Referat – Immigration in America
In Germany (before crossing the Atlantic)
Hello, my name is Otto Schulz. I was born in 3th September 1883 in Germany. My Parents are
very ordinary people and they have six children, including me. After I finished school, I made
an apprentice as a shoemaker in Bartniki for three years from 1902 to 1905. I’ve worked two
years after my apprentice, but you have to work very hard, because trade jobs were very
popular, so there were a big competition. In 1907, I made the military service for two years.
There I decided to go to America. Maybe they’re searching for shoemakers there. My life
here isn’t very bad, but the work is very hard and I’m not sure that I get a job after my
military service. It’s all because of the economic growth and the following economic crisis in
1873. It was more produced than consumed and because of this, the companies had to
surpass each other. Do you understand what I mean if I say, that the competition is very big?
Since 1873, many people emigrate from Europe to the U.S.A.. When I was a little boy, we
were very poor and we had to live in two rooms. The rooms were our living room, our
bedroom, our kitchen and our toilet. However, later my father got a better job, so we could
move to another place, where the life was more bearable. Much people are still poor,
because of the mule, the emperor. He had a lot of money, but he built out his fleet, instead
of helping the poor people or raises the rewards. In the military service, I get to know Paul
Roland. He is a shoemaker, too. I told him about my plan, to emigrate from Germany and he
told me, that he had the thought, too. After I’ve told my parents, that I’m decided to
emigrate, my mother began to cry, but I’ve told her, that I’ve already submit my proposal
and she recognized that I’m going really to America. Four weeks later, I got the permission to
immigrate to the U.S.A. and six days later Paul got his permission, too. We bought two
tickets on the “SS Main” for the 21st April 1910 in Bremerhaven, Germany.
On the “SS Main” (during crossing the Atlantic)
It is the 21st April 1910. It seems to be a normal day, but I will remember this day 20 years
later. Paul and I are now in Bremerhaven, in the North of Germany near to Bremen. It isn’t
very warm, temperatures reach from 5°C to 14°C and there is a freshen and stormy wind for
a time from southwest to west. The air is very wet; we have a humidity of 85 percent. We’re
went on the ship and showed the men on the entry to the ship our tickets. Then we asked
another men where are our room. We have to go in a room with five beds, so there are
three other peoples in our room. My parents couldn’t come to Bremerhaven, but I wasn’t
very sad about this. I hope that they will come to America later and visit me.
Our ship, the “SS Main” was a newer ship a steamship. It was more luxury and more
comfortable than the sailing ships. Usually our ship needs 8 to 15 days to ship to America. In
this time, there were two toilets for 100 passengers and four toilets for 200 passengers.
Every additional 100 passengers there were one additional toilet.
The shipping isn’t very luxury, because we couldn’t afford us the 1st class, so that we have to
ship in the 3rd class. There were simple wood-beds and they were really hard, but better
than nothing was. I was healthful, but Paul was ill, so that I have to help him.
The days were very hard, but I consoled myself every day, that I can be in a short time in
America and live my dream. It was very boring in our cabin, so I often go on deck and relax
on the deck chair. At some days I got my food and go on deck to eat and to be alone,
because I miss my family and I’ve scared when Paul said, that I maybe never see my family
and my old friend again.
In America (after crossing the Atlantic)
After the 12 days, we arrived in the United States of America. First, we came to Ellis Island.
There were very much people, but I was very happy: The shipping is done and I am in
America! Most people didn’t take note at you, some were friendly, but some were
unfriendly. An old and smart man sat down next to me and told me some interesting things.
He said that 70 percent of the immigrations came from Europe over New York to U.S.A. and
he told me more facts that are interesting, too.
When we were ready, we go on foot to Paul’s uncle to Wichita in Kansas. We have to go
2,000 kilometers on foot.
Arrived by Paul’s uncle we have a rest for two weeks. His uncle had a farm and there were
many things you can learn or do. Therefore, I worked the next eight years there to enough
money to buy my own farm. Then I drove in another city to buy some things I need. There I
get to know a German woman: Eleanor Christine. She was very pretty and I loved her. Seven
months later, she married me and I bought land for a farm. I founded my own farm in 1920.
The parting from Paul was very hard, but I have to go.
Now, in 1938, we have four lucky and healthy children. The farm is very nice and yields
enough money for my family and me. One day, when my son is old enough I will give him the
I’m very proud that I’m American citizen and I only talk in English with my wife and my
children. My dream becomes real. I live in America. I have my own farm and my own family. I
am lucky.
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