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Leona Schweninger | Launguage is a Barrier We All Can Overcome

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Leona Schweninger The past weighs heavy on the future.
The past weighs heavy on the future.
My Journey to #AchieveMore

In the 1920s lived a beautiful, fierce and resourceful rebel who defied authority to help the less fortunate survive. That rebel was my grandmother. My grandmother disobeyed the government desires of eugenics. My grandmother stole a passport stamp from her civil service job, so that the Jewish families in her community could escape most probable death. She was caught and put into a Siberian work camp for her defiance. Following World War II, after she was forced to leave her homeland in the Ukraine, she found her way to America and pushed her children to complete their educations. She knew that only an education would give way to an understanding that we, as people, are one. In meeting my grandmother, one would not know this tiny, quiet woman was the source of power whom she once was. Long after my grandmother passed away, my mother found a letter addressed to her which was to only be read upon her death. The letter was filled with the passions of the stories of her life.

She told of the histories and tragedies of her homeland and the difficulties of her journey to America. She told of the prejudices which did not end when she boarded the ship which took her so far from home. In the 1920s lived a beautiful, fierce and resourceful rebel who defied authority to help the less fortunate survive. That rebel was my grandmother. My grandmother disobeyed the government desires of eugenics. My grandmother stole a passport stamp from her civil service job, so that the Jewish families in her community could escape most probable death. She was caught and put into a Siberian work camp for her defiance. Following World War II, after she was forced to leave her homeland in the Ukraine, she found her way to America and pushed her children to complete their educations. She knew that only an education would give way to an understanding that we, as people, are one. In meeting my grandmother, one would not know this tiny, quiet woman was the source of power whom she once was. Long after my grandmother passed away, my mother found a letter addressed to her which was to only be read upon her death. The letter was filled with the passions of the stories of her life. She told of the histories and tragedies of her homeland and the difficulties of her journey to America. She told of the prejudices which did not end when she boarded the ship which took her so far from home. The most influential message my grandmother offered was that which she told us of the atrocities she faced in not knowing the English language of America. Citizens often treated my grandmother, a heroine in her own right who spoke Russian, Ukrainian, French and German, as though she were stupid. She said, she forgave them because she knew they were not educated. They did not know. She said in her letter that her savings were to be dispersed among her grandchildren and asked them to teach language and love.and love.

 

   
 
 

What Drives You to #AchieveMore?

 

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