Looking to the Embassy for Help

In addition to the diary, Dad’s dresser contained some letters similar to those which I found at the National Archives. After collating the letters from both locations I was able to get a better picture of what happened to them all after they arrived in Kuibyshev.

There were four letters written on January 19, 1942.  The first was where I learned the details of their flight from Novgorod and the fact that the family did not all travel together.

Memo about flight from Novgorod

Memo about flight from Novgorod

The second was a certificate written by the American Embassy in Kuibyshev affirming the citizenship of my three aunts, Nancy (Anastasia), Helen (Elena), and Anna. The document also stated that the embassy would issue the three women passports as soon as they were able to travel back to the United States.  A request was made to the Soviets for aid in finding shelter for them until their time of departure, and it was very clear that my aunts needed to provide the funds for the trip home.

They had been in transit for five months. They all had been working while they were living in Novgorod. How much money could they have had in savings? With all the thousands of Soviet citizens now displaced in the city of Kuibyshev, would the Soviet authorities even care to assist a few Americans? I wondered.

I am including both the English and Russian versions of the certificate in the hopes that anyone reading this blog who is able to read both can confirm the accuracy of the translations.

Certificate affirming American citizenship of Nancy, Helen and Anna- Russian Translation

Certificate affirming American citizenship of Nancy, Helen and Anna- Russian Translation

Certificate from American Embassy affirming American citizenship of Helen, Nancy and Anna. (Translation)

Certificate from American Embassy affirming American citizenship of Helen, Nancy and Anna. (Translation)

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.
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8 Responses to Looking to the Embassy for Help

  1. Rich Bidlack says:

    It is an accurate translation. Interestingly, the family name is spelled “Vardamanskii” in the Russian — that is, the letter “n” was inserted. This may have been done to match the spelling in Russian-language documents that family members had in their possession.

  2. kjw616 says:

    Not another spelling! I really wonder what is the correct spelling: Wardamasky, Wardamsky, Wardmasky, Wardamaskya, Wardmansky, Wardamaski, Vardamacky, Vardamatski, Vardomatsky, Vardamatskiy, Vardamanski, and now Vardamanskii ??

  3. Dave Wardamasky says:

    Is that why every time I write a letter in ‘Word’, spell check always highlights my last name?

  4. Pingback: New Route Home | Do Svidanya Dad

  5. Bumblebee says:

    Hi there, this is getting gripping! How on earth are people who have been on the move for so long supposed to still be able to fund a trip half way around the world?!! Great work!

    • kjw616 says:

      I know. It was quite unreasonable and I cannot believe our government could not/would not help them.

      • Bumblebee says:

        I know embassys/governments would not help financially – otherwise they may have to help everyone! But it is amazing the times people lived through and the ingenuity and resourcefulness it must have taken. I can’t wait to hear about how your aunts make it home… presuming that they do!

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