- Posted June 6, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your World War II memorabilia
D-Day, A Family Affair
My father (who immigrated to the US from Stuttgart) landed on the beach in Normandy and was in Ordinance – a machinist who fixed tanks and jeeps. He marched all the way to Stuttgart where he gave his Grandfather a ride in his Jeep – with all of my Great Grandfathers buddies. Until my Father was 2 years old – he lived in the basement of the Stuttgarter Landes-Bibliothek with his Grandfather. My Great Grandfather was the Hausmeister and helped put the first steam heat in that original State Library.
You see, back then, people immigrating from Europe to the US had to have a sponsor and a job. My Grandfather immigrated first and then sent for his family. My Grandfather wanted his family to leave – because he did not like where Germany was headed. Life after WWI in germany was very difficult. My Grandfather sent for his wife and kids after he made enough money in the US. The ship that they all came over on was the Bremen. It sailed into NYC. My Aunt was the last to leave – and she was 14 years old at the time. She resented being the last one that they sent for. She stayed with relatives Haller, Spannagel and Widdmann in and around Pfullingen. Once in America, the Holoch’s lived in a German “ghetto” in Weequahic Park, Newark. My Father said growing up, Newark was a beautiful city. They all worked at a tin toy company called “Unique Art Manufacturing” which made the Marx tin toy train sets amongst other toys you can find on eBay – and which are now collectors items.
My Mother was from the UK (Torquay) and was in a performing arts troupe who entertained the troops before they embarked for D-Day. She was a war bride – that’s how she ended up in New Jersey.
Her Father was a Cockney who grew up in London, but who moved the family out to Devon for fear of the war.
I have regained contact with both sides of the family – in Stuttgart, Reutlingen, Esslingen, Pfullingen in Germany, and the East and Linnington families in the UK. We are all great friends, and I hope to visit the UK and EU (again) some day soon.
RIP Mom and Dad.