JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Information on travel back to Russia during and after WWI #general

Fred Selss

Genealogy should always be investigated in the context of what was
happening in hisotry. Most Jewish families that record Russia as
their country actually lived in the Pale of Settlement where a lot
of WW I battles were held. My grandfather on my father's side of
the family wanted to bring his family who lived in what was Dobryzn
Russia now Golub-Dobryzn Poland to the United States but could not
because of the following conditions. On June 28, 1914 the heir to
the throne of Austo-Hungary was assignated. Because of various
treaties, all of Europe became a battle ground. Germany declared
war on Russia on Aug. 1, 1914 and invaded Belgium on the way to
France soon after. Many territories in Russia which would now be
considered Poland were occupied in 1915 and held by the Germans
until the end of the war. On May 1, 1915 the SS Lusitania was sunk
killing 1119 aboard. Travel was dangerous because of torpedo's >from
German U boats. Mail was slow because of the war it could take over
a month for a letter mailed in Europe to reach the US making travel
arrangements difficult. In February of 1917 there was the Russsian
Revolution and the following month the Czar abdicated leaving Russia
with a provisional government. By April 6, 1917 America entered WWI.
The Armistce ending WWI was signed Nov 11, 1918 but the Treaty of
Versailles is not signed until 1919. Post WWI was still in choas.
The country of Poland was created and the western boundary of Poland
was defined but not the eastern. The new government of Poland and
the new government of Russia waged the Polish-Soviet wars >from 1919
to March 1921. August of 1920 Dobrzyn was attacked by the Red Army.
It wasn't until Nov 3, 1920 that my grandfather was able to bring his
first brother-in-law to the United States and was able to bring 2 more
brothers and another brother-in-law in the suceeding years. It wasn't
until Sept 5, 1923 that he was able to bring all of his sisters and
sister-in-law and the nieces and nephews over to the US. The early
20's was a window of opportunity because America was about to slam
the door on unlimited immigration. On May 18, 1921 the Emergency
Quota Act reducing the amount of immigrants >from Eastern Europe to
16,000 was passed. The Immigration Act of 1924 further reduced the
amount of immigrants. By 1924 only 5983 were allowed to immigrate
from Poland. On my mother's side of the family an grand uncle
immigrated in 1913 >from Hungary but was not able to bring his wife
over until 8 years later in 1921. I hope this helps to explain why
it took so long for your family to reunite.

Searching for the following: Brok-Brock-Oscheyack-Osheyack-Osiek
Dobryzn Russia/Poland and Schnur Tarnow/Austria/Galicia/Poland and
Herman-Weisz Fehergyarmat,Hungary and Stark-Fried Kotaj,Hungary and
Trebies SatuMare Hungary/Romania

Fred Selss

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