Citizens’ Journal is proud to present the Coming to America series of immigrant related interviews conducted by Ventura resident Dr. Kathleen S. Roos. CJ publishes a new story each Sunday. These stories describe what life was like in their native country, the whys of wanting to come to America and what they have found here. It is the hope of each interviewee that those born in America, who have not had these experiences may reflect on what it means to be an American by these immigrants. Many have risked their lives and their families to come to America. Some have had an easier road, but the desire to be free, to make choices and what it means to become an American is a thread found throughout these interviews.
In current news today look at the young man Enes Kanter, the Boston Celtics basketball player speaking out about human rights and comparisons to China and the companies who do business there! He is from Turkey and Muslim and his family is paying a price for his decision to speak out. He is also taking a lot of heat from others here in the U.S. to risk his career to take such a stand. A very decent guy who makes a great example to Americans. He is well-known and appreciates the U.S. and our freedoms and deplores the atrocities in China and other parts of the world relative to abuse and lack of human rights. Most of these interviewees are not well known, or famous but their stories matter. All the varying perspectives of the interviewees are presented. Each one is their own story.
For the Citizen’s Journal readers who want to go back and view previous interviews we have included a list of those already published which can be located through the journal’s search engine box by typing in Coming to America, and the name of the Country. These include interviews from Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge through Cambodia: The Next Generation (installments 1-3), Oaxaca, Mexico (4), Santiago, Chile (5), Aligarh, India (6), Santiago, Cuba (7), Cambodia: years later told by an American dental professional (8), Jalisco, Mexico (9), Bagdad, Iraq (10), Bulacan, Philippines (11), and United Kingdom (12).
This week’s installment CJ is presents Mark Lai’s story from Saigon, Vietnam. Future interviews will include; Plauen, Germany, Rimmanapudi, India, Great Urswich, UK., Helsinki, Finland, Tehran, Iran, North Korea, Riga, Latvia, and Dr. Roos’ story from her travels and experiences.
Editor: Anne Albaugh
By Kathleen S. Roos Ph.D.
‘Rudy’ Heusuk Morton
Taken from an “Open letter to all young people under 25 years of age. By Rudolph “Rudy” Heusuk Morton. The content that follows is taken from the above-mentioned open letter in its entirety.
“Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, confusion has been perpetuated with untamed ferocity by social, network, and printed media. From the beginning, we have not known who or what to believe about the pandemic’s current status, possible treatments, if/when it might end, or how to protect ourselves and families. Contradictory information comes at us daily from both the government officials as well as the scientific community. All of the misinformation serves to keep people confused, scared, and likely to succumb to submission.
“The solution for ending the pandemic rests with people living in the first third of their life – our youth. When the bubonic plague ravished medieval Europe, it was the younger generation that took the lead in restoring normalcy by facing it head on. Without their leadership humanity could have gone extinct. Throughout history, it has been the younger generation who sought to make the world a better place for their offspring and future generations. I believe that it is now your turn to take up the reins of leadership and guide humanity down the road to a better way of living.
“Those on the other end of the spectrum who entered the last 1/3 of their life expectancy long for stability and preservation of their civilization which they had created and lived in.
“Unfortunate are those in the middle, parents and grandparents. They are pulled in either direction desperately trying to maintain family peace to prevent further rifts between generations. The rift and suffering caused within families by this current pandemic, is incomprehensible.
“Having said that I wish you hear me out.
“Having taken up space on this Planet for over 80 years, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed opportunities and challenges due to one line from the United States Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Going forward I will refer to this quote as LLPoH (Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) and instead of lecturing you on what you ought to do, I am going to share my life experiences that were contrary to the concept of LLPoH.
“I was born into Plauen, Germany, during a period when national socialism was in its hay day. The enthusiasm of the majority of people was unstoppable. It was amplified, in sports, entertainment, and the constant propaganda aimed at the German people was unstoppable suggesting achievement of greatness, to the point where young people joined in droves all sorts of government agencies from military to work camps and building Autobahns. Little did they expect that they were led down a path of self-destruction.
It came in the form of WWII with its unbelievable sufferings bestowed on mankind across the globe. I lived through that period. It brought in ration cards issued to the people on how much bread, meat, flour, or sugar you were allowed to buy. Not only in Germany but also here in the USA. Hence the name victory garden. You may want to google that to find out what it really was. But, when you got to the store to buy food with your ration card, the shelves were empty and the issuers of ration cards were unable to provide and the ration card was mostly a distraction making people believe that help is on the way. Thus, leaving you hungry. Since the same rationing rules applied to fuel (coal), more often than not, you froze sitting next to your stove.
“The next political system I lived under briefly was the communist regime of East Germany imposed on Germany by allied victors of WWII. That regime lasted from 1945, when the Soviet Union took over the eastern part of Germany and lasted to 1989 when the so-called Iron Curtain wall fell. Again, googling that event can shed light on many subjects.
“My home town of Plauen ended up 26 KM inside the Soviet Zone. I for one, was fortunate. I was at the tender age of nine years old, when my brother who had served in the German navy during WWII, came home illegally in 1947 for the first time since the war ended. He had stayed
in the British Zone of West Germany that was occupied by the Western Allies, the USA, Britain and France. My mother and he made a deal that he was to take me with him to West Germany, because she was too frail and sick to take care of me, and also, she wanted me to grow up under western rules governed by LLPoH. My father had died in 1941. We walked out of Plauen during a warm May night in 1947, toward the direction of Hof, Bavaria in West Germany. Had we been caught we most likely would have ended up like so many others in some Siberian Gulag. (Another interesting story to google).
“My sisters and mother stayed behind. My mother passed away in 1952, shortly after we had come home legally to visit her. Here are a few excerpts from what life was like behind the Iron Curtain in the Democratic Republic of East Germany that was formed in 1948 out of the Soviet Zone as it was shared with me by my sisters.
“First as an east German citizen you were prohibited from coming any closer than 5 kilometers to the border. Citizens were locked in, not only in East Germany but also in all other nations that were controlled by the Soviet Union under their leader Joseph Stalin.
“Second, the East Germany manufactured auto mobile was called a Trabant, affectionately called a Trabi, it had a two-cycle engine like most of our lawn mowers. Assuming you had enough money saved up to buy one of those you had to apply for one. Waiting time for your turn to get a Trabi, was ten (10) years.
“Third, the food and all other consumer good supplies (whatever you find at a Wal Mart today) was regulated and distributed by government planners. Example, planners decided how many pounds of potatoes a store can have to sell. Here is a quote from my sister she worked as a sales clerk in a HO government store. She said when a shipment of potatoes came in to the store, clerks and all those working in the store picked out the best potatoes for their families and then what ever was left was put on the floor for the public to buy. That was a rotten thing to do you say? Yes, it was, but it was also driven by a basic human instinct, the desire to survive is something embedded in us that will never change.
“Fourth, when the wall (iron curtain) fell in 1989, the stream of Trabis heading west to get a climb of freedom under the LLPoH system was hundreds of miles long going into Western Germany. People arriving were astounded by the opulence in western stores with their unlimited supplies of merchandise. That too can be googled.
“It was in 1990, after the wall fell that I helped 40 youngsters from my hometown of Plauen to come to the USA and work in Morton, ll. Youngsters that were born into the former socialist squalor, exited to be allowed to visit the bastion of LLPoH, the USA.
“So why am I writing this story? Socialism is when a group of people under the slogan, we must unite, seek to control the population.
“Under the LLPoH concept, the individual human gets to choose his or her own destiny.
“I for one, at age (83) was lucky to have lived most of my life under the LLPoH concept, but I have been made keenly aware of what is on the other side if one submits.
“Younger folks have statistically the bigger part of their life in front of them and that puts them at a cross road to choose life under the LLPoH concept or submit to having their destiny ruled by central planners.
“Carefully filter information you hear from what seems’ like creditable sources before you act on it.
“Will you be free to live in a LLPoH society? Or are you willing to bow to your masters to whom you surrender your liberty, who will throw you crumbs like Stalin threw to the maimed chicken and tell you what you can or can not do for the good of the masses?
“That is the very thing that sets humanity apart from the animal world. It is our ability to choose while we can. Use it or lose it.
“It starts with open uninhibited dialogue between those believing and trusting the LLPoH system versus those promising undefined liberties by power seekers. Good day”.
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