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Looking for info about Russian emigres who returned to fight for the Bolsheviks in 1917 #usa #russia #canada #records


temafrank1@...
 

I'm researching the early life of my grandfather (Bennie ADELSON/Baruch IDELZIK), who left Belarus for Montreal in 1913. Once he had his Canadian papers, he went to New York in 1916, and then to Russia in 1917 to fight for the Bolsheviks. He stayed for two years, then stowed away on a ship from Yokahama to Vancouver in 1919. I've been able to get a fair amount of information from public sources, but I'm stymied about how to determine what he actually did during the two years he was back in Russia. Do you have any suggestions as to how I might find information about his activities during that time?
 
A few thoughts I've had:
  1. I am trying (so far with no success) to get ship passenger records of ships LEAVING Seattle/Vancouver/Victoria to Japan or China or Finland in 1917. It is easy to get records of passengers arriving in North America, but not going the other way.
  2. The Bolsheviks (or possibly the Provisional government) were apparently making funds available to people who wanted to return in 1917. Maybe there are records somewhere of who got those funds? 
  3. There were reception committees when they arrived, doing screening to see who was a legitimate supporter of the cause. Maybe there are records of who they vetted?
  4. Would the Red Army of that early period have any types of records of who they assigned to what duties? Other records? He wasn't senior so I suspect the odds are fairly low. On the other hand, he spoke several languages (Russian, Yiddish, English, a bit of French, possibly bits of others) and was intelligent -- maybe he was given some special duties because of that? 
I would be grateful for any advice you can offer. Thank you so much. 

Tema Frank


rroth@...
 

A fascinating story.  I am not an expert in this area but I have to think records from the Red Army at that time were (a) not so good (b) hard to find. and (c) still secret, so I don't like your chances; but will be hopeful to see what you may turn up.
Robert Roth
Kingston NY


erikagottfried53@...
 

You might reach out to Daniel Soyer, an historian who’s written extensively on American Jewish history and Jewish immigration and also did a study on American Jews who visited the Soviet Union in the 20s and 30s ("Back to the Future: American Jews Visit the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s."Jewish Social Studies. Volume 6, Number 3, Spring/Summer 2000, pp. 124-159) to see if he has any suggestions.  He teaches at Fordham University.  Also, there is a discussion list for historians of American Communism
(H-HOAC); perhaps you could place a query there.

Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey


Ellen
 

On Sat, Sep 5, 2020 at 07:07 PM, <erikagottfried53@...> wrote:
You might reach out to Daniel Soyer, an historian who’s written extensively on American Jewish history and Jewish immigration and also did a study on American Jews who visited the Soviet Union in the 20s and 30s ("Back to the Future: American Jews Visit the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s."Jewish Social Studies. Volume 6, Number 3, Spring/Summer 2000, pp. 124-159) to see if he has any suggestions. 
I would love to read this article, since my grandfather returned to Russia in the 1920s (but went back to the U.S. after less than a year).  Does anyone have institutional access to it?  Thanks.

Ellen Morosoff Pemrick
Saratoga County, NY
 
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Researching WEISSMAN/VAYSMAN (Ostropol, Ukraine); MOROZ and ESTRIN/ESTERKIN (Shklov & Bykhov, Belarus); LESSER/LESZEROVITZ, MAIMAN, and BARNETT/BEINHART/BERNHART (Lithuania/Latvia); and ROSENSWEIG/ROSENZWEIG, KIRSCHEN, and SCHWARTZ (Botosani, Romania)