• Document: Emigration from the USSR
  • Size: 2.27 MB
  • Uploaded: 2018-10-11 15:34:54
  • Status: Successfully converted


Some snippets from your converted document:

Emigration from the USSR Fond FR-3066 Aktsionernoe obshchestvo Russko- kanadsko-americanskoe passazhirskoe agenstvo (RUSCAPA), opis’ 1 Personal files of emigrants 1925-1928 1 By Vladimir Danilenko, Director of the State Archive of the Kiev Oblast From the State Archive of the Kiev Oblast (GAKO) comes a collection of documents, Fond No. R-3066 Aktsionernoe obshchestvo Russko- kanadsko-americanskoe passazhirskoe agenstvo (RUSCAPA) [Joint- Stock Company Russo-Canadian-American Passenger Agency]. The Fond contains 1,470 dossiers dating from 1926 to 1930 that stayed in secret stacks and remained inaccessible to scholars until December 1991, when it was declassified and made generally accessible. In the 1920s, Jewish habitants of the USSR were emigrating from the Soviet Union in large numbers due to Bolshevik persecution, and for other political and economic reasons. Many of those departing for purely political reasons were either members of the religious elite of Jewish society headed for Poland and the Baltics, or those who supported the White movement, Socialists, or other such parties who emigrated primarily to Western Europe. A smaller group comprised of Zionists left for Palestine. Those émigrés with no money in the bank generally had relations in the USA and other countries who could pay their fare and support them in their new places of residence for a time. Members of precisely this group comprised the majority of those moving to the USA, Canada and South Africa. Other émigrés, who were often well provided for, but who had no relations in the English-speaking world, were heading for Latin America and Western Europe, where it was easier to enter. The restrictions on entering the United States by émigrés from Eastern Europe, imposed in 1921 and 1924 under the Johnson Acts, reduced the number of Jewish people entering the country. For example, under the 1924 act, no more than 2,148 people from Russia, no more than 5,982 people from Poland and no more than 749 people from Romania per year were entitled to get permits to settle in the USA. However, it was possible for more persons to enter the USA than was allowed for by this quota if the applicant’s relatives provided guarantees of full material support. Still, the Johnson Acts forced many émigrés to change their intended destination, many of whom ended up in Western Europe, Palestine, Africa and Latin America. The Jewish communities in Caribbean countries, especially those in Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, came into existence largely through this wave of emigration in the late 1920s. 2 As it was impossible to leave Europe without certain documents and permits, organizations specializing in such matters opened their doors. RUSCAPA was one such organization that facilitated the travel and paperwork involved for Soviet émigrés. As documented by the papers in this collection, RUSCAPA was set up in the early 1920s as a joint-stock company whose members were the following passenger carriers: Dobrovol’nyi Flot and Gosudarstvennyi Torgovyi Flot (Russia); the Canadian Pacific Airway Company, Cunard Steamship Company Ltd., Holland-America Line, Royal Mail Steam Patek Company, Canadian Pacific Steamships, Anchor Line (Henderson Bros), Anchir Donaldson Line, Pacific Steam Navigation Company and Union-Castle Line. RUSCAPA’s central office settled in Moscow with a branch office in Kiev and agencies and representatives operating throughout populated areas in Ukraine. RUSCAPA helped USSR citizens process emigration documents and arranged for their transit to the USA, Canada, countries in southern Africa and to the Caribbean region. Accordingly, the primary documents in this collection contain information about several thousand émigrés from the USSR, most of whom were Jewish. These files include questionnaires, medical certificates, company correspondence with its customers, letters, telegrams and other documents. Many of these papers pertain to the rules and procedures for exiting the USSR and entering the USA and Canada, the requirements to be met by the émigrés and personal data including family members, age, family status, state of health, literacy, costs involved in leaving the country, etc. As an example regarding travel fees of the time, we learn from Delo No. 34 that, according to the USSR Central Executive Committee resolution of 7 April 1926, an internal passport for working people and their dependents cost, all duties included, 225 rubles, whereas it would cost nonworkers 340 rubles. This cost was only one of many, for one could only leave the USSR from Moscow, thus requiring a fare to Moscow and the necessary sum to stay in the city for a few days in addition to further travel fares and fees. As a rule, people left the country on invitations from their relations in other countries who, in the majority of cases, had to pay for the traveler’s passage. Before

Recently converted files (publicly available):