Canoe Paddle


My Uncle Manfred made his way to America through perseverance, dedication, and hard work.  It was not easy: at a very early age his father had passed away and his mother grew very sick. On top of that, Manfred found himself in the midst of World War II and the Russian army had begun their invasion of Germany. Nevertheless, Manfred persisted. He left his home and moved to Western Germany to be with his aunt, but this was no paradise. Manfred had to endure a long winter as he was deprived of food and heat. After the war ended and Manfred grew older, he was able to pursue an apprenticeship as an orthopedic mechanic, making prosthetics. When he turned 21, Manfred was given the opportunity to immigrate to America and he took it. After arriving in New York City, Manfred sought company through a canoe club. Canoeing was his love and was a big part in his life in Germany. Being a part of a larger group with the same interests allowed Manfred to assimilate to American culture. The club offered him temporary shelter in return for his work to maintain the club itself. Through studying television and conversation, Manfred was able to learn the English language and by doing so became a more well-rounded citizen. He met my Aunt Margaret and got married. Thus, my Uncle Manfred was able to achieve the American Dream by persevering in America and capitalizing on the opportunities that were presented to him.

Place(s): Germany, New York
Year: 1959

– Justin

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant