Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
- Emma Lazarus
What has become the symbol of freedom in America, the Statue of Liberty, was built by a Frenchman named Bartholdi who grew up in this house, now a museum, in Colmar.
But it is really the verse, penned by a New York writer and auctioned off to raise money for the statue's base, that actually gave the statue its current meaning. Bartholdi intended for the statue to be a symbol of America's founding principle of freedom, but Lazarus saw so many immigrants passing through Ellis Island that she believed America had become a place where others sought freedom. That meaning is still associated with the statue today.
|Voltaire slept here!|