Monthly Archives: September 2013

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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It Wasn’t All Bad in Leningrad

Going to school in Leningrad was not as bad as Dad and his siblings had anticipated. There were many other American families like his who had immigrated to the Soviet Union, so they all made friends easily.   They were not … Continue reading

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Communal Living- What a Surprise!

The home Dad’s family moved into in Leningrad must have been a shock to the family.   It was nothing like their house in Rockaway, which was a palace in comparison.  In their New Jersey home, they had several bedrooms, a … Continue reading

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He Was Always Bumping into History

As I discussed in a previous post, “The Marriage between History and Genealogy”, our ancestors stories may become enhanced and understood by studying the history of the era in which they lived. I found this particularly helpful in learning about … Continue reading

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A Book with Some Answers

Before discovering the book written by Tim Tzouliadis, “The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia”, I had no idea the scope of emigration from the United States to the Soviet Union during the Great Depression.  I knew Dad’s family … Continue reading

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