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Mary Antin

No, the czar did not want us in the schools.

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The czar always got his dues, no matter if it ruined a family.

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In the evening of the first day my father conducted us to the public baths.

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You went up to be examined with the other Jewish children, your heart heavy about that matter of your nose.

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Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.

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The apex of my civic pride and personal contentment was reached on the bright September morning when I entered the public school.

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On a royal birthday every house must fly a flag, or the owner would be dragged to a police station and be fined twenty-five rubles.

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You heard on all sides that the brightest Jewish children were turned down if the examining officers did not like the turn of their noses.

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If education, culture, the higher life were shining things to be worshiped from afar, he had still a means left whereby he could draw one step nearer to them.

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The czar was always sending us commands - you shall not do this and you shall not do that - till there was very little left that we might do, except pay tribute and die.

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