Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "immigration"
47 total

This interview describes the lives of these 2 sisters, Barbara Hermes and Erika Wagner from their time spent in Niedersachsen, Germany at end of World War Two, in 1945, to when they both immigrated to the United States in 1954. Their saga continues with a transatlantic journey, travels across the American midwest, to Cleveland, Ohio, where they…

James Chin, an immigration lawyer, describes growing up in the Shaker Heights community. He discusses his family's businesses, living in the back of his mother's laundromat, and his involvement with the community as an immigration lawyer.

Ernest Biebel was born on October 12th, 1941, in Uivar, Romania, and migrated to the United States in 1955 to pursue a new life after World War II and the aftermath. In this 2019 interview, Biebel discusses the experiences of his childhood in Europe, his family's move to the United States, and his life in the United States as a native German…

Ruth Rubio-Pino is a Mexican-American and long-time activist. She has worked closely with Club Azteca and provides a detailed history of the formation and evolution of this Cleveland Mexican-American landmark. She discusses the plight of Mexican migrant workers and urban dwelling Mexican immigrants. She remarks on how the heightened consciousness…

Lena Aburaad is a Palestinian and works as an Arabic instructor at CSU. She graduated from CSU with a B.A. in Speech and Hearing and a Master in Education. She was born in Amman and grew up in the UAE. She has 2 girls and 2 boys. She came with her family to Cleveland in 1992 as a result of the First Gulf War. They chose Cleveland because her…

Donna Ciborowski was born to a Polish immigrant family. The family took up residence in the Warszawa neighborhood in South Broadway, where Ciborowski subsequently spent her childhood. She discusses the importance of the church in the community, specifically St. Stanislaus. She also discusses numerous Polish traditions that the community continues…

Rita Golubski grew up in a Polish immigrant family. After immigrating to the United States, the family lived in several Polish neighborhoods around the Cleveland area and eventually settled in Warszawa, a Polish enclave near South Broadway. Golubski describes the social environment of Warszawa and the Polish community that called it home. Golubski…

Gladys Martinez, originally from Guatemala, describes how she made a life for herself in Cleveland after arriving in the United States when she was only ten. Martinez took advantage of the educational opportunities that the United States offered. Her traditional cultural and family values kept her focused on the future and her personal betterment.…

Janet Thomas was born to Italian immigrant parents and lived in the Gordon Square neighborhood. She describes the neighborhood's bakeries, theatres, drug stores, and ethnic shops. Thomas mentions how the Depression impoverished her family, but notes that the Depression brought the different ethnicities of the community together. Her family never…

Mary Ann Early was born in 1923 to Italian immigrant parents. Her father relocated to Cleveland for work. She describes growing up on Herman Avenue near Detroit Avenue and going to West High School. The neighborhood was predominately Italian, Irish, and Romanian at the time. She shares her remembrances of downtown Cleveland including shopping,…

Marilyn Anthony was born in Cleveland and describes growing up in Ohio City. She remembers the various European enclaves that were present in the area, specifically mentioning Hungarians and Gypsies. She shares her experiences of walking to the West Side Market, bakeries, butchers, and other local shops. Anthony also mentions her relationship to…

Rose Agnes Bastian was born in Cleveland in 1926. She grew up on Cory Avenue off of East 79th Street and later settled in Brook Park. She describes her neighborhood surroundings, going to St. Agnes Parish School, traveling around downtown on the streetcar and explains how the Depression and wars have affected her family. Bastian vividly describes…

Sayyid Sadiq was born in northern Lebanon in the area of Batron where family worked in agriculture. He has three brothers and one sister. He owns a gas station in Berea. His grandfather was a brick layer in Cleveland. He came first to the US (Mississippi) in 1977 because of the Civil War in Lebanon. After graduation from the University of…

Eugenia Vainberg, originally from Kiev, Ukraine, arrived in Cleveland as a Russian Jewish refugee in 1977. She starts by explaining the persecution she and other Jews had to face while living in communist Russia. For Vainberg, mathematical and scientific achievements were the common threads that wove throughout her life. Once she arrived in…

Abdullah Almualem is the director of AACCESS-Ohio, an organization that at one time in Cleveland was thriving and helping Arab immigrants settle into the area. The organization is located on Cleveland's west side, near West 117th and Lorain Ave., an area designated by the city of Cleveland as 'Little Arabia'. Abdullah explains why he immigrated…

Frank Murphy describes changes in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.

In this 2007 interview, Mary Jo Mazzarella, a resident of the Detroit Shoreway area of Cleveland and owner/manager of American Limousine Service, talks about her history with the Detroit Shoreway area of Cleveland. Mazzarella spent her early years in the 1960s living on West 112th Street, but remembers visiting her Italian grandparents who lived…

In this 2007 interview, 74-year old Beverly McClintok, who was born in Bedford, Ohio, talks about her experiences living in Cleveland. She recalls memories of Euclid Avenue and Municipal Stadium in the 1940s. She talks about her work at Peoples Hope Church at W.65th and Bridge, where she was married in 1952. She lived in Ohio City from…

Juanita Ortiz shares stories of living on the west side of Cleveland after moving to the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood from Puerto Rico in 1960.

Longtime resident, Lynn Kupsa, describes changes in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.

In this 2005 interview, Matt Zone, Councilman for Ward 17 of the City of Cleveland, discusses his family's history on the west side of Cleveland and his political career. Zone is a third generation Italian-American. His grandparents came to the Detroit-Shoreway area of Cleveland shortly after WWI ended. His father and mother grew up on West 65th…

In this 2005 interview, Raymond Pianka, Judge of the City of Cleveland Housing Court, discusses the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. He first discusses the historical ethnicity of the neighborhood, including the immigration of Irish, and then later Italians and Romanians, into the area. He also discusses his own Polish heritage, and talks about his…

Jeff tells about his family immigrating from Italy in 1890 and settling into an ethnic neighborhood. Later moved into what is now called the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Jeff talks about the different places he lived as a child including the Lakeview Terrace public housing. He moved to Detroit Shoreway after coming home from college. He likes the…

Ursula Korniechouk, a native of Germany, describes her life in Germany and the experiences she had in Cleveland. Growing up during World War Two had a tremendous affect on Korniechouk. Her father was outspoken against the Hitler regime, and her mother was concerned that he would be apprehended by the authorities. She came to Cleveland because of…

Paul Goldman was the son of immigrants and a Cleveland native. He discusses his life's experiences with regards to World War II, the Great Depression, and growing up in an ethnic neighborhood. He begins by describing that neighborhood and the schools that were available to the kids. He moves into a discussion about his experiences during World War…

Ivan L. Otto, an immigrant to Cleveland, recalls traveling from Hungary as a refugee after World War Two. He describes the schools he went to throughout his life, and how he befriended an African American in the sixth grade who taught him English. According to Otto, they were two outsiders who stuck together. He mentions the different areas and…

Takhar Kasumov discusses the Azerbaijani Cultural Garden and the development of a small Azeri community in Cleveland. Born in Azerbaijan, Kasumov, a ten year Cleveland resident, explains the impetus behind the creation of the garden and the significance of the hearth that serves as its focal point. He also talks about the nature of Azeri community…

In this 2009 interview, Raj Pillai discusses the recent improvements made to the Indian Cultural Garden. After a nearly 20 year delay, Pillai and other members of the Indian Community worked together to renovate the nearly empty garden, breaking ground in 2005. Pillai discusses the significance of some of the gardens features, including the steps…

Olli Patrikainen, a delegate of the Finnish Cultural Garden, discusses the history and role of the Finnish community in Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. A native of Finland, Mr. Patrikainen came to Cleveland in the early 1990s with his American wife. The interview focuses on such topics as vandalism, immigration, the current Finnish community, the…

Andrew Chakalis, a native Clevelander, is an artist, President of the Hellenic Preservation Society of Northeast Ohio, and the Greek Garden delegate in the Cultural Gardens Federation. In this 2009 interview, Chakalis describes how he and others went about renovating the Greek Cultural Garden in the mid-1990s, describing the cultural and historical…

Bill Leshinetsky, a representative of the Ukrainian Cultural Garden, discusses the continued presence of Ukrainians throughout the Cleveland area. An immigrant from western Ukraine, Mr. Leshinetsky came to the United States in 1950. He discusses his life prior to coming to the United States, what would have happened if he had stayed in Ukraine, and…

Paul Burik, the delegate of the Czech Cultural Garden, discusses his role in Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. He discusses statuaries within the Czech garden, the history of the Czech Republic, Czech neighborhoods in Cleveland, and his experiences growing up in Cleveland. Other topics include events within the gardens, promotion of the gardens, and…

Jim Cull, delegate of the Finnish Cultural Garden, discusses his role in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Mr. Cull is chair of a development committee responsible for trying to find ways to increase funding and membership for the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. As delegate to the Finnish Cultural Garden, Mr. Cull discusses statues within the garden,…

Maria Minko, a first generation Ukrainian immigrant, recollects on her life in Ukraine and the United States. There is a detailed conversation regarding life in Ukraine during World War II. Other topics include World War II, family history, coming to the United States, and establishing a life in Cleveland.

Mila Hyunar, a representative of the Czech Cultural Garden, discusses the history, culture, and importance of the Czech community within Cleveland. As of 2005, her husband has been involved with the Czech Cultural Garden for over twenty years. Ms. Hyunar discusses Czech culture and history, generational differences within the Czech community of…

Frank Leonardi, a stone cutter and immigrant from Italy, recollects on his life in Cleveland Mr. Leonardi came to the United States when he was thirteen and his family settled on the east side of Cleveland in the ethnic enclave known as Little Italy. Mr. Leonardi became a stone cutter and graduated from the eighth grade at the age of fifteen. He…

An interview with three members of the Hellenic Preservation Society, a society devoted to the restoration and preservation of Greek Culture in North East Ohio. Being delegates of the Greek Cultural Garden as well, they discuss who and what is represented inside the garden's boundaries. They wish for the gardens to become nationally recognized, and…

Paul Mueller is a successful businessman and a Cleveland native. Both of his parents are immigrants. His mother was a house maid for the Halle brothers and his father was a shepherd in Germany and along with being drafted into Kaiser Wilhelm's army for World War I. His parents met in America and had a candy store for a brief stint in the…

Bill Mitchell, owner of Mitchell's Fine Chocolates, discusses growing up in Cleveland Heights and running his father's business. He says that he has many fond memories of growing up in the Coventry neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. He recalls several of the businesses that used to be there and several businesses that are still there. He then moves…

Sam Awad discusses his life here in Cleveland after moving here from Egypt as a teenager. He discusses his work history and how he purchased several businesses in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood. Among his concerns for the future of the area are a need for more police, a desire to see more home owners in the area, and a return to hard working…

Carl Robson discusses his experiences as a doctor in Cleveland and elsewhere as well as his deep interest in Ethiopian culture and people. He has lived and worked in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood for several decades. Additionally, he discusses his philanthropic endeavors such as providing housing, jobs, and educations for numerous Ethiopians…

In this 2005 interview, Joe Valencic, a second generation Slovenian-American active in a number of local Slovenian-American organizations, talks about Cleveland's Slovenian community. He talks about his father's immigration to the United States and to Cleveland, and the pattern of Slovenian-American settlements in Cleveland. Valencic also discusses…

In this 2005 interview, Matt Zone, Councilman for Ward 17 of the City of Cleveland, discusses his family's history on the west side of Cleveland and his political career. Zone is a third generation Italian-American. His grandparents came to the Detroit-Shoreway area of Cleveland shortly after WWI ended. His father and mother grew up on West 65th…

In this 2005 interview, Margaret Glinski, manager and co-owner of Frank Sterle’s Slovenian Countryhouse, discusses her memories of this famous Cleveland landmark. Ms. Glinski is an immigrant from Germany, who came to Cleveland and who initially worked at the Hofsbrau House across East 55th Street from Sterle’s. She worked 16years at the Hofsbrau…

In this 2005 interview, Ben Stefanski, son of the legendary Polish immigrant founder of Third Federal Savings and Loan Association, discusses his experiences as the Director of Public Utilities for the City of Cleveland form 1968-1971. Stefanski, a lawyer, was brought into the Stokes administration not only for his talent and experience, but also…

This is an interview with Rob Jagelewski, parish historian and member at St. Stanislaus Church in Slavic Village. Jagelewski's parents and grandparents were also members of this Polish community parish.The early part of the interview involves discussion of how St. Stanislaus Church has been the center of Polish culture in Cleveland's Slavic…

An interview with Reverend Doctor Remus Grama about the history of St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, the oldest Romanian Orthodox parish in the United States.