We heard stories of how in America the streets are paved with gold, how life there was akin to a paradise. Of course I didn't actually think these were literal but I still bought into the promise of a better life. If one thing was true about America it was that it had plentiful land. In my home country of Germany, and many other European nations, overpopulation was becoming a bigger problem. Land was getting scarce and very expensive. But in America they had enough land for everybody, and it was cheap too!
But enough fantasizing about America, right now I was above deck at the front of the ship. I was part of a large crowd of immigrants who heard rumours on the ship that we were very close to America. I was broken from my musing when my daughter Katarina spoke to me, "Papa, when will we reach America?", she asked in an inquisitive tone. Looking down at the eleven year old I smiled, "Very soon darling, how is your brother doing?" I asked her. Her face turned a little sad and she frowned a little bit. "Caspar is still in bed, and he still has that terrible cough of his!" She said, clearly frustrated by the illness plaguing her older brother.
I was about to offer some words of comfort to my daug...
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...y for the medicine and soon my daughter was on the road to recovery.
Many years later.
"Come again soon Otis!" I shouted to a man who was walking out carrying bread. As I waited at the counter for more buisness I reflected on all that I went through to get to where I am now. My son unfortunately did not survive the trip back to Germany but luckily that was my only big loss. A few years after my daughter got over her sickness, we moved to a German community in Wisconsin. There I opened up a bakery that quickly grew to be successfull. The community was filled with friendly people and soon my daughter and i found ourselves at home there. In the end America wasn't some sort of free ticket to fortune, but it was a land of opportunity where with hard work you could be successful. I had lost some things coming to America but there was so much more that I had gained.
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