Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rose Schoenfeld

b. 1884, Drohobycz, Galicia
To US: 1912
New York, N.Y.

"What Drove Me to America and My Experiences in Europe and America"

Rose Schoenfeld’s story illustrates, among other things, the power of the printed word for her generation. As a young woman, with her husband in America, Schoenfeld fell into a deep depression. Advised by a doctor to take up reading, Schoenfeld went one step further by composing stories herself. Eventually, her work appeared in a number of periodicals in Galicia and the United States. Her literary interests led her to the Zionist movement and local politics. She proudly tells of how she engineered her family’s move to America against the wishes of her husband and her parents. A visit to her hometown in 1932, and the outbreak of World War II both confirmed the wisdom of her decision. Perhaps as further validation of her move, Schoenfeld’s upbeat account of her voyage and arrival differs drastically from the usual immigrant saga of hardship.