MYRA'S TEENAGE YEARS

Guiding Questions:

  • Why did Myra's family choose to remain in Lithuania despite their concerns about Hitler's rise in Germany and what that could mean?

The Melnik family knew early on that the Hitler regime was trouble, perhaps even for the Jews in Eastern Europe. The family discussed political matters openly and given the close relationship between her fathers and uncles, many of those conversations happened as a larger family.

They talked about moving to the United States as early as 1933. They even contacted some family that they had in the U.S., perhaps Myra's grandfather Benjamin or her uncle Moishe who lived in the Bronx. We aren't sure who it was, but one of them told her family that they shouldn't move to America. Life in the U.S. was hard for immigrants. It was a constant struggle of poverty. And Americans were suffering though the Great Depression. Look what they had in Lithuania! The family was wealthy, the brothers owned a factory. Why would they choose poverty in America?