Ellis Island Interviews

ebook Immigrants Tell Their Stories in Their Own Words

By Peter Coan

cover image of Ellis Island Interviews

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Like the Statue of Liberty who lifts her lamp nearby, Ellis Island symbolizes the hope, the promise, and the dreams of freedom and opportunity that lure impoverished and persecuted immigrants to seek a better life in America. Between 1892 and 1954, however, it was far more than a symbol; for millions, it was the final hurdle between them and the realization of their dreams. Indeed, if you were born in the United States, it's quite likely that at least one of your ancestors passed through Ellis Island.

In Ellis Island Interviews, more than 100 immigrants from all over Europe and the Middle East offer accounts of those difficult steps that carried them to and through Ellis Island's legendary Golden Door. They describe the lives they left behind, explain why they emigrated, and offer moving stories of their often-frightening experiences, both while crossing the Atlantic and in gaining entry to the United States. They also tell us how they fared in their new homeland. Some of the adventurous souls who tell their stories here-including Bob Hope, writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, and movie director Otto Preminger-rose to fame and fortune in America,. Even the unsung, however, were heroes. This book is a testament to their courage and perseverance.

Ellis Island Interviews