I don't have a birth certificate.
I cannot prove where I was born. Fact. I was born in a farmhouse in Prek Murje, Yugoslavia and I was delivered by my mother's cousin who was a midwife.
Shortly after my birth, which the local authorities were never informed about, my father and some workers began crossing the border into Austria daily, to do work on some forest that my family owned from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. My mother would take a horse and go across the Yugoslavian-Austrian border to bring my father and the workers lunch, in a large basket.
One night, my mother's cousin prepared a light draught of the juice of the poppy and gave me a teensy amount early in the morning.
Instead of wine, cheese, sausage, bread and potica (a Slovenian yeast bread rolled with either crushed walnuts or poppyseeds) my mother put a drowsy and quiet infant into the lunch basket.
As my mother amicably chatted with the border guards, I quietly slept enveloped in a traditionally embroidered tablecloth nestled in a woven basket.
Traditional embroidery on the sleeve of a Slovenian woman carrying a woven basket and passing-by a typical Slovenian home.
My mother then met my father and the workers on our forested land in Austria. At sundown, the workers crossed the border back into Yugoslavia without them.
My mother and father registered my birth with the Austrian authorities. The authorities said they could not register me as an Austrian. The Austrian authorities issued a certificate that states my name, who my parents are, the date I was born, and where I was born, based on the sworn testimony of my parents.
We were labled 'refugees' and we were assigned to live in the refugee camp, Astin Lager, while awaiting passage to the United States. My mother said we received rations greater than we could consume, so several young men in the camp often came over to chat, play with me, and have something to eat and drink other than the mess they served in the camp.
Everyone in camp was wanting and waiting to go to the United States.
Passage to South America was available immediately. Passage to Australia took a bit of time. Canada and New Zealand were almost as difficult to enter as the USA. Europe and the United Kingdom were suffering from compassion fatigue and didn't want any more refugees.
We waited. My father began to work as a farm-laborer. Then he went to work restoring one of the Hapsburg palaces. Ending up as the foreman for an Austrian entreprenour, who made his cement factory and his fortune with the blood, sweat, and tears of refugee laborers.
I attended the local Waldorf School, pre-school and kindergarten.
A Waldorf world Education
the Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/...
We waited for my mother's cousin in Hollywood to sponsor our passage to the United States. Having an American sponsor who would assume responsibility for a refugee would move a refugee to the top of the list. But there were complications.
So we waited almost 7 years for passage to the United States and to live with my mother's cousin, "Father Hollywood". By the time we gained passage, "Father Hollywood" had changed his mission and began the first Catholic Church in Cumberland, West Virginia. Cumberland was an up-and-coming Appalacian area that was drawing young men and women from the mines and farms, to come and build a bridge across the Ohio River.
It was our turn to go, to America. No sunny California. We were going to Cumberland, West Virginia. We left via Bremen Harbor, in Germany, in a re-fitted American military cargo ship, now carrying a human cargo, a cargo of hope.