Good Ship USA

A story of coming to America
by Kaethie Schwager

On the Good Ship to America

Today for some reason my thoughts reach back to the 1950s… which is a long long time ago. Who am I thinking of?

I am thinking of Toni Braunstein! Toni was a young man who also was waiting with his family to be shipped out… immigrate to America. That was a time when all of our lives kind of hung on a string… not knowing literally, what lies ahead of us.

But the young  ones among us left the deep worries still to our parents, and we tried to make connections with other young people around us… having as normal a time as these circumstances allowed. There were “English-classes” held within the compound. And since we still were in Karlsdorf by Muenchen (Munich), where we waited to be shipped out to Bremerhafen, there were a lot of Saturday-night dances to go to. I was surprised that my mother, who was so overprotective of me, gave me permission to go.

Naturally it had to be with someone that she truly trusted.  Like her cousin’s daughter and son-in-law. They were really nice people… full of fun. I had a very good time over there in that big dance-hall. Don’t know where this was, but the music was very rhythmic… very good, for it played all the songs I could dance to if someone would come and ask me to dance. And… someone came and did ask me.

And that someone was “Toni Braunstein”!   He was maybe in his early twenties.     Continue reading