“They should have their passports stamped right away.” That’s what Cato Institute co-founder Ed Crane once remarked about Cuban refugees who had navigated shark-infested waters to get to the U.S. His thinking was that people who had risked so much for freedom had shown that they were American, through and through. Confirm their citizenship right away, along with the citizenship of others making the ultimate sacrifice to be American.
Crane would likely enjoy the story of Roman Kaplan. Kaplan recently died, but did so as an American. And was he ever an American.
This most enterprising of individuals grew up in Leningrad, and according to his obituary written by David Margolick in the New York Times, Kaplan nearly starved during the city’s wartime siege. Frostbite during the war took some of his toes for good.
Kaplan was a teacher who knew…