From Shores of Refuge: A Hundred Years of Jewish Emigration
By Ronald Sanders, Schocken Books, New York, 1989

(Indented passages are direct quotations.)

        The camp for several thousand refugees in the spring of 1882 was a yard outside a textile factory.  George Price, who was shortly to emigrate from Brody with his parents, described in his diary a typical scene at this camp.

        Approaching the entrance to the textile factory, I see thousands of people running back and forth.  When I entered the courtyard I beheld a mass of hungry and thirsty tattered humans.  Hawkers of soft drinks run back and forth trying to sell their wares, but they find no customers because no one has money.

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        At the end of the courtyard, Price observed a building with many windows.  Refugees were attempting to get to this building, where, from random windows, a relief committee official was distributing exit cards.   Price noted that the outside of the building appeared to be

plastered with people . . . From a distance, it looks as if the walls are covered with ants moving one on top of another.  Upon closer                 observation one is chilled at the sight.  Here a Jew clad in rags and perspiring, who seems to have been here many hours, has managed . . . to get midway through the crowd.  He tries to figure out a way to get to one of the windows as quickly as possible.  He does a somersault hoping to hurdle over the heads of several people and thus advance his position.  This causes chaos.  He is beaten, his clothes are rent and finally, still alive, he nears the window, only to be pushed back by a strong, armed man who has tried to clear a space.  He falls and drags others with him.  Immediately the space is occupied by others . . . The mob pays no attention and goes on fighting and mauling each other to get closer to the windows.

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Translated by Leo Shpall



Copyright © 2006 M S Rosenfeld