We Share the Same Sky

 

Chapter VII: A Strange Way of Feeling Alive
In the final episode, Hana immigrates to America and is confronted by a different type of prejudice—racial injustice. Other themes that arise in this episode are the realities of survivor’s guilt and the responsibilities attached to passing stories from one generation to the next.
Learning Objectives:
  • Compare Denmark’s treatment of war victims with that of other countries.
  • Contrast the democratic ideals defended abroad during WWII with the culture of racism rampant in the U.S.
  • Reflect on the importance of passing memories and stories from one generation to the next.
  • In 1939, Hana’s father had applied for an affidavit so his family could leave Europe and immigrate to America. But at that time it was as hard to leave Czechoslovakia as it was to enter a new country. Borders were closing and walls were being built. It wasn’t until 1948 after the passing of the Displaced Persons Act in America that Hana received permission to immigrate. This picture is her, along with other hopeful immigrants, on the ship that is taking her to America in 1950. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. In 1939, Hana’s father had applied for an affidavit so his family could leave Europe and immigrate to America. But at that time it was as hard to leave Czechoslovakia as it was to enter a new country. Borders were closing and walls were being built. It wasn’t until 1948 after the passing of the Displaced Persons Act in America that Hana received permission to immigrate. This picture is her, along with other hopeful immigrants, on the ship that is taking her to America in 1950.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • Hana’s affidavit was issued to Cincinnati, Ohio where she had distant relatives. She only stayed in their home for a few weeks before she was kicked out, learning a harsh lesson about racial prejudice in America. But, she stayed in Cincinnati for about a year. It is where she learned English, saved up money and began to build a new life for herself. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. Hana’s affidavit was issued to Cincinnati, Ohio where she had distant relatives. She only stayed in their home for a few weeks before she was kicked out, learning a harsh lesson about racial prejudice in America. But, she stayed in Cincinnati for about a year. It is where she learned English, saved up money and began to build a new life for herself.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • In 1951, after spending her first year in America in Cincinnati, Hana embarked on an American journey of her own. This time her travels were by choice and not out of necessity. She decided that she wanted to move to San Francisco, so she boarded the California Zephyr, an iconic train route that took her from Chicago to San Francisco. Rachael continued to follow Hana’s path across the United States -- dedicated to staying with her story until she gained her American citizenship. This photo is of the American midwest seen from the windows of the California Zephyr. <br/><br/>Photo by Rachael Cerrotti / 2015 In 1951, after spending her first year in America in Cincinnati, Hana embarked on an American journey of her own. This time her travels were by choice and not out of necessity. She decided that she wanted to move to San Francisco, so she boarded the California Zephyr, an iconic train route that took her from Chicago to San Francisco. Rachael continued to follow Hana’s path across the United States -- dedicated to staying with her story until she gained her American citizenship. This photo is of the American midwest seen from the windows of the California Zephyr.

    Photo by Rachael Cerrotti / 2015
  • In 1951, after spending her first year in America in Cincinnati, Hana embarked on an American journey of her own. This time her travels were by choice and not out of necessity. She decided that she wanted to move to San Francisco, so she boarded the California Zephyr, an iconic train route that took her from Chicago to San Francisco. Rachael continued to follow Hana’s path across the United States -- dedicated to staying with her story until she gained her American citizenship. This photo is of The Colorado River seen from the windows of the California Zephyr. <br/><br/>Photo by Rachael Cerrotti / 2015 In 1951, after spending her first year in America in Cincinnati, Hana embarked on an American journey of her own. This time her travels were by choice and not out of necessity. She decided that she wanted to move to San Francisco, so she boarded the California Zephyr, an iconic train route that took her from Chicago to San Francisco. Rachael continued to follow Hana’s path across the United States -- dedicated to staying with her story until she gained her American citizenship. This photo is of The Colorado River seen from the windows of the California Zephyr.

    Photo by Rachael Cerrotti / 2015
  • Once arriving in San Francisco, Hana wrote a letter to her friend Lili in Cincinnati. Hana told her all about the train ride and the people she met and the sights she saw. These are the first couple pages of the letter. A year after sending it, she was living in New York City as a married woman and used the letter in an English class. The letter is marked up with language corrections by her teacher. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. Once arriving in San Francisco, Hana wrote a letter to her friend Lili in Cincinnati. Hana told her all about the train ride and the people she met and the sights she saw. These are the first couple pages of the letter. A year after sending it, she was living in New York City as a married woman and used the letter in an English class. The letter is marked up with language corrections by her teacher.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • Hana living on the East Coast around the time when she became an American citizen. When she was naturalized into the United States of America, it marked the end of 17 years living as a stateless person. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. Hana living on the East Coast around the time when she became an American citizen. When she was naturalized into the United States of America, it marked the end of 17 years living as a stateless person.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.