carrying a passport which would
expire in six months' time. She never
intended to return to Germany.
After a 13-day passage, she reached
New York. As she disembarked, a
customs official, checking her
passport, asked how long she
intended to stay in the U.S.
"I don't know why I did, but I
made the mistake of saying 'a year,' "
recalls Frank, now 72.
She was whisked off the ship, told
to climb aboard a small boat,,
dispatched to Ellis Island. She was
not informed, she says, until she
reached the Island that she would be
was so very naive, - she says. "I
didn't even know what Ellis Island
Unfortunately, it was a Friday night
and. when she reached the Island,
customs offices had already closed
for the weekend.
"When I got to the Island, they
just showed me where I would sleep,
and where I would eat. I slept in one
of those huge rooms.
"I don't think I saw more than 20
people while I was there. Some that I
talked to — most seemed to be such
simple people — told me they had
been there for weeks. None seemed
to [feel that they had] much chance
of staying here. I remember
especially a young Frenchman — I
can't remember exactly what his'
problem was — he seemed so
She was released from the Island
the following 'Monday around noon-
time after a cousin in New York had
posted a $500 bond and she had
promised U.S. officials she would not
stay past the expiration of her
But true to her original intentions,
she never returned to Germany and
eventually became an American
Frank is recently widowed and
lives in Southfield. Most of her life in
the United States has been spent in
the Detroit area. She came here
shortly after leaving Ellis Island.
It had been pre-arranged that she
would stay in Detroit with Dr. and
Mrs. George Waldbott, who had
already helped several immigrants.
Dr. Waldbott was the son of Mrs.
Frank's cheder teacher in Germany.
In Detroit, Frank met her frpture
husband, Jack, who was also a
German immigrant. And here, her
two sons, Dennis and Allen, were
During the two long days she spent
on Ellis Island, Frank remembers
sitting, reading, and sleeping a lot to
pass the time.
"I don't remember Ellis Island as
an especially grim place," she says.
"It's just that it felt so deserted."
Towering over Paris in
1884, left, the Statue awaits
disassembly for the voyage
to America. To raise money
for its completion, Parisians
could pay to climb the
Statue's head, below,
displayed in a Paris park.
The Statue's sculptor, Frederick Bartholdi,
second from right above, supervising her
construction. The Statue's 17 foot, 3 foot
face, right, awaits assembly on Bedloe's
Island in 1885.