Quotes from Mary Antin
"Almost his first act on landing on American soil, three years before, had been his application for naturalization."
"As we moved along in a little procession, I was delighted with the illumination of the streets. So many lamps, and they burned until morning, my father said, and so people did not need to carry lanterns."
"But most of the Gentiles were ignorant."
"Father himself conducted as to school. He would not have delegated that mission to the President of the United States."
"First, you had to have a tutor at home, who prepared you and talked all the time about the examination you would have to pass, till you were scared."
"His struggle for a bare living left him no time to take advantage of the public evening school. In time he learned to read, to follow a conversation or lecture; but he never learned to write correctly; and his pronunciation remains extremely foreign to th"
"I remember a time when I thought a pogrom had broken out in our street, and I wonder that I did not die of fear."
"If education, culture, the higher life were shining things to be worshiped from afar, he had still a means left whereby he could draw one step nearer to them."
"In America everything was free. Light was free; the streets were as bright as a synagogue on a holy day. Music was free; we had been serenaded, to our gaping delight, by a brass band of many pieces."
"In the evening of the first day my father conducted us to the public baths."
"No, the czar did not want us in the schools."
"On a royal birthday every house must fly a flag, or the owner would be dragged to a police station and be fined twenty-five rubles."
"One positive command he gave us: You shall love and honor your emperor. In every congregation a prayer must be said for the czar's health, or the chief of police would close the synagogue."
"Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth."
"The apex of my civic pride and personal contentment was reached on the bright September morning when I entered the public school."
"The czar always got his dues, no matter if it ruined a family."
"The czar was always sending us commands - you shall not do this and you shall not do that - till there was very little left that we might do, except pay tribute and die."
"The first meal was an object lesson of much variety. My father produced several kinds of food, ready to eat, without any cooking, from little tin cans that had printing all over them."
"The Gentiles used to wonder at us because we cared so much about religious things about food and Sabbath and teaching the children Hebrew."
"There was one public school for boys, and one for girls, but Jewish children were admitted in limited numbers - only ten to a hundred; and even the lucky ones had their troubles."
"There was one thing, however, the Gentiles always understood, and that was money. They would take any kind of bribe, at any time. They expected it."
"We are not born all at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later; and the birth and growth of the spirit, in those who are attentive to their own inner life, are slow and exceedingly painful."
"You heard on all sides that the brightest Jewish children were turned down if the examining officers did not like the turn of their noses."
"You went up to be examined with the other Jewish children, your heart heavy about that matter of your nose."
Total Quotes: 24
Have a Quote that's not in our database? Contact Us and we'll add it to the page.