Monthly Archives: September 2013

Dad’s Letters at the National Archives

How could I not travel to the National Archives after being informed that “there were too many documents regarding my family’s years spent living in the Soviet Union for them to copy and send to me?”  If only my father … Continue reading

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The Ultimatum

The years passed.  My aunts, Nancy and Helen, finished high school and went to work near their apartment in Leningrad.  Nancy worked in a library, and Helen was a tester in a telephone factory. Dad’s family continued their lives personally … Continue reading

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Trapped

After the assassination of Sergei Kirov, life throughout the Soviet Union changed. Stalin used that act as an excuse to rid the Communist Party of anyone perceived to be a threat to his rule. The punishment was imprisonment or death. … Continue reading

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The Road to the National Archives

Little did I realize when I stumbled upon the book, “The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia” by Tim Tzouliadis, that the discovery of that book would result in a trip to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland … Continue reading

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Staying Under the Radar

 My grandfather had a conversation with my father just before Dad left to return to the United States in 1941.  My grandfather told Dad “never belong to any political organizations. If I was a Communist when Kirov was shot, I … Continue reading

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Aftermath of an Assassination- and Dad

In reviewing the video made by my brother in 1995 in which Dad discussed his memories growing up in the Soviet Union, I honed in on my father’s memories of the story about cranking the gramophone for the “Communist Big … Continue reading

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Dad, the Gramophone, and the Assassin

One day, in early November 1934, my grandfather was approached by a neighbor, who my dad referred to as a “Communist Big shot,” asking for permission to borrow his treasured gramophone.  Apparently, Mr. Big Shot was having some friends over … Continue reading

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Rocking in Rockaway, New Jersey

Dad spent the first eleven years of his life in Rockaway, NJ, which was a sleepy little town about forty miles west of New York City. It covered an area slightly over two square miles and was inhabited by under … Continue reading

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Where are Your Papers?

I often wonder at what point my grandfather realized he made a huge mistake in uprooting his family and moving to the Soviet Union.  My father had revealed a conversation he had with him around 1939, in which my grandfather … Continue reading

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Purchasing a Treasure

Dad’s family was one of the lucky families in Leningrad since they possessed “hard currency” (foreign currency), which allowed them to shop at some of the state-run stores, known as Torgsin, where they could buy food and luxuries in exchange … Continue reading

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