Our ancestors, all immigrants, are watching us now

SHARE Our ancestors, all immigrants, are watching us now

This is my grandfather, Irwin Bramson. I don’t believe his picture has ever appeared in a newspaper before. He would be delighted to see it here.

My grandfather was not famous or successful, beyond supporting his family, working in a factory in Cleveland that made machine parts. He eventually owned his house, on Rossmoor Road in Cleveland Heights. He was very proud of that.

OPINION

My grandfather was born on a farm in Bialystock, Poland, in 1907 and was sent to this country because things were very bad there and he had a relative, a distant cousin in Cleveland who owned an automobile parts factory and would employ him. He left at 16 and never saw any of his family again; they were all murdered ­— man, woman and child — by the Nazis and their henchmen.

When he got here, he no doubt faced the scorn of those who felt that America was being corrupted by racially inferior immigrants such as himself, that all manner of subhumans and Jews, were poisoning American blood, that they were constitutionally different and would never fit in.

But he did fit in. He never went to college, but he met my grandmother, got married — they went to the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago on their honeymoon in 1934. They had three daughters, my mother being the eldest. Had they been born in Poland, they all would have been murdered too.

All of my memories of him involve him sitting in a green Barcalounger, watching “The Price Is Right.” He smoked cigarettes and drank bourbon. He sucked Luden’s Cherry Cough drops for his throat. He would die of emphysema in 1980.

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