Finally, during the second week in February 1942, my aunts learned that Dad was in the Army, stationed in Georgia rather than at the home of their friends in New Jersey. This must have devastated them, since they now realized he was not gainfully employed and saving money for their return home. While I learned that Dad did what he could, he was still a soldier during a time of war, which meant his time was not his own.
None of them had been employed for at least six months, so they were dependent on personal contributions from the embassy employees. Even if work was available, none of them were permitted to seek employment until they were registered in Kuibyshev, which was apparently not an easy task.
The conditions at the hotel continued to deteriorate. Illnesses from the unsanitary conditions increased, the hotel was cold, and the electricity was regularly going out each night. My grandparents were still living in the train station, and the best hope at getting money for their travel expenses home was by writing letters to their friends back in New Jersey- none of whom had high paying jobs. They were all simple laborers. This was never the plan. My grandparents surely knew they should never have left New Jersey, but now they were trapped. Would they ever get out of there?