Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Shmuel Krone

b. 1868, Verkhovichi, Belarus
To US: 1903
Denver, Co.

“I Have Nothing to Complain About”

The most important theme of Shmuel Krone’s story is the writer’s triumphant struggle to remain a religious Jew despite many obstacles, including service in the Russian army in the 1890s. Upon his arrival in Chicago in 1903, he left the home of relatives when he discovered that they did not keep kosher. He relates a futile search for employment that would not require him to break the Sabbath, during which he feared that he and his family might starve. Krone experienced mixed success in various business endeavors before becoming a ritual slaughterer at a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients near Denver, Colorado. He describes a failed attempt at homesteading in Wyoming with frustrated if amused irony.