The Dark Side of Immigration

A friend, Ken Hamilton, inquired about the dark side of immigration. Here is a hint to be expanded later: there are gradations of difference from the worst form of immigration, that being slavery, to various reasons to be able to choose freely; however, even if there is free choice, we carry a dark side of reflection, knowing that we are personally and, as a family, permanently altered and in most cases never able to return home in any real sense.I can illustrate that in my own family.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the LInds in Russia lived in a medieval, agrarian type village in a patriarchal, communal household where privacy and individualism did not exist. Within a very short time by 1915, they were living “on the little house on the Kansas prairie” where they probably could not see a neighbor for long periods. And the LInds and others, the so-called Volga (Low) Germans, who did not leave Russia were by Stalin’s pogrom of Russification or ethnic cleansing, deprived of property and farming; mature males killed and the remaining population displaced, apparently to Siberia. The two realities radically altered my family’s historic culture and identity. . .  What happened to us later is for another time. . .

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