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.
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.