In the Footsteps of our Families

 

October 24, 2014

 

from Robin Lustig

 

A little over three months ago, Stu and I set out on this journey that we have called In The Footsteps of Our Families.  The idea was to retrace the journeys made by our immigrant forebears, from eastern and central Europe to the UK and US.  This wee...

October 14, 2014

from Robin Lustig

 

“Berlin has changed quite a bit in the past 75 years,” said my Dad as we pounded the streets where he spent the first 20 years of his life.

 

I suggested that perhaps most cities have changed in the past three-quarters of a century. But my father hasn’t...

August 19, 2014

 

from Robin Lustig

 

It's blowing a gale, and thunderous waves are crashing against the sea wall. I've brought my 95-year-old father to the pretty little town of Peel, on the west coast of the Isle of Man, and the weather is not being kind.

 

We're standing on Marine Parad...

August 4, 2014

from Robin Lustig

 

On 13 April 1939, my father boarded the SS President Roosevelt and sailed from Hamburg to Southampton. Three months later, my mother (they didn’t meet until 1943) made the same voyage on board the SS Washington (pictured above).

 

They were both fleeing...

August 3, 2014

From Stu Seidel ...

 

My perspective on an immigrant’s journey is almost wholly defined by my paternal grandparents, Sara and Julius Seidel. I knew them. I knew their accents. I knew that just about everything in their lives grew from leaving their childhood homes and ma...

August 2, 2014

from Robin Lustig

 

I suppose it’s not surprising, if you embark on a journey in search of your family roots, that you end up visiting a lot of cemeteries. That is, after all, where you’re most likely to find your forebears.

 

So here I am, in the grandest cemetery of them...

August 1, 2014

From Stu Seidel ...

 

Setting out to follow the footsteps of my paternal grandparents, Sara (nee. Jaffe) and Julius Seidel, from their birthplaces in Eastern Europe to America, has been a lesson in realizing how few details I know about their lives — and how the spec...

July 30, 2014

from Robin Lustig ...

 

In a far corner of the “new” Jewish cemetery (opened 1902) in the Polish city of Wrocław, Piotr Gotowicki is hacking away at the thick ivy that has grown over a gravestone lying flat on the ground.

 

It’s not just any old gravestone, as Piotr knows...

July 30, 2014

From Stu Seidel ...

 

Poland was so extensively devastated during World War II that it can seem a 65-year-old visitor to the country is nearly the oldest thing standing, particularly in the “Old Towns” of Warsaw and Wroclaw where meticulously faithful replicas of flatten...

July 30, 2014

From Stu Seidel ...

 

Like most tourists visiting Europe, Robin Lustig and I set out on our current trip to Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Germany in search of the old. We sought to retrace the journeys of our forbearers as they fled their homes for safety and opportunit...

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Welcome to Wandering Scribes.

 

There are two of us (at least for now): Robin Lustig, formerly of the BBC, and Stu Seidel, formerly of NPR. We're roughly the same age (don't ask), both bearded and balding — and for the first time in our professional lives, we now have the opportunity to decide which stories we want to report and how we want to report them. Robin is already an established blogger (click here for Lustig's Letter) and Stu launched his blog Inveterate Traveler earlier this year on a visit to New Zealand. 

 

To launch Wandering Scribes, we are embarking on a joint reporting venture. In the Footsteps of Our Families will follow the journeys taken by our parents, grandparents and great grandparents from Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Germany to Britain and the United States in the latter part of the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century. We’ll be blogging along the way, taking photographs and recording sounds and voices.

 

Please join us. It should be interesting, and if it works out, there'll be more journeys to come. You can write to us via the Contact page -- we'd love to have your feedback.

 

Note for copy editors: Robin spells the British way (programme, colour, centre, etc.); Stu spells the US way (program, color, center, etc.). To each, his own. If we quote someone else, we'll spell it the way they would wish -- so the former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is a

traveller,” not a “traveler.” 

 

 

 

 

Illustration by Debra Blake at debramiriamblake.wordpress.com 

© 2014 by wanderingscribes.