An American Love Story

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Emanuel and Gisela Moss were married on October 30, 1957

How does someone find their perfect match? Getting to know my own grandparent’s stories, the formula has to be 50% luck and 50% opportunity. My grandparents were lucky to survive the Holocaust, they were fortunate to be able to emigrate to the United States, and lastly through an extraneous connection they were brought together as lovers for life. Gisela was able to quickly make her way to the US shortly after the war was over in 1946, but Emanuel had to make a long recovery from near death after the concentration camp. His sisters Sarah, Ilona and himself visited their hometown again to see if any other of their family members survived, but no one else came and they could no longer go back to the home they grew up in. They made their way to Germany in 1946, but the emigration process took two years. Ilona and her husband Leon went to the newly formed state of Israel and had two children Jacobi and Rachel (Ruchala). Manny, Sarah, her husband Herman, and their young daughter Margaret boarded a ship to the United States. Gisela remained in New York after she emigrated, but Manny and his sister went to South Bend, Indiana, where two uncles lived. After becoming acclimated to America, Sarah wanted to move back to New York where other family and friends lived. Brooklyn was and still is a large gathering place for Jews. Manny remained in Indiana for three years working in his uncle’s grocery store and also working at another uncle’s blinds business. Yearning to meet a woman and start a family of his own, Manny moved to Brooklyn where his sister Sarah lived. She had a 5-year-old daughter and wanted to help Manny find a wife. This is where a bit of luck, opportunity, and relationships come into play. They had a cousin who had a friend that knew Gisela and her family. He got a hold of her number and gave her house a call. The first time he called, Gisela convinced her mother to tell him she wasn’t home. The second time he called, Gisela unknowingly answered his call and he asked her out on a date. Gisela happened to have been dating another man for three years, but decided to take the chance with my grandfather. The blind date was set and Manny came to her house to pick her up. She was nervous and made him wait while she tried to calm herself down in the bathroom, but finally she came to the door and they went on their way. They first went to the LaGuardia airport. In the 1950s it was still an entertaining spectacle to go to the airport sit at a cafe and watch the planes take off. Next, they went to see a film called “Strategic Air Command” starring Jimmy Stewart. After that they still had time before the end of the night to grab a bite to eat, then Manny brought Gisela home. When her mother asked her how the date went she said, “Mom this is the man I’m going to marry!” Sophie replied, “Are you crazy?” I thought love at first sight was only a myth, but for my grandparents it was true. They were engaged on July 4th and married on October 30, 1957.

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One Comment so far:
  1. by Margaret Yosub says:

    December 3, 2014

    A truly beautiful love story that produced a wonderful family. A great American Dream come true starting in the fires of Germany and continuing in the freedom of the United States.


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