Clothes, Religion

My grandmother, Julianna Pohlmüller, arrived in New York City November 12, 1912. She was seventeen years old.  She had grown up in Kecsked, a small Catholic German-speaking Hungarian village. The previous year she had fallen in love with Joseph Guth, an apprentice butcher from Pusztavam, a neighboring Protestant village.   Because Julianna was Catholic, and Joseph was Protestant, they were forbidden to marry. She nevertheless became pregnant, and gave birth shortly after her seventeenth birthday. In the accompanying photo Julianna, who had just discovered that she was pregnant, is just to the right of her father, the man with the hat.

Julianna left Kecsked soon after her child (my Uncle Joe) was born, and went to New York. There she stayed at 335 E. 43rd St. with cousins who had arrived earlier. She was overwhelmed with the city, and was especially amazed at the lines of clothes strung between tenements. In her first letter home she commented, "New York ist mit Lumpen behängt!" (New York is hung together with rags!)

One year later my grandfather, Joseph Guth, arrived in New York; my uncle shortly afterwards. My grandparents soon married (in America there was no one to object), and raised two more children, my mother, Kunigunde, and my Aunt Helena.

Place(s): New York, Hungary
Year: 1912

– Philip Howard

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