13. Greek immigrants

Greek Immigration to America Cecile Vergos and Lucy Hargrove

Immigration Act of 1924 limited the numbers of immigrants let into the US, slowing Greek immigration. World War II and the Greek Civil War reduced Greek immigration. The United States passed the Refugee Relief Act, in return for its allies' support. The Refugee Relief Act allowed refugees from countries devastated by World War II to go to America.
The Greek Civil war was a very devastating war for Greek people. The communist party in Greece executed and tortured many Greeks if they had offered aid to German forces. The communist party began to lose foreign supporters in the last 1940s. In 1949, military troops killed 9,000 terrorists on Mount Gramos. Mount Gramos was a communist stronghold during the Civil War. Many family's were torn apart in this situation, usually the father leaving for America. The mother and kids usually followed months after.
The Greek people thought they were going to be tortured or executed so they left Greece. Many people did stay to fight and to support their country, but most wanted to have safety. Americans did not mind the Greek immigrants, because of the low number. Greece was not a major immigration country, so most Americans did not make Greeks coming to America a big deal.Most Greeks were relieved that there was no violence. It was a haven for them, so they were very thankful for the safety.

An Immigrant's Story:

Tasia Anagnos Vergos

Tasia, a 20 year old woman, was a Greek immigrant. The Greek Civil war forced the Anagnostopolus family to break apart. Tasia's father was already in America, to find a place for them to stay. Tasia was to be put through an arranged marriage with Charles Vergos and leave all of her family and friends in Greece. She had never laid eyes on this man, yet she was to marry him? A lot of new things for Tasia to grasp. She did not want to leave, but then the war broke out and Tasia did not want to have to experience those hard times. On the boat ride to America, Tasia and her two sisters, one brother and mother, were scared and anxious. They did not know what to think of the new culture they were about to be exposed to. They could not wait to see their father, for he had settled down in Memphis, Tennessee. Tasia thought it was funny that her last name was shortened to Anagnos, then she remembered that she would no longer have that name. In 1947, Tasia and Charles Vergos were newlyweds. Tasia was pleased in Memphis, with Charlie. She could not have imagined the pain and sorrow in Greece that dwelled there. At times she did get homesick, but she always would think that she and her family would have presumably been executed by communists.

Greek men are in class trying to learn the American language.
Greek boys play by the stream to occupy themselves
Greeks are trying to navigate themselves around America.

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