Re: From Russia with Love - Nansen Refugee Passes #general
s s <roosteriver@...>
Ilya raises an interesting line of investigation - there may be traces
left of the trek >from Russia to the final launching point to America.
My Grandfather Jake left Ilinitz, Ukraine after the revolution and was
able to cross national boundaries using a 'Nansen pass'.
Note sure if he got it before or after crossing the Romanian border which
WAS done illegally via people smugglers (a common theme in the Stookal
family's immigrant experiences). But the Nansen pass (and his WWI service
revolver!) helped him go >from Romania through Europe, to Sweden, Liverpool
and the U.S. in 1921 - 1922. Of course in the U.S. HIAS helped the
journey (Baltimore --> Philadephia --> Chicago).
Named after League of Nations diplomation Fridtjof Nansen, these passes
provided legal transit status for 'stateless' refugees beginning in 1921.
For those without proper papers in the aftermath of the Russian
Revolution, the Nansen pass became an instant passport - a true godsend.
I remember my father and grandfather using the phrase 'Nansen pass' with
great reverence. Supposedly these passes were used through the start of
WWII and may have help some escape the curtain of Nazi evil.
Fridtjof Nansen was a truly great but now mostly forgotten humanitarian
whose efforts saved many Russian lives (Jew and non Jew), particularly
during the post-war famine. For a short but excellent education on Nansen
and his League of Nations work check out http://www.fni.no/christ.htm.
If anyone knows how to access the League of Nations records for details of
the Nansen refugee passes I'd be most appreciative! Perhaps via the U.N.?
TESSLER - Knyszyn, Poland; MALTIN, HARTENSTEINE - Kovno State (Gubernia),
Lithuania; GREENBERG, YAMPOLSKY - Belaya Tserkov and Kiev, Russia
HOFFMAN, HOFFCHINSKY - Uknown, Poland; BAREN - Gomel, Russia; GREENBERG,
OCKS - Tarlitza and Gaysin Russia; STOOKAL - Ilinitz, Gaysin and Bershad
Russia MELAMED - Vinnitsa and Ilinitz Russia; The Shpolar Zaide - Aryah
Lieb - Shpole, Russia.