Social History Application

Social history part of immigration form
Social history part of immigration form

My grandmother immigrated from Italy at the age of fourteen with no money, belongings, or known living relatives She was born in what is now Zadar, Croatia. Although ethnically Croatian, she identifies as Italian in every way because at the time Italy owned the territory and it was the only culture and language she was taught. In 1944, Zadar was being bombed so frequently that half a dozen students, herself, and two nuns fled from present-day Croatia to northern Italy on foot. After arriving in a city in Northern Italy called Trieste, she moved through a series of refugee camps. The photo presented is of a document that was written by officials in one of these camps as one of six papers for her application for resettlement. Although she wanted to leave Italy, the process didn’t successfully happen until six years after the war ended. Immigration quotas for countries would fill up so quickly that it was hard to get a spot. At different times, she thought she would go to Australia, Ireland, and Canada before it fell through. Finally, she was put on a train to Germany, where she boarded a boat to New York and arrived at Ellis Island. She lived in the Bronx for a short amount of time before she was adopted by a family in Connecticut, where she still lives today. 

Place(s): Trieste, Italy
Year: 1951

– Nicole Perkins

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