Спасибо (Spasibo—Thank you)

As I mentioned previously, it took a village to write this book—the people I interviewed who took the same route to the United States in 1941 as my dad within weeks of him, librarians, archivists, kind friends and family who helped edit and make suggestions to improving it, two college professors, several writers of books with content pertinent to my book, and a dear friend who introduced me to a Russian translator at her retirement party. I could not have written Do Svidanya Dad without their help.

Today, after many attempts at scheduling and rescheduling, I finally had lunch with my retired friend, Lynn, and the Russian translator, Pete. We had not all gotten together since Lynn’s retirement, so our gathering served as a reunion as well.

Both Pete and Lynn had read my book, and were happy to see how their contributions became a component of the story. I was unaware how humble a man he is, but he continually kept trying to minimize his importance to me. In fact, more than once, he apologized for not helping me enough. Ridiculous!

I understand the difficulty in translating documents which were written in Russian script. How many of us need translations of English script, particularly when written by our family physician! But the diary I had, which was written by several people—some sections in very eensy-weensy script—must have been particularly challenging.

There was no way I could have known the route my father’s sisters and parents followed when they were fleeing from the German army after the town in which they were living was invaded—had it not been for the help of Pete. And I never would have met Pete if my friend Lynn had not met him on a trip to Russia several years ago.

So many things happen for a reason. Than you Pete and Lynn, or as it’s said in Russian, Спасибо (Spasibo.)


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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