We Will Survive the Outrage

When I decided to put my book out there for the general public to read, I wondered if it was relevant. Would anyone be interested enough to read it? Each day as I turn on the news, Do Svidanya Dad- Tracing the Story of an American Family Trapped in the USSR becomes more and more timely.

An example is the subject of immigration reform. Some have talked of the need to round up the eleven million immigrants and send them back home. How can such a herculean task ever be accomplished?

For those who believe that this is a good idea, I respond by asking them if they want to follow the example set in Germany and the Soviet Union. Are these the countries they want to emulate?

In my own book, I wrote about the paranoia that emerged during the mid to late thirties, which included police surveillance and arrest of anyone suspected of being against the government of Stalin.

It was happening far too often–every night now. It was so common that many people throughout the city had their bags packed, ready for that middle-of-the-night knock on their doors.  These late-night calls were from members of the secret police coming to whisk them away.

How will we find them? Will we ask our neighbors to spy on each other as they did in Russia? To be fair to all Americans, will we require everyone to carry identification at all times to help determine those who don’t belong?

A police officer could stop anyone on the street and demand to see their identification papers to be certain the individual was within their area of residency. Failure to either produce these papers, or to be in a location different from one’s propiska, could have dire consequences.

In the Soviet Union, this “internal passport” was called propiska. Could this happen here? Would it ever come to this–the mandate to carry identification by all citizens. I don’t believe so, because as I watch the news, I see a difference between the Soviet Union and the United States. People here rise up against the outrage, and as long as we can be a country allowed to speak up and voice our indignation, this too will pass.

Statue of Liberty


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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