In New York: Ellis Island Revisited

Sophie Wolf, 83, is a small, solid woman with curly white hair. She speaks softly but forcefully in faintly accented English. One day not long ago Sophie visited Ellis Island. The cold weather reminded her of the raw foggy day 57 years ago when she saw Ellis for the first time.

She was Sophie Steurer then, 25 years old, one of eleven children born to a German hatter and his wife. They had lived comfortably in Ebingen, about 40 miles south of Stuttgart. But the inflation and unemployment that ravaged Germany in the 1920s changed all that. By 1923 a loaf...

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