Re: WWI deportees returning from Russia - What info in original record #lithuania #records

Michele Lock

I found the correct Sheina Lak Klein from Zagare, and matched up her age with her death record. She and her family were returning from Slaviansk in the Ukraine. This also matches up with the 'birthplace' of Slaviansk that my great uncle Eli Lak (born 1904, half-brother to Sheina Lak Klein) used on his ship passenger list when he came to the US in 1923; he also listed himself as a citizen of Russia, rather than Lithuania.

I have records showing that Eli's other brothers and sisters were born in Gruzdziai, near Zagare. Slaviansk is 700 miles from Zagare; it is not possible that one brother would be born 700 miles away from his other siblings. I believe he was unable to get Lithuanian citizenship after returning to Lithuania, so was 'forced' to declare himself a Russian citizen, which included having to declare a new birthplace within Russia. Even as late as 1942, on his WW II draft card for the US Army, he was listing his birthplace as Slaviansk (caused me a lot of confusion when I first saw this).

I am aware that deportees went through various stages from and back to Lithuania and that it was not a smooth journey either way; what I am most interested in is the place within Russia where they spent the majority of the war.

Michele Lock
Alexandria, VA

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