During the late 1800s my parents and I left Poland and moved to the United States thinking we would have a better life and I would receive a better education for my future. Farming has been our primary source of income for our family but we lost our land. The economic condition in Poland is rapidly declining which is why we and many other families have decided to move to America. This was our only hope to find a way to feed our families and prosper.
Our journey started with a boat ride across the Atlantic Ocean where the conditions were terrible because of the torturous stench all around us. Our beds were in the Steerage which is positioned near the ships rudder since we could not afford better accommodations. The trip was very unpleasant because of the horrid conditions which were uncomfortable and made us ill from the smell and constant rocking of the ship.
What little food we were provided we did not feel like eating anyway but we tried to eat some of the bread to maintain our strength.
I knew we were close to our stopover location on Ellis Island when I saw the Statue of Liberty. As we approached Ellis Island, a bridge was set up to serve as a walkway for the passengers exiting the ship. Then a man at the end of the walkway was shouting loudly to tell everyone approaching where to put their suit cases and pointing in the direction where men, women, and children needed to go. Once the groups were separated some New York Inspectors went from person to person to conduct medical examinations. As they examined me I became very nervous and...