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“It wasn’t difficult to find a connection” – student texts

ZISCHUP-INTERVIEW with Claus Rütschlin, who emigrated to the USA in the 1950s.

Claus Rütschlin, a relative of Zischup reporter Sarah Rütschlin from class WAG-9 at Walter-Eucken-Gymnasium in Freiburg, has lived in America since 1958. Today he is 90 years old. Sarah Rütschlin asked him about his emigration to America.

Zischup: Why did you emigrate back then?
Claus Rütschlin: I wanted to see something new. In the beginning it was only planned that I would go to America for a few years.
Zischup: How did you find a job there?
Rütschlin: I lived with relatives who then drove with me to many companies. A company then hired me.
Zischup: What did you work as?
Rütschlin: I was a toolmaker at the time.
Zischup: As a German, is it easy to find a job in the USA?
Rütschlin: Yes, simply because the German or European Abitur is considered higher than the regular American school leaving certificate.
Zischup: Do you get paid better for your job in America than in Germany, and do you get a lot of vacation as an employee?
Rütschlin: I would say that you deserve more here. When I started working here, I had very few vacation days. That means a week or two a year. Then everything improved later.
Zischup: How do you get health care in old age?
Rütschlin: We have first class doctors. With the doctors and the insurance, everything is fine and organized.
Zischup: Do you often miss your family and Germany?

Rütschlin: Oh yes, you clearly miss your home. But I was lucky and was able to visit my family in Germany very often. It’s a big change.

Zischup: Was it difficult to adapt to America and to catch up with the people there?
Rütschlin: No. It wasn’t very difficult to get in touch either, as for the first few years we lived in a city where many were German or of German descent. There were also many Germans in my company.
Zischup: Have you ever seen celebrities?
Rütschlin: No, I’ve only met business people.
Zischup: Would you move back to Germany for a million euros?
Rütschlin: No, the change would be too big for me. I was very happy to come to Germany or Austria as a vacationer, but the system and politics in your country are a big change for our standards.

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