Wanda Maria Urban Guddo
My mom’s story:
We came to the United States in August of 1950 by ship and by no means a luxury liner. Mom said they had horrible sleeping quarters consisting of bunk beds 3 and 4 high. Children and families were sick both from the heat, horrible food, and general conditions. I was 6, Regina was 4, and Lenny was 10. We were originally supposed to go to Australia as the U.S. was only taking families of four. At the D.P. (displaced persons) camp in Germany there were befriended by an Army Chaplain because I had to be baptized. Somehow he, Dan Carey, was able to get his family to sponsor our entrance into the U.S., find my father a job, get us an apartment in Manhattan and the schools. They did a story in the Daily News about our family coming over.
Regina was born in Germany in 1946, Lenny was born in Latvia and I was born in Latvia also. Both my mother and father were from Poland but worked and lived in Latvia. My mother had three sisters and her father died when she was young. They lived on a farm growing many vegetables and preserving meat for the winter. My father had two brothers. Actually, they were half brothers because his father died and his mother remarried. Both his brothers were younger, one named Rosco who also came to the U.S. and the youngest named Leonard who they didn’t find after World War II. He worked for the railroad there. My father’s real father was Russian but later his mother married a Polish man. My mother’s maiden name was Nezbert and she didn’t know where they were after the war or if there were even alive. My father’s parents were taken to the concentration camps during the war, he was able to determine, but never did see them before that.
Before the war my father made and sold picture frames made of metal. We have several old pictures in the family album showing some of the items. Polish eagles which he engraved and other metal objects. My mother worked in a restaurant, sewed our clothes, knit sweaters, and from some of the pictures they seemed to make due.
I miss you so much! Love you forever!