On Christmas Eve 1910, my grandfather, Josef Gärtz, set off on what would become a harrowing journey toward America. His burning dream of a far-off land and the fiery drive he needed to get there, turned out to be the best Christmas gift he ever could have imagined for his future bride and their children and grandchildren. It was a gift that would keep on giving for decades to come.
Josef Gärtz, 1909 or 1910, age 20 or 21 I’d always known my grandfather was often impatient, and apparently was so as a young man. I learned from my cousin’s family (also from Neppendorf, the same Transylvanian town [...]