A Historical Perspective

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:48 am

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a controversial decision to require those seeking asylum in this country to first seek it in any country they are passing through on the way to the United States. It has been condemned both within the United States and out. Within the United States, it has been called un-American because it changed long-term policy.

South Dakota has a large population referred to as Germans from Russia. We all enjoy their good food at various well-known celebrations. Originally from Germany, they left because of religious beliefs and went to Russia to what is now Ukraine. At that time, a shortage of farmers made them welcome. After about a hundred years, Russian farmers moved into the area, Empress Catherine the Great tried to institute mandatory military service and the Germans immigrated to central United States.

Many Jewish families left Germany and nearby countries to avoid the wrath of Hitler and the Third Reich. Most left with only a suitcase, if that. Others needed assistance from an underground support group.

After World War II, Russia’s dictator Joseph Stalin effectively annexed the countries of Easter Europe, symbolized over time by the Berlin blockade and, later, the Berlin Wall. To escape was a life-threatening experience.

These three groups have provided America with outstanding leaders in multiple fields. Their cultures have enriched ours.

We all studied this in our history classes. The Statue of Liberty’s history and role was taught, too. And on Sundays, we learned the Golden Rule.

Pretty basic, but those lessons stood the test of time in creating a great nation – a nation with a heart.