Category Archives: USSR to New Jersey

1941, my father was the first member of his family do be issued his passport and travel documents to leave the USSR. He reached Honolulu the day Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This act added another barrier to the return of the rest of the family.

Would Someone Provide the Money?

It has been over a month since I last wrote of the predicament my aunts found themselves in as American refugees who ended up in the temporary capital of the Soviet Union—Kuibyshev—after they were pushed from their home in Novgorod. … Continue reading

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The Woman in the Photo

Genealogy research takes a lot of persistence and patience. We would all like to hope that our ancestors’ stories can be easily pieced together by filling in a few names and dates at ancestry.com.  Sometimes, particularly with an unusual name, … Continue reading

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Never Give Up on the Research Hunt

How have I been able to learn so much about my father’s story growing up in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s and 1940’s, particularly since there is not a lot of information out there on the internet regarding that … Continue reading

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Home at Last- July 1941

I am sure that the news reports that Hitler had double-crossed Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union both shocked and worried Dad.  He had no way of knowing if his family was in danger or whether they were hidden from … Continue reading

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Dire News Out of Soviet Union-June 22, 1941

After being warned about a Japanese attack against the US, Dad knew that he had to leave Japan as quickly as possible. The ticket on the Japanese ship, the Kamakura Maru, was one hundred seventy-five dollars, which was the amount … Continue reading

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Pearl Harbor-Did Dad Know?

I imagine that Dad was exhausted after his 2-3 week journey on the Trans-Siberian Expressway, yet happy to finally be leaving the Soviet Union behind. After being dropped at the pier by a taxi, he boarded a Japanese steamer for … Continue reading

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Jerry Aagaard:Trans-Siberian Traveler Pen Pal

I contacted my new friend, Jerry, prior to posting my blog regarding how I located him. I wasn’t certain how he felt about having his name floating around the blogosphere.  Having not heard from him when it was time to … Continue reading

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