Trying Every Angle

It was now March 1942. Dad had learned that his sisters and parents were now in the new Soviet capital city of Kuibyshev, but the whereabouts of his brother Pete and sister Nancy’s husband Waldemar Bulvahn were unknown. They had been separated from the family in August just before when Hitler’s forces stormed into their town of Novgorod. (see Running From the War.)

His family was stranded in a city which had now swelled to over one hundred thousand, they had little money since they had not worked since the previous summer, and the food supplies were not good. They needed the money to go home and it was up to Dad and his family to get the necessary funds, since they learned that the State Department was unable or unwilling to provide funds for Americans residing in the Soviet Union.

While Dad attempted to figure out something on the home front, his brother Pete and Waldemar devised a plan of their own– join the United States Army.  This was a similar idea to one which Dad and his brother-in-law had devised the previous year, which was to join the British Army in India.  In both cases, the men figured that their military pay would be sufficient in bringing their family home.

In both cases, their requests were denied.

Permission to Join United States Army.

Permission to Join United States Army.

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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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One Response to Trying Every Angle

  1. Bumblebee says:

    Hi Karen, your posts really are a fascinating look into a real “living” history. Looking forward to the ongoing instalments and wondering what the ultimate outcome of all these adventures will be (but don’t tell me – I will wait for the book to come out!!). Keep writing! Sarah 🙂

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