"You can be or become anything you aspire to."
Bernd Allen was born in to Kurt and Selma Allen in 1936 in Nazi Germany. After learning about the anti-semitic intentions of the Nazis and third reich, my family decided to leave Germany and go to Belgium [Antwerp]. Upon arriving in Antwerp, my great-grandfather was told to register at the local police station, after he left, he would not seen by his family for four years. My great-grandfather was imprisoned at a French concentration camp but was eventually able to reach America one year later after his wife, my Oma was able to send his birth certificate. After extreme "strum and drang," my Oma and Opa arrived in Spain and were separated for six months, my Oma in a prison and my Opa in an orphanage. The only reason they were reunited was because my Oma "was told some refugee children had come to visit, and she found me." My great-grandfather was soon able to arrange for passage via boat for my relatives and in 1939, they arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When arriving, it had discovered my Opa contracted impetigo when in the orphanage, and had four days to fight the illness, or he would be sent back to Spain. Thankfully, he was fine. My Opa entered public school in Washington Heights, New York. Speaking almost no English, the transition was extremely difficult and in order to fully emirs themselves in American life, they would force each other to speak only English at home. My Opa felt so grateful for the opportunities America had given him, he became extremely patriotic and continues to wear an American flag pin on his jacket everyday. America allowed my Opa to follow his dreams to become a lawyer and ultimately be successful and have a large family, therefor he believes "you can be or become anything you aspire to." Their first passover in America, was just three people, but today, it is twenty five. My Opa considers this his revenge.