Wednesday, July 8, 2009


My whole life growing up I thought I was of German and Polish descent. Pretty much half German and half Polish, how that happens during a World War II era is slightly beyond me. I recently found out that I am a little Italian as well, an interesting combo. The point is, I am pretty sure of my heritage. My mom was born in Germany and moved to the United States with her family when she was six years old. They sailed over on a ship and landed in New York. If you were to just consider my mom’s side of my heritage, I am a first generation American.

My dad was born in Chico, CA, and I believe it was his grandparents who moved over here from Poland…maybe to escape the war? Not sure of the details. Anyway, my grandma told me that her parents lived on the boarder of Germany and Switzerland and so during the Wars they would claim Swiss nationality so as to escape persecution by those fighting the Germans.

I can still say I am German, Polish, and Italian. My kids, however, will most likely never sit around with their friends and discuss their nationalities because they are American. My nationalities combined with Steve’s eight or so make for what I call a really good American mix. My children’s children will most likely not be able to trace their family lines without extensive research which would involve people from several countries combining efforts to eventually produce them. A good old American. Nothing at all wrong with that. Just an observation that in a few years from now the question, “Now, where are you from?” will no longer be a cocktail party conversation or something to discuss among my children's friends. If the question is asked the answer will be, “I’m an American,” and that won't just mean that they were born in the United States of America.


Wichterman said...

Lunch conversation turned into a blogpost. Nice.

Kayla said...

I still find it interesting that Oma's family was actually almost completely Polish and the whole time we thought it was German! haha! It was the whole thing that her family lived in the part of Poland that became German after the war... anyway the other thing I find totally interesting is that Oma's mom buried all of their family photo's and papers in the ground before they started to run during the war, I would totally love to find those some day... to bad it's impossible! I do have to say we have a very interesting family line!

jewlie said...

All American! Oh, so much diversity flowing though those veins. It's a really good thing!

Anonymous said...

Hey Heidi - maybe when the girls are in 3rd grade or so they might do a family tree and then they'll get to hear your story and color it in on their tree. Kelsey made one two years ago (I'm expecting Jillian do make one next year). Kelsey called her grandmas and got all the info. It was a good week of remembering where we came from and being proud of our heritage.

Heidi C