JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen application to regain US citizenship - SPIVAK early 1930's #general


Helene Bergman <helenebergman@...>
 

Having recently connected to a great-niece of my grandfather's first
cousin, I find that he was born in Philadelphia in 1883. His parents
(or maybe only father after mother's death) returned to Odessa and he
was raised by his grandparents, parents of my ggm. To ensure his
safety, they destroyed his US papers, and obtained Russian papers for
him. Here is her account:
According to Anki JENSEN SPIVAK, her husband, Juan SPIVAK, was born in
Philadelphia. He was born of Russian immigrants, but the family moved
back to Russia when he was only two years old. Because a pogrom had
been instituted against Jews in Russia at the time, only children born
in Russia would be allowed to stay, so the family decided to burn the
boyâ??s American paperwork. For some reason Juan was brought up by his
grandparents in Odessa. That is why I don't know their names. He came
to Berlin at a very young age to take voice lessons. >from there he went
to Vienna and had great success at the Wiener Staatsoper at the age of
only 21.
In 1926 Anki came >from Stettin to Berlin and married Juan SPIVAK. I
don't know exactly when. Juan was singing 'Fuerst Igor' and 'Boris
Godunov'at the Berlin Staatsoper, while Anki sang 'Michaela' in Carmen
at 'Theater des Westens' and had a Strauss recital . Juan practiced
with her to expand her repertoire for the Berlin Stattsoper, where she
was later engaged. In 1929-30 the trouble started for the Jews and it
became hard to maintain employment. Juan now went on a tour with Jushny
and his 'Blaue Vogel' troup to Sweden, while Anki went to Paris and
London and was broadcast on the radio in both countries. When 'Die
Blaue Vogel' planned a trip to the US Anki was invited to be member of
the group, as well. When they returned to Berlin their friends advised
them to go back to the U.S. and for Juan to get his American papers in
order. He had to contact family members in Paris, England, Italy and
Russia and have all his aunts sign papers to swear that it was true
that he was born in Philadelphia, USA and that his papers had been
burnt in Russia. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1933, but Anki had to
wait one and a half long years before she was able to enter the
country, let alone get a working permit, since it took this long for
the paperwork to be in order.

I have written about this SPIVAK family before, and this seems like a
solid lead. Does anyone know >from where I could obtain whatever papers
Juan filed with the US government? Those petitions would help establish
the name of the ancestors who moved to these other cities (I have a
photo of the one who went to London).

Thanks in advance for any leads...

Lanie Bergman
Bronx NY

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