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9. Leaving Bremerhaven for the U.S.

One year passed waiting to leave Germany. Dad and I worked that yearfor the American Tank Battalion. My Father was a barber by profession. Hegave haircuts to the U.S. Soldiers, earning tips. I was doing KP duty,peelingpotatoes and washing pots and pans after each meal, selling leftovers tothestarving German population for whatever little change I could get.

One day a letter arrived from the U.S. Immigration Office stating thatour visas had been approved and that we were to report to Bremenhaventoboard a U.S. Troopship named "Marine Marline" for America.

It was one of the happiest days of my life. We took the train toBremenand there at the harbor was the most beautiful ship that I had everseen. (Itwas the first ship that I ever saw), actually it was a well used ship,carryingAmerican soldiers to the European Continent non stop through those waryears.

As we boarded the ship I wanted to kiss every sailor for letting meaboard. We were assigned bunks and I immediately went topside to watchtheship depart. I couldn't wait for the ship to leave. I kept worrying,(what iftherewas a mistake and we have to get off the ship?). I was very excitedwhen theropes were pulled in and the ships propellers began churning the water.

I stood at the stern watching for hours the European Continentdisappear in the distance. I kept praying never to return, never to seethatland again. Only when the first glimpse of Germany slid beyond thehorizonwas I able to find peace, leave the stern and focus on America and on myfuture!