Tag Archives: Chinese

Faces of the First Red Scare

As part of my ongoing research for a book on the global history of immigrant radicals who were deported during America’s First Red Scare, I am regularly posting brief profiles of the more than 700 individual deportees I have identified. New entries are being added regularly.

Who is included:

This list includes radicals and suspected radicals who were deported between 1917 (following America’s entrance into the First World War) and 1925, when the last of the foreign-born radicals arrested between 1917 and 1920 were expelled, some after serving prison sentences. It includes both those who were deported at government expense and those who were ordered deported but “voluntarily departed” at their own expense with the government’s consent (both categories were included together in US government deportation statistics). It does not include those who fled the country to avoid arrest or deportation. It includes both individuals deported for belonging to legally-defined “anarchistic classes,” and others who were suspected of radicalism but deported on other grounds (most commonly for entering the country without inspection or being retroactively deemed “likely to become a public charge” at the time of their entry).

This is not a complete list. In the fiscal years (June-July) 1917-1926, the United States deported 991 aliens as “anarchists,” and an unknown number of additional radical immigrants under other statutes. The largest single group of deportees, composed of 242 alleged radicals (as well as seven unrelated deportees) departed on the USAT Buford on December 21, 1919. However, it appears that no complete list of Red Scare deportees was produced by either the Bureau of Immigration or the Bureau of Investigation. I have instead had to rely on partial lists and mentions of individual cases included in these organizations’ files, congressional testimony, radical publications, newspaper reports, and other sources.

How to use this site:

I am posting entries of several profiles at a time. Profiles are posted in alphabetical order by last name, followed by alternate spellings and pseudonyms in parentheses. (The Cyrillic spellings of Russian names are generally my best guess; American sources from the era were wildly inconsistent in their spellings of such names. The same is true of the transliteration of Chinese names in the Roman alphabet.)

Birth years are often approximate, usually having been calculated from an individual’s age at the time of their examination by immigration authorities, and some may therefore be off by a year.

You can search by individuals’ nationalities (country of birth and, in some cases, ethnicity [i.e. Jewish, Lithuanian, etc.]) by using the tags above.

Occupations describe the individuals’ employment in the US, not necessarily the work they engaged in before arrival or after their deportation.

Political affiliations represented include the syndicalist Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the anarcho-syndicalist Union of Russian Workers of the United States and Canada (URW); the anarchist Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM); anarchists unaffiliated with larger organizations; the Communist Party of America (CP); the Communist Labor Party (CLP); the Socialist Party of America (SP); the Socialist Labor Party (SLP); and unaffiliated socialists. You can search by political affiliation by using the tags above.

You may also use the “Search” box at the top of the page to look for individual names, locations, etc.

The main sources used for compiling these profiles are case files from the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Record Group 85, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC; the Old German Files (OG) and Bureau Section Files (BS) of the Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Record Group 65, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD (as digitized at fold3.com); and (for Italians) the Casellario Politico Centrale (CPC), Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Italy.

A special thanks to Molly Thacker, who photographed dozens of INS files for me; Malcolm Archibald, who has translated a number of Russian-language sources; and the dozens of other archivists, translators, activists, and colleagues who have helped me locate, acquire, and read material from across the globe while undertaking this research.

Finally, if you have additional information about any of the deportees, or spot an error, please contact me!

Hing to Hostilla

Wong Hing (Harry Hing)

Born 1899, Guangdong, China. Student; restaurant worker. Migrated to US 1916 (via Mexico, without inspection). Attended Columbia University. Arrested January 1919 as a leader of IWW-led strike of Chinese restaurant workers. Deported March 1919 on charge of illegal entry. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54490/3 (file missing)

See also: Baltimore Sun, February 6, 1919; The Rebel Worker, May 15, 1919

Alfred Hoffman (aka Edward Compe; Edward Kerlap; Edwin Hoffman)

Born 1886, Hamburg, Germany. Sailor; laborer. Migrated to US 1907 (jumped ship in San Francisco). Joined IWW around 1913; repeatedly arrested for strike-related activities. Seattle. Interned as an “enemy alien” at Fort Douglas, Utah, but declared “I am not a German, no. I am not patriotic for any country.” “Voluntary departure” June 1919. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54379/64

Fritz Arthur Holm

Born 1890, Korsberga, Sweden. Carpenter. Migrated to US 1911. Joined IWW 1912; also an anarchist and subscriber to Alexander Berkman’s The Blast. Wrote “Strictly opposed to war” on his draft card. Secretary of the Scandinavian Defense League. Arrested Seattle, February 1918; authorities discovered “a wagon load of I.W.W. and anarchist literature in his room.” Deported July 1919. In Sweden, married Ellen Hildur Margareta Molin, 1923. May have written articles for the German anarcho-syndicalist paper Der Syndikalist in the 1920s. Died 1975.

INS file 54379/114

Paul Holovkin (Prokop Holowkin; Golowkin)

Born 1888, Grodno, Russia (present-day Belarus). Longshoreman. Migrated to US 1914. Widower; a son in Russia. Joined Branch no. 1 of the Union of Russian Workers in Baltimore, 1919. Deported on the Buford. 1921 reported to have been “shot by the Bolshevik authorities as an active counter-revolutionist.”

INS file 54709/318; FBI file BS 202600-2386-1

Andrew Hostilla (Andrey Kastialla)

Born 1895, Minsk, Russia (present-day Belarus). Machinist. Migrated to US 1914. Drafted into US Army 1918; honorably discharged December 1918. Member of Newark branch of the Union of Russian Workers. Arrested during first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/353

Ochrimuk to Oradovsky

Nikolai Ochrimuk (Ochrymuk)

Born 1896, Rakitnica, Grodno, Russia (present-day Belarus). Laborer. Migrated to US 1914. Member of the Union of Russian Workers in Newark. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/337

Julius Ohsis (Юлий Осис; Osis)

Born 1890, Riga, Russia (present-day Latvia). Latvian. Carpenter. Migrated to US 1911. 1917 married fellow radical Katie Namin in Chicago. Former member of the Socialist Party of America; 1919 became member of Communist Party of America; told authorities he was the financial secretary of the Lettish Branch in Baltimore, but historian Vernon L. Pedersen describes him as the the “Latvian branch head.” Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Deported February 1, 1921. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54859/541; FBI file OG 8000-385964

See also: Vernon L. Pedersen, The Communist Party in Maryland, 1919-57

Kate Ohsis (Екатерина Осис; Katie; Osis; née Namin)

Born 1896, Russia (somewhere in present-day Lithuania). Latvian. Migrated to US 1915. 1917 married fellow radical Julius Ohsis in Chicago. Member of the Lettish Branch of the Communist Party of America in Baltimore. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Deported February 1, 1921. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54859/542; FBI file OG 8000-385963

See also: Vernon L. Pedersen, The Communist Party in Maryland, 1919-57

Nikolai Omelianchuk (Николай Омельянчук; Nicholas)

Born 1892, Tułowice, Russia (present-day Poland?). Laborer. Migrated to Canada 1913, from there to US in April 1919 (without inspection). Arrested two days later in Detroit as part of a group of Russian radicals who disrupted a talk by the visiting Socialist Revolutionary (and anti-Bolshevik) Catherine Breshkovsky and threw rotten eggs. Denied any radical affiliations; instead charged with entering the country without inspection and being “likely to become a public charge” (due to the fact that he was suffering from influenza at the time). Deported January 22, 1921.

INS file 54616/172

Wong Tai On (Ong Wu Tai; aka Lee Tai Cen)

Chinese. Student; restaurant worker. Attended Columbia University and worked as a waiter in New York’s Chinatown. 1918 joined the United Chinese Association, an anarchist-led union for Chinatown’s restaurant workers that was chartered as a general recruiting union of the IWW. Helped lead strike of Chinatown’s waiters in December 1918-January 1919. Arrested January 16, 1919 on charges unfounded charge of felonious assault that were immediately dropped; then charges with illegal possession of firearms, which was also dropped; then held for deportation on unspecified grounds (not related to radicalism). Deported to China March 1, 1919. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54490/2 (file missing); see also file 54519/2

See also: New York Call, February 9, 1919; Rebel Worker (New York), February 15 and May 15, 1919

Fred Onischuk (Онищук)

Born 1894, Kiev, Russia (present-day Ukraine). Autoworker. Lived in Detroit. “Voluntarily departed” to Russia some time between December 20, 1919 and February 2, 1921. No further information found.

INS file not identified; included on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

Porfiry Onishchenko (Порфирий Онищенко; Porfiery Onishsenko)

Born 1886, Chernihiv, Russia (present-day Ukraine). Steelworker. Migrated to Canada 1913, and from there to the US 1915. Joined the Union of Russian Workers in July 1918 in Buffalo; served as secretary and on various committees of his branch. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/327

Aleksandr Opotsky (Александр Опоцкий; aka Aleksandr Antonov; Александр Антонов)

Born 1896, Grodno, Russia (present-day Poland). Laborer; migrated to US 1913. Joined Union of Russian Workers in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania in 1917; also a delegate for IWW General Recruiting Union; took “a very active part in the meetings of the Russian radicals” in the region. Arrested Pittsburgh April 1919. At interrogation, declared, “I believe in no government of any kind,” and instead “I favor the system of [Peter] Kropatkin [sic].” When asked if he believed in God—a question with no bearing on his case—he answered, “I do not believe in a God painted on wood, but I believe in the God that gives freedom to the people.” Deported on the Buford. Reportedly imprisoned in 17 different Soviet prisons. By 1931 he had emigrated to Argentina with aid of comrades abroad.

INS file 54616/135; FBI file OG 367935

See also: Delo Truda, December 1937-February 1938 (with thanks to Malcolm Archibald)

Markus Naumovich Oradovsky (Маркус Наумович Орадовский; Marcus)

Born 1895, Odessa, Russia (present-day Ukraine). Sailor; laborer. 1912 migrated Austria and Germany; circa 1913 migrated Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru; migrated to the US 1916 (without inspection). Could speak Russian, English, French, and Portuguese. Common-law marriage to fellow anarchist and deportee Rosa Oradovsky. 1917 worked as a spring maker and helped organize the Mechanical Spring Works Union, affiliated with the United Hebrew Trades, and helped lead a strike in Brooklyn, after which the union dissolved. Joined the Union of Russian Workers in New York in 1918; served as secretary and editor of URW newspaper Khleb i Volia; elected secretary of the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies of the United States and Canada (an umbrella organization of Russian immigrant radicals). Arrested July 2, 1919 in New York. Told authorities, “I consider myself a citizen of the whole world.” Deported on the Buford. 1920 joined Union of Russian Anarchist Workers Repatriated from America, formed by Hyman Perkus, which critically supported the Bolshevik dictatorship as a temporary necessity. Later that year reportedly imprisoned for his anarchist views. January 1921, Alexander Berkman reported that Oradovsky “Says they [i.e. the Bolsheviks] won’t let him work.” His name is included on lists of victims of Soviet repression, but no further details have been found.

INS file 54616/115-A

See also: Paul Avrich, Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America; Victor Serge, Anarchists Never Surrender: Essays, Polemics, and Correspondence on Anarchism, 1908–1938; Alexander Berkman Papers, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam; https://ru.openlist.wiki/%D0%9E%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B2%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9_%D0%9C%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BA%D1%83%D1%81_%D0%9D%D0%B0%D1%83%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87_(1894); http://visz.nlr.ru/person/book/vi/16/40

Rosa Oradovsky (Роза Орадовская; Rose)

Born 1894, Smolensk, Russia. Jewish. Migrated to US 1910 with mother and siblings. Became anarchist circa 1911; joined the Union of Russian Workers in New York either 1914 or 1918. Common-law wife of Markus Oradovsky. Following Markus’s deportation, she petitioned to be deported as well; swore out affidavit affirming that she was a member of URW, and “I am still a member of that organization and believe in its principles. I am an anarchist and believe in the abolition of all forms of law and government. I believe in the overthrow of the government of the United States by means of forcible revolution.” Deported February 2, 1921. On the voyage aboard the SS Estonia, elected to a five-person committee of deportees elected to negotiate for better accommodations on the ship. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/115A

See also: Boston Post, March 6, 1921; New York Times, April 2, 1921