A Boy's Journey

Learn about Seymour Rechtzeit, a Jewish immigrant from Poland who became a famous child star, through his firsthand account of coming to America through Ellis Island.

Seymour Rechtzeit

Relive a Boy's Journey

Seymour Rechtzeit was 8 years old in 1920, when he left his home in Poland and journeyed to America. Why do you think he came, and what happened when he arrived? This is Seymour's story, in his own words.

Seymour's Story

My name is Seymour Rechtzeit and I was born in Lódz, Poland, in 1912. My family is Jewish, and I first began singing in our synagogue. By the time I was 4, I was called a wunderkind, or “wonder child” in English. Soon I was singing in concerts all over Poland.

My family decided that I should come to America, where there would be more opportunities for me. The Great War (which you know as World War I) had just ended, and it was a bad time in Europe. I had an uncle living in America, and he sent two tickets for my father and me to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. The rest of my family stayed in Poland. The plan was that my father and I would earn enough money to eventually bring them to America, too.

In Danzig, a city on the shore of the Baltic Sea now known as Gdansk, we boarded a ship called The Lapland. It was 1920, and I was on my way to America.

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URL: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/relive-boys-journey