The Journey of Edith Westerfeld

Edith Westerfeld Her Life As An Underdog

The Life of Edith Westerfeld


In 1938 Edith Westerfeld fled to america to escape the terrible war, WWII. Edith and other children were on a boat that would take them to find a better place in the United States. They waved goodbye to their parents looking at them for the very last time. After a long journey Edith had finally reached America on March 21 1938 and she went to go live with her Uncle Jack that lived in Chicago. She then attended school but had to start in the first grade so she could learn English even though she was twelve. After a few months she got into the 7th grade where she was called names like Goldilocks, Dirty Jew, and Dirty Kraut.


On December 18, 1938 Edith was doing her normal routine with her chores and homework. She found a letter that was supposed to go to Uncle Jack. But did said that her father was sent to a concentration camp months ago not wanting Edith to worry about him. On December 15, 1941 Edith receives another letter hoping that it was something good, but it wasn’t. It said that by law she was required to send all of her electronic devices like radios, a hand camera, or radio transmitters. She wasn’t even allowed to listen to her favorite baseball player, Hank Greenberg a Jewish baseball player for the Detroit Tigers.


In April 1942, Edith finds a letter written to her in February. It was from her friend Mina who was living in Germany. It said that both her parents and her grandmother were killed in a concentration camp. After accepting that her parents were dead and she had a very few family members left, she finished school. About fifty four years later she goes back to her old town back in Germany with her daughter Fern.



Information from The book Motherland and Is It Night Or Day by : Fern Schumer Chapman

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Dielamnas in Europe

In 1932 Germany faced a very powerful dictator by the named Adolf Hitler. Hitler and the Nazi party wanted a world where there were no Jews and that everyone had to have a certain shade of blonde hair and shade of blue eyes. This led to many people to be very afraid when they saw any signs of Nazi soldiers coming to their towns. The dilemma was the Nazi would take a buildings in a town where all of the citizens would be locked up and looked over by doctors. If the doctors saw anyone that had the same exacted shades of blonde hair and blue eyes they would be taken to a city controlled by the Nazi and they would start a new life with a new name as a Nazi citizen.If anyone didn’t meet their quota they would be executed or sent to concentration camps. So many people were killed by the minute.

The solution to these problems were to send people to America so they could live in a safe environment away from the war. Many organizations like the One Thousand Children helped many Jewish children to to find a better life in the U.S. This organization would send boats every few months for Jewish kids 18 and under to come live in America to find a family that would take them in and support them. Another solution was sending in American troops to rescue people in concentration camps and ghettos. This led to more countries doing the same thing. By doing all of this it help stop Hitler and the Nazi party.


Information from The book Motherland and Is It Night Or Day by : Fern Schumer Chapman

Creating a New Europe

In 1933 Adolf Hitler came to power and wanted a world where he was in charge and where everyone had the same shade of blue eyes and the same shade of blonde hair. Hitler thought this was the superior human race and the future of the world. By believing this idea Hitler caused millions of deaths in Germany and Poland. The anger and fear Hitler caused the countries in Europe to either fight back, join Hitlers army, or to be taken over by Hitler. Hitler and his army were planning on taking Europe, eradicating Jews and people without blue eyes and blonde hair, and creating a world with uniforms and strict laws.


The result of Hitler's ideas and decisions affect all the other countries around the world. Hitler's plan with the superior human race caused the Jewish population to drop dramatically and also Europe’s population to drop. Once Japan attacked the U.S at Pearl Harbor it lead to the U.S entering WWII . Once other countries heard about the millions of deaths Hitler caused, some countries decided to take Jewish or other people being affected by Hitler and the Nazis to live in their countries so they could be safe.


Information from The book Motherland and Is It Night Or Day by : Fern Schumer Chapman

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LIFE AT HOME AND LIFE IN A NEW COUNTRY

In 1938, Edith Westerfeld was a twelve year old Jewish girl when her parents sent her to America so she could escape the Nazis. For months, she never knew what would happen to her family back in Germany and why she had to leave. Her parents had hoped that her way of living would change dramatically. However, she felt like an alien enemy in the U.S. Edith thought that living with her uncle would be easier than living in Germany. But not everything was easier in Chicago. In school, she had to attend a first grade class even though she was twelve years old because she didn’t know a lot of English. She was called names like Dirty Kraut and Dirty Jew. Goldilocks was probably her favorite. It wasn’t because of the color of her hair, but because she couldn’t find a desk that fit her “just right”. They don’t make desks for 12 year olds in a first grade classroom. Non Jews in Germany would have called her names too or treated her even worse. Edith was lucky to live in a safe home in both Germany and the United States. In Germany, she had a big house where she lived with her parents, grandparents and sister. The apartment she shared with her uncle was much smaller and she felt like she did not have anyone to talk to. In both countries, Edith felt like an alien. Because she was Jewish, she lost friends in Germany. And, because of her accent and her religion, she had a hard time making friends in Chicago. At least in Germany, Edith felt she could be more like herself because she had more in common, like language, with other kids. Fortunately for Edith, both her parents and her uncle were always trying to do the best for her.


Without this experience, Edith wouldn’t be the person she is today. She wouldn’t be telling her story to schools around the country, teaching them what life was like as a child. Being through the loss of her parents and learning a new language, in a short amount of time, showed her that even when things were difficult, she could handle the adversities. The experiences that Edith went through as a child helped her raise her daughter Fern, the author of Motherland and Is It Night or Day.


Information from The book Motherland and Is It Night Or Day by : Fern Schumer Chapman

Edith The Underdog

Some people ask what a underdog is? Most people say it a sports team accomplishing something. Others say persevering through an adversity. Well the thing is they're all correct. During WWII a twelve year old Jewish German girl named Edith Westerfeld who I think is the best example of an underdog because without knowing one day her parents sent her on a ship going to the U.S. They did this so Edith would have a better life since the Nazi party was closing in on their town. Edith didn’t know why she was leaving her home, she thought everything was great and when she asked them why she was leaving they ignored her questions. When she got to the U.S she see told herself that the most important thing to do in in this new country was to earn enough money so her parents could come to America. She attended school and was picked on instantly. For example some of the names were Dirty Jew, Dirty Kraut, Goldilocks, etc. After reading this article what do you think an underdog is?


Information from The book Motherland and Is It Night Or Day by : Fern Schumer Chapman

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