Illustration: Fig 2:
Jeff Dyrek, grandson of Jacob, front left, with other
kids from Pullman. 1958. Alfie in back right
Photo provided by Mildred Dyrek
Anyone wishing to leave Poland was required to obtain written permission
in the form of exit papers.
To ease the process of admission to America, a letter from family or
friends in America, promising care and employment for the new immigrant
was very desirable. Jacob received his request for immigration and
obtained a letter of welcome from his sister in America. (Dyrek).
Packing only pillows, clothes, precious possessions and some food, Jacob
and his family set out for America where they hoped to find a better life.
America, was a land with "Streets of gold," or so the rumor said.
A land of golden opportunities. With the legal paperwork out of the
way and his decision to leave his homeland made Jacob Dyrek, his wife and
one child, begin this long and arduous journey. One family among the two
and one half million immigrants who would pass through the gates of Ellis
Island to begin a new life in America in what would later be called the
greatest migration in history. (Severn)
Jacob and the others left just in time. World War II broke
out in Europe in 1914. The first step of what would be a four week
trip began by rail from a town named Limo Nova, to Warsaw, and then
on to Gdansk, Poland. Once in the port of Gdansk Jacob and his family
waited among thousands of other hopeful immigrants of all nationalities,
German, Bohemians, Slovakians, Croatians and more.