Realization of My Dream
FOR THIRTEEN YEARS I HAD NO thought of ever returning to Tsarist Russia. But overnight the Revolution changed my mind. From the day in February 1917 when the first news came, I yearned continually to see again the land of my birth and early childhood.
The opportunity came in 1922 when Herbert Hoover's American Relief Administration was fighting famine in the drought-stricken Ukraine. Louis Strauss, then Hoover's secretary, made it possible for me to go to Russia and help in the distribution of food and medicine.
Towards the end of July 1922, I boarded a U.S. destroyer bound East from the Dardanelles. At dawn on the second day out we came within sight of Odessa. The fading stars still lingered on the Western horizon, but in the East the sky was already aglow with the coming sun. I stood on the bridge with the officers in command, gazing at scenes that stirred poignant memories of childhood: the majestic seashore with its flowery promenades, the boulevards with their palatial homes, the magnificent parks and squares, the blue- and gold-domed churches, and in the center the sumptuous municipal theater--a replica of the Grand Opera in Paris. From a distance nothing seemed changed. But as the ship nosed its way into the inner harbor, we