Topics

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


Michele Lock
 

From a Unified database search on Jewishgen, I found a 1921 record for my paternal great aunt Sheina Klein of Zagare, Lithuania. It is from a source called 'WWI deportees returning from Russia', which is held at the Lithuanian Central state archives. The record on Jewishgen.org has some details, such as date of deportation, birth date, and marital statues.  Does anyone know if the original records contain the town/district where the persons were deported to in Russia? I am trying to discover what happened to my family members during WWI, and am hoping to find where they spent the war years.

Michele Lock
Alexandria, VA

Searching for:
Lak/Lack/Lok and Kalon in Zagare, Gruzdziai, Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Lithuania
Lavine/Levin/Levy in Minsk Gubernia, Belarus
Rabinowitch in Papile, Lithuania and Riga Latvia
Leibman in Dotnuva, Lithuania


Russ Maurer
 

Michele,

I am replying to the group as the reply may be of interest to others.

The record group you are asking about was translated for LitvakSIG about eight or nine years ago, by a translator who did the work at the archive. LitvakSIG does not have copies of the documents that we can check, but it is unlikely such important information would have been omitted by the translator. I assume it was not in the document.

However, there is another way to find the information you are looking for. Almost all WWI evacuees who returned to Lithuania passed through the border quarantine station in Obeliai, where they filled out a questionnaire with personal information. These questionnaires were preserved, and LitvakSIG has been translating the Jewish ones. There are about 20,000 records for Jews, and we are about two-thirds done at this point. In the data posted so far, there are two Sheina Kleins from Zagare, corresponding to the two who show up in the unified database search. Not sure which one is yours, but both records show where they had been in Russia.

You can access the Obeliai questionnaires data by logging in at the LitvakSIG website www.litvaksig.org and then selecting "Collective Data" from your dashboard. Eventually, this data will migrate to the All-Lithuania database (around 18 months after it is posted to the Collective Data site).

Russ Maurer
Records Acquisition & Translation coordinator, LitvakSIG


Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz
 

According to various reports that I have read, there were almost no deportations during the First World War that led specifically from point A to point B.  As a rule, there were several stages. Nor did the return go smoothly in most cases, because Russia was not particularly willing to let the citizens of the new states leave. Should there be any location information in the documents, they contain only a snapshot. 
 
Ruth Leiserowitz

Searching for:
Sandelowski and Neumark  in Vistytis, Lithuania


Russ Maurer
 

The link to the LitvakSIG website that I gave doesn't direct properly. This one should work better:
https://www.litvaksig.org

Russ Maurer


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