Madeleine Albright came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1948 when she was eleven years old. She rose to become the first female U.S. Secretary of State. We met at a dinner in Washington D.C. where she received the Walk of Courage award.
“This is the kind of country where a refugee can become Secretary of State.”
– Madeline Albright
Madam Secretary told me she worshipped at an Episcopal Church in West Virginia served by an ELCA pastor. We discussed the early Czech reformer Jan Hus.
Madeleine Albright’s family were refugee’s twice. First, they fled Czechoslovakia when the Nazis invaded. They spent WWII in England. After the war they returned as most refugees do. Then, with the Communist takeover they became refugees again, taking a ship and sailing to America.
They immediately felt welcome. Secretary Albright said, “In Europe, people would say, ‘We’re so sorry your country has been taken over by a terrible dictator. You’re welcome here. What can we do to help you? And when are you going home?'” In the U.S. they said, “‘We’re so sorry your country has been taken over by a terrible dictator. You’re welcome here. When will you become a citizen?'”