Letter to the editor: Refugees from Ukraine backed
I found Claire Corkins’s article intimating that the Ukrainians seeking refuge from the Russian onslaught should perhaps sit in the back of the bus and let other refugees, not white, not as well-educated and well-dressed, be given asylum in the Western Countries, more than disturbing.
Obviously, Ms. Corkins has never had to pack her belongings, her children, most likely leave her elderly parents to starve to death, or her doggies or cats to hit the road and go into the unknown, all the while knowing their home may be blown up and wondering if they’ll have enough food along the way, a shelter offered, and hopefully not get shot.
Who can imagine what it feels like? I can.
In January of 1945, toward the end of World War II in East Prussia, then Germany (now Poland), my mother, along with me as a little child, stuck me in a baby carriage and whatever personal belongings she could carry to join what was known as “The Trek West” in order to escape the Russian occupation of that part of Germany. She didn’t know where any of our relatives were, or if they were still alive. The trek took three weeks on the road in winter weather before she reached a western town in Germany that was far enough away from the Russian troops. Fortunately, the war was almost over and she settled temporarily into what soon became the British sector. Local residents were required to provide a room for a refugee, if they had one to spare. We lived there for about six months. My mother scrubbed the stoops and cleaned for the owner of the house in return for a small room with one cookpot, two chairs, one bed and one table and some food.
In November of 1949 my family, then re-united, did it all over again and immigrated to the United States. They settled in the New York City area.
Well dressed, well-off, educated or not, a refugee seeking safety feels the same terror every other refugee feels. In my opinion, the Ukrainians’ plight is critical. They deserve our help now.
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