60 years later, a family story starts to come together

I finally received the Alien Case File of my mother’s family’s immigration sponsor, Vasil, but the immigration file makes me even more curious. The former Soviet repatriation officer apparently was very interesting to the federal government in the 1950s.

His file is an unusual 222 pages. I only received about 40 pages of documents because other federal agencies have to decide whether I will see the missing pages. The file has a few head shots of Vasil, giving me a face to this mystery man.

I am a bit surprised that Vasil was able to sponsor my family when he arrived in the USA two years before my family and he wasn’t a U.S. citizen yet.

Now that I know when he lived in Bavaria, where my family lived, I learned my grandfather had three years to befriend this man for immigration sponsorship. Vasil also worked for the U.S. Army in Bavaria so that explains where he and my grandfather met.

I also learned one of Vasil’s witnesses for naturalization was wife of another Soviet repatriation officer, Valentin, whom my grandfather befriended, and that Vasil had two sons in New York City.

Thanks to this information, I was able to find information on Valentin and his wife on ancestry.com. I found Valentin on a family tree and the user maintaining that tree got me in contact with Valentin’s son.

Now, I have pictures of Valentin and his wife, who stayed in contact with Vasil and  another repatriation officer, Evgeniy, who was a Russian friend of my grandfather from Bavaria. Soon, I hopefully will have photos of Evgeniy, who my mother remembers as a child.

I await more information from Valentin’s son to learn about this trio of repatriation officers, who stayed together in the USA. The son says he hardly knows anything but maybe he really knows more than he thinks. The story of my family’s immigration to the USA could get really interesting soon.


This post is a followup to Meet your friendly Soviet repatriation officer.

For more information on Alien Case Files, see Documents that open doors to information.

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