Adios, Mexico. Hello, Chicago.

Willy tried to find his way in Mexico, but the oil fields shut down, there was a revolution and the country was in turmoil. In the five years since he left home, he had malaria, lost everything and had his life threatened. Finally he made his way from basic survival in the tropics of Brazil and Mexico to the USA.

Photo of Chicago Skyline

On February 5, 1928 he wrote:

Dear Parents and Siblings,

Finally, I have time to send you a sign of life, but I have moved again to Chicago, Illinois in the United States. I am thinking, it is time to quit my rambling, for now I have traveled from the south to the north. I know enough of land and people, and it seems to me that here it is really the best. Life here is much like it is in Germany. There are a great many huge, tall buildings, elevated railways, factories, and scads of cars. In every state, there is something new and yet always the same. I am now working at an engineering works as a machine fitter at Chicago Rivet and Machine Company. A majority of the workers there are German. Most came here from Germany and have not been through as much as I have. Here I saw the first snow and ice I had seen in five years and it feels very cold to me.

When I come back to Germany I will find a German girl to marry. At 28 years old it’s high time I took a wife, but thinking about being a father sends cold shivers down my spine. The bachelors life has been a fine thing since you aren’t accountable to anyone and you travel around the world. When I come back to see you I will tell you all my adventures. It wasn’t easy but at least I saw something of the world.

Photo of Willy Geheb


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I Have Moved to Chicago!
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