Mrs. Samuel Friedman to David Bressler, September 15, 1912

“When I applied to you for transportation, I told you everything, and the truth only. Yet, it was not enough. You humiliated me by asking why I do not pawn my jewelry, which was pawned for the last five years, why I did not sell my furniture, which we did sell to pay my husbands way to Minneapolis. Then you went on asking me, why I do not borrow of friends, and when I told you I owe everybody, you suggested that I should leave my child some place with strangers and go to a hospital to have my second baby. At last, when I told you I intend to pay it all back as it is only a loan, you made me sign a not for $20. My husband had it all arranged with Miss Foxe to pay her $15 as soon as we are in position to do so. Sir, I do not complain! In fact I am very grateful to you. But the reason I mention it all is because, you should not think everyone that comes into the office to ask for aid must be a cheat, a liar and ignorant.”

This letter perfectly portrays how immigrants were treated and stereotyped. Between 1901 and 1922, the IRO, the Industrial Removal Office, which was formed by a Americanized German Jews, helped move thousands of Jews to New York. Mrs. Samuel Friedman is writting  to Mr. Bressler who worked for the Industrial Removal Office which was formed in 1901 to find new jobs for Jewish immigrants. Jewish immigrants faced opposition and prejudice from new immigrants and old colonist because of competitiveness of the job industry.

Sources: Grunwald, Lisa, and Stephen J. Adler. Women’s Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present. New York: Dial Press, 2005, 455-57

Mrs. Samuel Friedman to David Bressler, September 15, 1912

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