Our First Christmas in America, 70 Years Ago
The right wing of this building was our apartment.
These are excerpts from Family News #24, written by my Dad in Princeton-Junction, NJ, on December 31st, 1949. We had arrived in America on July 11th of the same year, sponsored by my Aunt and Uncle, Louise and Raul Vajk. They had returned to the US just a few short years earlier, and had to start from scratch themselves. (To spotlight what I mean: my cousin Antonia, two years older than I, had to stay home from school when her single pair of shoes had to be repaired!) Nevertheless they had sent life-saving packages of food, as well as clothing, to us in Germany for several years after the War.
So my parents wanted to reimburse them, in instalments. The amount they agreed on was a thousand dollars, which in 1949 was a great deal of money! So it took us longer to get on our feet.
In Seprtember of 1949, we moved into the right wing of a Texaco gas station in Princeton-Junction which the owner, Mr. Hall had transformed into a very simple apartment. We lived there for two years until Dad’s commuting to a draftsman’s job in New York became too expensive. See the full story...
Remig A. Papp, with introduction by EPF