Not a Penny

My immediate family landed in NYC on the SS Veendam 80 years ago on September 2, 1939. It was one day after WWII broke out. We boarded a train for San Francisco that same day. We escaped Nazi Germany by the skin of our teeth. Many other family members were murdered by the Germans in the Death Camps. We had received an affidavit for immigration from a cousin by marriage of my mother.

My dad was 41, my mom was 31, my sister was 18 months, and I was 4 years old.

My parents both went to work immediately. My mother cleaned other peoples’ toilets, and my dad sold Fuller Brush and Watkins products door to door, even though he spoke no English.  Several months later, my dad got employment at The Ocean Beach Riding Academy in San Francisco, cleaning out horse manure from stables.  My mom kept house for the academy’s owner.  During WWII, dad went to work in a chemical factory. Mom kept cleaning out other peoples’ toilets.

In 1939, my father borrowed $300 from the Eureka Jewish Agency in San Francisco, about $5,400 in today’s dollars.  I have the receipt, and he paid every cent back!

My folks never asked for nor received a penny in public assistance or any other kind of welfare. They worked long hours and worked hard just to pay rent, buy food and keep the family going.

After the war, my dad went back into the cattle business and mom became a restaurant chef and manager.

In 1951, my dad died when I was 16 (from the effects of mustard gas during his combat service in the German Army in WWI), and I went to work six hours a day and only went to high school half days till noon. We continued to survive and my mother, sister, and I never received a penny of public money for any kind of welfare.

To give welfare to both legal and illegal immigrants is immoral when we have so many millions of needy Americans, millions of them living on our streets. This includes many military veterans with mental illness. Legal or illegal immigrants: If you cannot take care of yourselves in our country, then you should go back to where you immigrated from or not come in the first place.


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