Kuibyshev at Last

For three weeks after my grandparents and aunts arrived at the Sverdlovsk Station on Christmas Eve 1941, the diary reported nothing of significance. At some point, they must have heard that the capital had been moved from Moscow to Kuibyshev, and they needed to be there. They got on a train headed back west.

Finally, January 16, 1942, they arrived in the city of Kuibyshev having traveled a total of twenty-three hundred long, grueling miles over  a period of five months.  Two of my aunts called at the American Embassy a few days later and told the embassy officials about their odyssey from Novgorod to Kuibyshev. Aunt Helen and Aunt Anna informed the ambassador in residence that their parents were Soviet citizens, and they were the United States citizens who had corresponded with them last year.  They went on to inform him that their brother Peter had left by boat with many of their personal effects and they had not heard from him since they had left in August.  They feared that Pete, Nona, and Waldemar and his sister, Vera, were lost.  They needed to find them and get out of this arctic hellhole immediately.

How did I know the details?  I learned this information on my trip to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland in April 2012.

Memo from American Embassy in Kuibyshev, USSR January 19, 1942

Memo from American Embassy in Kuibyshev, USSR January 19, 1942

About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
This entry was posted in Living in the USSR, The Diary, World War II and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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