Grandparents' Relationship

Childhood Memories

"She was a very forceful personality. He was a very quiet man."

"My grandfather was a very quiet man, kind of passive. He always kind of had that glint in his eyes like he had a joke he wanted to tell but never got permission to do it, and my grandmother who was maybe five-foot-two, five-foot-three, she dominated the room. So she was a very forceful personality. He was a very quiet man... When my grandmother spoke, she usually spoke very loudly, and he would just kind of nod and say, 'OK.'

[My grandmother] did not [become a citizen]. My grandfather did, but by the time my grandmother came over, she said, 'I don’t see the point. I’m here. I’m safe. I’m happy. I don’t need to be a U.S. citizen.' So she remained a German citizen.

[She never worked outside the home.] I think at that point she said, 'I’ve done all the work I’m going to do.'

Now she actually spoke English reasonably well. I remember having conversations with her in English. So she mastered – I think because she already knew Russian, knew a little bit of French, she spoke German—her ability to master languages was a little better than my grandfather’s.

She passed away in 1974. I was twelve years old. But I know for the two to four years previous to that she would always give me cookies, or something sweet, whenever I came over. And she would always tell me to 'Eat more! Eat more!'"