My grandfathers house in Greece
My grandfathers house in Greece

I chose a picture of my grandfather’s old house in Greece. It was made of stone and was a pretty modest home. My grandfather lived there until he was 10 years old. There was no running water and he had to get it from a well and collect wood. It was a family house but was bombed during WWII. The picture was taken just before the war reached Greece around 1940. It’s a part of my grandfather’s story as an immigrant and as a child. My grandfathers’ father wasn’t married when he first came to the U.S in the 1920s. He became a citizen there and that meant that he could pass it on to his children. Then he came back to Greece before the war and married my great grandmother and had my grandfather and his sister. The picture is part of the story where my grandfather, at 10 years old, boarded a boat going to America after a 5-day walk with only a mule to carry his stuff. Along the way, he caught polio and malaria. He went through Ellis Island when he arrived. The boat took 78 days to cross the Atlantic ocean because it had to avoid naval mines. The picture reminds him of his life and of people in Greece during the civil war and World War II. The house had been their home before it was destroyed. It represented saying goodbye to an old life and starting a new and hopefully better one.

Place(s): Greece house.
Year: 1949

– MB

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