Before the trip

Since I was around 12, I have been fascinated by family history and identity. Both of my father’s parents are immigrants, and my grandmother, Oma, was once a refugee who ultimately made it to America. She came to America from Austria when she was 13, after escaping from a German colony in Romania in 1947 when she was 9. She traveled with her mother and two younger brothers through Romania, Hungary, and ended up in Austria, where her father was teaching in a school. She was one of the last groups to flee out of Romania before the Iron Curtain fell. For my May Project, Oma, my parents, and I will be traveling to Romania, through Hungary, and west to Austria— following her route out.  I have heard Oma tell the story of “the Great Escape” time and time again. It is something that she has always taken pride in and is proud of where she came from. Now, I am going to see the places where she lived, grew up, and have the amazing opportunity make the journey with her.

A picture of my great grandmother, Omama; grandmother, Oma; and two uncles.

 

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