Sei sulla pagina 1di 5

Dowdy 1 Nicole Dowdy Professor Raymond 15 October 2013 English 1103 Family Tree Project My Amazing Family Both

sides of my family are very interesting, and they have amazing stories about the ways they came to live in the areas that they are in now. However, for this project I decided to focus on my mothers side of the family. I am only able to trace back to my great grandparents because they lost all of their family members during WWII. When asked my mom about her side of the family she told me many new things that I did not even know. She told me that during the war my great grandparents met each other in the Altenzaun concentration camp in Germany in 1944. They were both from and living in the town of Belchatow, Poland before they were taken from there home town and put in the concentration camp. The Nazis declared the town of Belchatow "a Jewish town", since the Jews constituted 50% of its population and thats why many people from that town were taken as prisoners and were sent to Germany. My great grandparents were not Jews, they were Catholic, but because they lived in a town that was declared Jewish, they were still taken as prisoners by the Nazis (Dowdy, Isabel). When my mom told me this I decided to do some of my own research to find out some more information about the concentration camps, and what they were like. Only the centralized SS and police authorities could determine who was a danger to

Dowdy 2 the German race and send all of these people to the concentration camps. The Jews, Social Democrats, Communists, liberals, Freemasons, Jehovah's Witnesses, people who opposed the Nazis, members of national opposition movements, nonGermans in general after Germany began to occupy Europe, and any others whose behaviors could be seen as against the government (CONCENTRATION CAMP SYSTEM: IN DEPTH). A typical concentration camp was secured from escape by barbed wire, watchtowers and guards. The inmates usually lived in overcrowded barracks and slept in bunk beds. In the forced labor camps the people usually worked 12 hours a day with hard physical work, clothed in basically nothing, eating too little, and always being horrifically punished if they did not do what they were told. The sick, the old, and those who could not keep up with the work were chosen and then killed with gas, injections, or shot. Others were chosen for terrible pseudo-scientific experiments and most often lost their lives. Forced labor became important following the outbreak of World War II, when the Nazi war economy demanded an enormous effort. In connection with the Final Solution, the Jews role as workers disappeared and the extermination process was escalated (The concentration camps, 1933-1945). After being in the concentration camp for a year my great grandmother, Sofia, gave birth to my grandmother, Sofia, on January 7, 1945. A year passed and my great grandparents got married on February 20, 1946. They later on had another daughter, Eduvijes, in 1947 in Hanover, Germany. One day they were saved by American forces that came to their rescue because they found out Nazis were

Dowdy 3 putting people in ovens and burning them to death in this concentration camp. After escaping they were taken in army trucks where they stayed safe, and when the war was over my family wanted to move to Canada, but my great grandfather would have needed to move there by himself for 6 months to establish a life in Canada, and then he would have been able to bring the rest of his family. My great grandfather, Jan, did not want to leave his wife and two daughters in Germany alone so they moved to Venezuela because it was one of the countries that would take entire families all at once. They took a boat to Venezuela and started their lives there by building a family restaurant. They decided not to move back to Poland because it was under the Power of the Russians, and it was turned into a communist country. They did not want to live in a country that was dealing with horrible ordeals because they experienced situations in a concentration camp that we will never be able to understand. My family wanted freedom after all the repression they experienced during the war so they thought Venezuela was their best option. While my grandmother was working in their restaurant my grandfather, Luis, took a boat trip from Spain to Venezuela with some friends. When he got there he decided that he did not want to go back to his hometown and live there instead. He ended up eating at the family restaurant where my grandmother worked, and that is where they met for the first time. They fell madly in love with each other, and got married on November 20, 1966 in Caracas, Venezuela. Nine months after being married they had their first daughter, Sofia del Carmen Maria, and six years later they gave birth to my mother, Isabel. They had their last child, Luis Gerardo Maria,

Dowdy 4 on April 30, 1974. Sadly, on May 5, 1987 my grandfather passed away from cancer. My mother was only 14 at the time of his death. After he passed my family had a hard time adjusting to all of the new changes. My mother and her siblings became the breadwinners of the house while my grandmother kept her role in taking care of the house. If my mom did not work so much I believe that my parents would not have met the way they did. When my mother was 20, she was working for a construction company taking care of all of the supplies that were needed. At the same time my dad, Lee, was working in Venezuela for the same company my mom was working for. One day my dad saw my mom talking to his boss, who is my moms sister, and asked her if he could find out how he could contact my mom. My aunt ended up helping my dad, and helped set them up on there first date together. When my parents met each other, and they could barely speak each others language. Every time they went out on dates together they had to bring dictionaries to talk to each other if they did not know how to say something in the other persons language. After dating for 10 months my mom had the decision on staying with her family or getting married and moving to the United States with my dad. They were engaged for one month and got married on December 12, 1992. After moving to the United States my dad got a job in Panama City, Panama. While they were living there my mom found out that she was pregnant with me. My mom gave birth to me on November 13, 1994 in Panama City. We only lived there for 3 months before we moved back to Houston, Texas. We did not live in Texas for long before we had to move to many different states. The first state that I have memories living in was in Wyoming, after

Dowdy 5 that my family and I moved every year to a new state. In 1999 we moved back to Wyoming again where my brother was born on March 5th. We only lived there for a year before we moved to Boston, Massachusetts. At the time, it was frustrating having to move every year, but now I look back on it and see that it was a good experience for me. This project helped me see the pain and suffering my entire family has gone through to keep each other together. The love we have for each other will never go away, and even though some of my family members have experienced situations that not one human being should encounter it is apart of my history, and I am proud to talk about it. They are by far the strongest people that I know and I am so proud to call them my family. Even though we have dealt with some of the toughest situations nothing can tear us apart. I consider it an honor to talk about my family and all of the situations that we have been through because through everything we are the amazing family that we are today, and will always be.