From Poland to Pullman:  One Mans Journey

Pullman's kids, these are the grandsons of the Polish Immigrants

By Lorri Timbs
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Anyone wishing to leave Poland was required to obtain written permission in the form of exit papers.   As with many Polish people, Jacob Dyrek had a dream of immigration to the United States. 

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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.


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