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America is a nation of immigrants, and immigration is a theme that animates so much of the nation’s history. Stories about the successive waves of immigrants arriving from the four corners of the globe, and about our nation’s struggle to both absorb them as well as adapt to them is a constant thread in our history. Each immigrant has a unique story to share, born of their experiences in their country of origin, to include an explanation of why they were willing to risk all to come to the United States. Yet there are elements of those stories that they share as well—the hope that propelled them to America in the first place, the apprehensions of arriving in a new land, their struggles to adapt in a fast-paced and dynamic society, of their ability to shape a new life for themselves once here. The goal of this project is to give voice to these immigrants, as each new wave adds to the mosaic that is the United States, enriching us and invigorating us in the process.
A young boy who grew up in Nazi Germany before emigrating to the U.S.
Iranian immigrant discusses life in Iran in the 1940s and '50s
A Jewish immigrant from Apartheid era South Africa
A Korean girl grows up in a traditional Confucian & patriarchal family during the Korean War
Egyptian-born Jew who immigrated to the United States as a young woman
An immigrant from Chile arriving in 1999 to the U.S.
Hammers, Arvid Theodors
A Latvian immigrant who arrived in America in 1951 after several years in German refugee camps
Polish soldier and World War II emigrates to the U.S.
Lam, Dr. Patrick
Vietnamese boat person who fled his native land in 1979
Greek immigrant describes her childhood in Crete and life as an American soldier's wife
Austrian immigrant of Jewish descent whose family came to the United States prior to WW II
Discussion of a Mexican migrant worker at Eckert's Orchard in Belleville, IL.
Mexican immigrant and manager for the migrant labor force at Eckert’s Orchard in Belleville, IL
Moser, Martha Rose
Rose (Russler) Moser grew up in Cold War era East Germany before immigrating to the United States
Pham, Thien Khoc
Former Vietnamese officer's long struggle to flee Vietnam after the war
Emigrated from Slovenia to the United States in 1933
Samara, Ziyad N.
A West Bank Palestinian’s journey to the United States.
West German immigrant discusses life in post-war Germany
Growing up in the island nation of Trinidad in the Caribbean
Lithuanian immigrant describes life as a refugee in wartime Germany
Alphabetical Listing of Interviews
Agriculture in Illinois
Education Is Key
Girls Basketball in Illinois
People of Faith
Springfield African-American History
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