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George Teodorovici and his family escaped persecution for his religious and anticommunist beliefs.
They came to America, specifically to Salisbury nearly 30 years ago to build a new life in freedom.
And on Saturday George was at the Literary Bookpost in downtown Salisbury signing copies of the book he's written about his entire experience.
Even with an accent, it's hard to find someone who can more clearly articulate the American Dream.
"Everybody, basically, when they came to America they came with dreams, their faith, and determination, and I believe that's how this nation took shape," Teodorovici told WBTV.
"Journey to Freedom" is George's journal that he's now sharing with the world. His family lived a comfortable life in Romania until the dictator Nicolai Ceausescu took power and installed an oppressive communist regime. George's family was persecuted for rejecting the state sponsored orthodox church.
"We just had to put our faith in the Lord," Teodorovici told WBTV.
Officials with the Romanian Communist party bribed the family first if they would renounce their faith and stay in Romania. When that didn't work, it was followed by persecution. Teodorovici and his siblings were put in the national service and work camps.
Even the youngest family members were interrogated. Teodorovici's father knew his family needed to leave, but the love of their family homeland was strong.
"Everybody was tied to the homeland no matter how it was we held it was the last thing, but when he talked to the American ambassador in Bucharest and he said 'sir if you don't get out they will kill you'," Teodorovici added.
Visas were eventually granted and in 1985 the family came to Salisbury as part of a church sponsored program to help Christians escape Romanian persecution.
"They didn't understand why such simple people had so much determination, faith in something they didn't believe exists, they were just dumbfounded," said Teodorovici. "After seven years they finally just said that's it, we can't deal with these people."