1910s.