Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "Immigrants"
27 total

Ernest Biebel interview, 07 November 2019

Ernest Biebel was born in 1941 in Uivar, Romania, and immigrated to the United States in 1955 to pursue a new life after World War II. In this interview, Biebel discusses his childhood experiences in Europe, his family's move to the U.S., and his life as a native German speaker.

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John Grabowski interview, 23 July 2008

Dr. John Grabowski answers a series of questions concerning the history of Cleveland's entertainment districts and cultural centers. Grabowski highlights the transformation of Euclid Avenue from a wealthy residential street to an entertainment district. Grabowski illuminates the diversity of Cleveland by providing brief historical sketches of various institutions that were located on Euclid Avenue.

Sharron DeCosle interview, 09 June 2007

Sharron DeCosle grew up in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. She shares her experiences there and describes the neighborhood, as well as some of her experiences in the Parkview and Edgewater neighborhoods. She identifies the decline of the neighborhood but also suggests there has been a recent revitalization effort. DeCosle recalls the different ethnic groups that lived in the neighborhood including, German, Irish, Romanian, and later Puerto Rican and other Latino immigrants. As an adult,…

Janet Thomas interview, 27 March 2007

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 fully recovered financially from the Depression, therefore the family's leisure activities included going to church and visiting nearby parks like…

Mary Ann Early interview, 2006

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, theatres, the YWCA, and riding the streetcars. In addition, Early lists the places she worked including the Terminal Tower, the Department of Veteran's…

Abdullah Mina interview, 07 June 2016

Abdullah (Abby) Mina, is a radio host for the Arabic program on Cleveland State University's WCSB 89.3. He has served as the past president of C.A.M.E.O. (Cleveland American Middle East Organization) for twelve years. Abby immigrated to America in 1956 to Richmond, VA and later migrated to Cleveland, OH after marriage to his wife, Mona. He proudly devoted his life in America helping to assimilate and assist Arab immigrants into American society.

James Craciun interview, 09 June 2007

In this 2007 interview, James Craciun, an owner of Craciun funeral home, talks about his family's involvement in the Romanian and Italian communities of Detroit-Shoreway. Craciun's Romanian and Italian immigrant grandfathers settled in Detroit-Shoreway at the beginning of the twentieth century. His Italian grandfather owned an Italian Import store in the neighborhood at the corner of W. 65th and Herman. Craciun's father started the family funeral business on Detroit Avenue across the street…

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Beverly McClintok interview, 09 June 2007

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 1953-1963, and remembers the tornado of 1953 which killed 5 people on W. 28th St. Since 1963, she has lived on Madison. She talks about changes in the…

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Margaret Hostelley interview, 10 August 2006

Margaret Hostelley shares her memories growing up in Cleveland, including trips to the West Side Market and other near west side businesses, family ties to Saint Wendelin Parish, visits downtown and to Euclid Beach Park, and changes in the Ohio City and West Park neighborhoods.

Silvija Rutenbergs Interview, 30 November 2009

Silvija Rutenbergs, the delegate for the Latvian Cultural Garden discusses her role as delegate, the importance placed on Latvia being represented in the gardens, and the significance of statues and symbols throughout the Latvian Cultural Garden. She also discusses how the gardens laid dormant for twenty years without any further development prior to the recent flurry of construction.

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Roman Zorska Interview, 30 November 2009

Roman Zorska, a delegate of the Lithuainain Cultural Garden, reflects on his life and discusses the history of the Lithuanian Cultural Garden. An immigrant from Lithuania, Mr. Zorska came to Cleveland in December of 1949 as a young boy. He discusses where he went to school, where he lived, and his life in Cleveland growing up. He also discusses the areas Lithuanian's lived within Cleveland, the changing demographics within city limits, and Lithuanian history and culture. The bulk of the…

Paul Burik Interview, 20 February 2009

Paul Burik, the delegate of the Czech Cultural Garden and President of the Cultural Gardens Federation, discusses his role as both delegate and President of Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. Voted in by his peers as President of Federation, Mr. Burik, a professionally trained architect, also discusses the history of both the Czech Cultural Garden and the Cultural Gardens as a whole. Other topics include Federation requirements regarding proposed gardens, funding, tourism, and plans for the future.

Mary Hamlin Interview, 20 February 2009

Mary Hamlin, retired teacher and volunteer with the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation, relates the history of the British Garden, originally called the Shakespeare Garden. Topics include the layout of the garden, famous visitors, sponsorship by the Daughters of the British Empire, and significance of the poets and artists represented in the garden. Hamlin provides an oral tour of the garden, and mentions plans for future additions to the garden, and relates some of the problems involved in…

Lel Somogyi Interview, 20 February 2009

Lel Somogyi of the Hungarian Cultural Garden discusses the garden's history and his involvment with the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation. Somogyi describes the garden's development within the historical context of Cleveland's Hungarian community, as well as within the context of American history and culture, and global political events. Somogyi's father was a member of the Hungarian Parliament prior to World War II, and came to the United States as a political refugee as the war heightened.…

Phyllis M. Glaeser, 11 March 2005

Phyllis M. Glaeser, President of the Federation of German American Society of Greater Cleveland, discusses Cleveland's Cultural Garden. She discusses her role as President of the Federation of German American Society of Greater Cleveland and as a delegate of the German Cultural Garden. Ms. Glaeser recollects on her family history, growing up in Cleveland and the different activities the German community of Cleveland is pursuing. Other topics include vandalism, the growth of the gardens as a…

Georgia Pappas Interview, 6 October 2002

In this short interview, Georgia Pappas, a first generation Greek immigrant, discusses her early memories of Cleveland. She recalls going to the West Side Market, visiting department stores, and shopping at boutiques on East 6th Street. She never knew of Cleveland's Cultural Gardens until 1996. Ms. Pappas discusses her first visit, why she was there, and who she was with. The interview ends with a discussion about her love for both Greece and the United States.

Gerald Quinn Interview, 20 April 2005

Gerald Quinn, a first generation immigrant from Ireland, came to the United States in 1961. Coming to Cleveland in the early 1960s, Mr. Quinn recalls downtown Cleveland teeming with people, traffic, and department stores. He discusses events within the Cleveland Cultural Gardens throughout his time in Cleveland, maintance of the Irish Cultural Garden, the relevence of the gardens, and funding. Other topics include Irish Clubs, marching in Cleveland's St. Patricks Day Parade, and getting involved…

George Dobriah Interview, 3 April 2005

In this interview, Dr. George Dobriah discusses the Romanian community of Cleveland and their relationship with the Romanian Cultural Garden. He reflects on how and why the garden started, the bust of George Enescu, and the participation of the local Romanian community in regards to the garden. Other topics include his church community, family history, Romanian culture, and the Romanian Art Museum.

Elizabeth Szabolcs Interview, 31 March 2005

Elizabeth Szabolcs, a first generation immigrant from Hungary, discusses her life in Hungary and the United States. Ms. Szabolcs discusses her experience during World War I and World War II, her family history, coming the United States, and living in Cleveland.

Bill Jirousek Interview, 2002

Bill Jirousek, a representative of the Rusin Cultural Garden, discusses how an ethnic group establishes a new garden, the steps in the application process, and the stages of garden formation. He also discusses a new sense of professionalism and organization in the Cultural Garden Federation as it pertains to the Design and Preservation Committee.

Erika Puussaar and Rita Tubalkain, 24 October 2002

Erika Puussaar and Rita Tubalkain reflect on their time working in the Estonian Cultural Garden. Both coming to the United States in the early 1950s, Ms. Puussaar and Ms. Tubalkain discuss their memories of Estonia. They describe what it was like to be an immigrant coming to the United States, early jobs taken, and surviving an unfamiliar landscape. Ms. Puussaar and Ms. Tubalkain also discuss their involvement in Cleveland's Cultural Gardens, problems with funding, statuaries in the Estonian…

Hedvika Sfiligoj Interview, 29 March 2005

Hedvika Sfiligoj, a Slovenian immigrant who came to Cleveland in 1952, discusses her life throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Ms. Sfiligoj discusses where she worked and shopped, who she befriended and met, and where she sent her children to school. Other topics include Euclid Avenue, how Cleveland has changed, coming to the United States, and living in Slovenia as a child. She describes her early memories of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, vandalism within the gardens,…

John A. Krewisky Interview, 5 April 2005

John A. Krewisky, caretaker of the Rusin Cultural Garden, discusses the history of the garden. He discusses his family and what it was like for them to be immigrants, Rusin culture, and Rusin customs. Other topics include safety, neighborhood perception, and leaving as caretaker.

Matt Ghaffari Interview, 28 August 2014

Matt Ghaffari was a Greco-Roman wrestler for the United States national team. He was an alternate on for the Los Angeles and Seoul Games and competed for the US at the Barcelona and Atlanta games, winning the silver medal at the 1996 games in Atlanta. Born in Tehran, Iran, Ghaffari immigrated to the US with his family in 1976. Ghaffari earned an Associates degree from Fairleigh-Dickinson College before transferring to Cleveland State on scholarship to fill the wrestling team's void at the…

Monte Ahuja, Interview, 04 August 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Comemmoration effort. Monte Ahuja, currently the CEO of Mura Holdings and founder of the Transtar automotive distribution company, was born in India and emigrated to the United States in 1968 after recieving a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. He emigrated in order to pursue a masters degree in mechanical engineering at The Ohio State University. After he completed his degree at OSU he entered the PhD…

Andrew Gross Interview, 24 June 2014

Dr. Andrew Gross, a longtime member of the faculty at Cleveland State University (CSU), describes his various experiences and achievements in his academic career. He touches on growing up in Hungary and surviving World War II along with five years of Soviet occupation. He then describes his education. Gross attended McGill University and Case Institute of Technology as an undergraduate, went on to Western Reserve University to get his MBA, and finally received his PhD from Ohio State University.…