Tag Archives: unaffiliated socialist

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!

Bogush to Brezovic

Bogush (Богуш)

Born Russia (probably in present-day Ukraine). Anarchist and likely member of the Union of Russian Workers. Multiple sources claim Bogush was deported on the Buford; if true, then “Bogush” is likely a pseudonym, because the name is not on the ship’s manifest or any other list of deportees. In Ukraine, joined anarchist Nabat Federation and observed Nestor Makhno’s partisan army. Arrested Kharkov November 1920 and executed by Checka March 1921 (Voline and Maximoff give slightly different dates).

INS file not found

See Senya Fleshin Papers, International Institute for Social History; http://socialist.memo.ru/lists/bio/l3.htm#n814; Voline, The Unknown Revolution, 1917-1921; G. P. Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work: Twenty Years of Terror in Russia (Data and Documents)

Nikolai Bolsun (Bolson, Bolsum)

Member of the Communist Party of America in Plainfield, New Jersey. Arrested during second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Deported to Russia December 23, 1920. Nor further information found.

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

See also: The Morning Post (Camden, New Jersey), December 23, 1920

Vasiliy Bondarenko (Васи́лий Бондаренко, Wasiliy Bondarenko, aka William Bender/Bander)

Born 1897, Kiev, Russia (present-day Ukraine). Laborer. Migrated to US 1912. Wife and two children in US. “Very active” member of Union of Russian Workers branch in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and lectured for the URW nationally. Arrested in New York during second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Deported October 1920. Subsequent activities unknown, but likely the same Bondarenko mentioned by anarchist Clara Larsen as having been “killed by Stalin.”

INS file not found; FBI file OG 382161

See also Lazar Lipotkin, The Russian Anarchist Movement in North America; Paul Avrich, Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America

Bondarenko, Samuel (Самуил Бондаренко; Sam Bondarenko)

Born Russia (present-day Ukraine), year unknown. Member, Communist Party of America, Philadelphia. Deported to Russia February 1921. No further information found.

INS file not found; included on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G; see also FBI file OG 267034

Bonko, Peter

Arrested in Brooklyn during second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Probably Communist Party of America member. Deported to Russia December 23, 1920. No further information found.

INS file not found; included on lists of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G and FBI file BS 202600-33

See also: The Morning Post (Camden, New Jersey), December 23, 1920

Bootryn, Vasiliy

Born 1888, Russia. Molder. Migrated to US 1913. Joined Socialist Party of America, April 1919; transferred to Communist Party of America later that year. Arrested during second Palmer Raids, January 1920. “Voluntarily departed” 1920. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file not found; FBI file OG 387334

Borisyuk, Vladimir (Владимир Борисюк, Vladimir Borisiuk/Borisink, Walter Borisuk)

Vladimir Borisyuk’s Socialist Party membership card

Born 1893, Grodno, Russia (present-day Belarus). Laborer. Migrated to US 1914. Arrested during first Palmer Raids, November, 1919, Hartford, Connecticut. Member of the Socialist Party (not a deportable offense), but had paid one month’s dues to Communist Party, and authorities suspected he belonged to Union of Russian Workers. Also accused of making revolutionary statements. Deported on the Buford.

INS file 54709/151

Borovsky, John (Ivan?) (Боровский, Borowsky)

Born 1878, Ventspils, Russia (present-day Latvia). Barber, railroad worker. Migrated to US 1908. Married; wife in Chicago. Member of IWW’s Russian Branch in Chicago; also suspected of belonging to URW. Arrested Chicago during first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported March 1921. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/267; FBI file OG 380320

Borsuk, Boris (Борис Борсук, Boroes/Borores Borsuk)

Born 1896, Brest, Russia (present-day Belarus). Barber. Migrated to US 1912. Owned barbershop at 70 Robinson Rd., Youngstown, Ohio. Helped organize Youngstown branch of the Union of Russian Workers and distributed URW literature. Arrested Youngstown in August 1919. His brother, Dimitri, arrested after visiting him in jail and again in 1920 on suspicion of belonging to the URW, although he denied this and does not appear to have been deported. Boris meanwhile was deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/500

See also FBI file OG 380628 (on Dimitri Borsuk)

Brazeliya, Max (Макс Бразелия or Бразилия, Max Brazelia)

Born 1892, Warsaw, Russia (present-day Poland). Jewish; laborer. Migrated to US 1913 (via Canada). Unaffiliated socialist; subscribed to the Forverts. Arrested March 1919, St. Louis after employer at Nelson Pants Manufacturing Company reported him for “spreading Bolsheviki propaganda in the workroom.” His employer, not actually wanting to see him deported, later defended him as harmless and “a good workingman.” Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/25; FBI file OG 352388

See also: Kenyon Zimmer, “The Voyage of the Buford: Political Deportations and the Making and Unmaking of America’s First Red Scare,” in Deportation in the Americas: Histories of Exclusion and Resistance, edited by Kenyon Zimmer and Cristina Salinas

Brencich, Josef

Born 1887, Fiume, Austria-Hungary (present-day Croatia). Sailor; painter. Italian-speaker, member of “the Slavish Race.” Migrated to US 1911. Anarchist, member of Philadelphia’s Union of Italian Workers. Arrested April, 1921, with Erasmo Abate and other members. Ordered deported to Hungary, but in 1921 Fiume had become an independent state, so allowed “voluntary departure” as a sailor “direct for Mediterranean ports,” January 1923. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 55009/82

Brezovic, Stefen (Vrezovic; Steve)

Born 1886, Austro-Hungarian Empire (somewhere that later became part of Yugoslavia). Laborer. Migrated to US 1912. Joined Socialist Party of America 1916; September 1919 transferred to the South Slavic Branch No. 17 of the Communist Party of America. Arrested January 1920, Detroit. Deported May 1920 to Yugoslavia. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file not found; FBI file OG 387297

Libed to Lishkevich

Arkhip Libed (Архип Либед; Arhip; Lebed)

Born 1881, Volyn, Russia (present-day Ukraine).Ukrainian. Miner. Migrated to US 1913. Wife and five children in Russia. Union of Russian Workers. Fairmont, West Virginia. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/603; FBI file OG 380968

Mike Libeszky

Deported to Austria May 8, 1920. No further information found.

INS file not identified. Including on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

Tito Ligi (aka Augusto Vitaletti)

Born 1894, Sassoferrato, Italy. Miner. Migrated to US 1912. Already an anarchist, along with his brother Adolfo, before both migrated; in the US associated with Luigi Galleani’s Cronaca Sovversiva. November 1920 arrested in Scranton, Pennsylvania, for evading the draft (having taken out a declaration of intent to naturalize, he was eligible for service). After his arrest he briefly became the lead suspect (almost certainly falsely) in the Wall Street bombing of 1920. Deported August 1922. Moved to Rome 1925 with wife Bianchi Angela, where they opened a small shop. Under government surveillance until 1940; although he maintained his anarchist ideas, officials recorded no political activity of note. Meanwhile his brother Angelo, living in Jessup, Pennsylvania, adopted Tito’s name (causing some confusion) and married fellow anarchist Maria Giaconi, who fought in the Spanish Civil War.

INS file not identified; FBI file BS 25-63-12-1; CPC busta 2786

See also: The Nation, May 18, 1921; Beverly Gage, The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror; Charles H. McCormick, Hopeless Cases: The Hunt for the Red Scare Terrorist Bombers

Amedeo Lilli (Lillie)

Born 1894, Acqualagna, Italy. Laborer. Migrated to US 1913. Anarchist; member, Circolo Studi Sociali of Milwaukee and subscriber to Cronaca Sovversiva. Arrested September 1917 after Italian anarchist “riot,” during which he was shot in the shoulder by an undercover policeman. Sentenced to 25 years for assault in Wisconsin State Prison; pardoned in 1922 on condition of deportation. Deported February 16, 1922. After return to Italy he became a tailor and, according to government surveillance that lasted into 1932, took no part in radical activities.

INS file 54235/67; CPC busta 2787

See also: Robert Tanzilo, The Milwaukee Police Station Bomb of 1917; Dean A. Strang, Worse than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror

Dora Lipkin (Дора Липкин)

Born 1894, Russia. Jewish. Migrated to US 1910. Anarchist and member of the Union of Russian Workers; common-law wife of URW leader Hyman Perkus. Lived in New York with family of Boris Shatz, another URW member and fellow deportee. Arrested October 1919 for “disturbing the peace”; arrested again during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Refused to answer questions while detained. Helped lead hunger strike on Ellis Island to protest conditions. Deported, along with Perkus, on the Buford. 1925 estranged from Perkus and described by Fedor Kushnarev as “a poor broken-hearted woman” who was hoping to leave Russia for Mexico. No further information found.

INS file 54709/275

See also: New York Tribune, November 30, 1919; Rose Pesotta Papers, New York Public Library

Samuel Lipman (Самуил Липман; Lippman; aka Schaie Lipzcuk)

Born 1888, Pinsk, Russia (present-day Belarus). Furrier. Jewish. Migrated to US 1913. Belonged to New York’s Frayhayt Group, but considered himself a socialist rather than an anarchist; a pacifist and vegetarian strongly influenced by Leo Tolstoy. Common-law husband of anarchist Ethel Bernstein (who was deported on the Buford). Arrested with other group members in 1918 for writing and distributing fliers opposing US intervention in Russian Civil War. Sentenced to 20 years under the Espionage Act. In prison, became disillusioned with Tolstoy, but (falsely) claimed to have become an anarchist (so that he could be deported). Deported November 23, 1921 after losing landmark Supreme Court free-speech case Abrams v. United States. In Russia, reunited with and married Ethel Bernstein and studied agronomy and became chairman of the Department of Economic Geography at a university in Moscow. “After a period of doubts, struggle with my own self & debating,” applied to join the Communist Party in 1928. In the 1930s, however, he was executed in Stalin’s purges.

INS file 54517/72

See also: Richard Polenberg, Fighting Faiths: The Abrams Case, the Supreme Court, and Free Speech; Paul Avrich, Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America; Senya Fléchine Papers, International Institute for Social History, The Netherlands

Anton Lipsky (Антон Липский)

Born 1895, Grodno, Russia (present-day Belarus). Presser. Migrated to the US 1913. “I came to the United States to learn some profession.” Joined the Union of Russian Workers in 1919. New York. Arrested in the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/456

Dionisy Liskov (Дионисий Лисков; Liskow)

Deported on the Buford. No further information found.

INS file not identified; included on the passenger manifest of the USAT Buford

Anton Lishkevich (Антон Личкевич; Lichkevitch; aka Anto Cotie)

Born 1887, Kamieniec, Russia (present-day Poland). Laborer. Migrated to Canada 1912; migrated to the US February 1919. “I have been an Anarchist since 1905.” Arrested January 1920 in Detroit. Deported to Russia February 26, 1921, but refused entry on the basis of his anarchism at Libau, along with several other deportees. Coauthored “An Open Letter to the Russian Premier Lenin” in response. Returned to US. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file not identified; FBI file OG 367316

See also: Free Society (New York), October-November 1921

Nichiperuck to Notore

Walter Nichiperuck

Deported to Russia January 22, 1921. No further information found.

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

José Nicieza (Niechesa; Nierchesa; Micezer)

Members of Spanish-speaking Los Corsarios Group, including Nicieza, 1919

Born 1899, Oviedo, Spain. Laborer. Migrated to Cuba 1914; from there migrated to US 1917. Claimed to have held anarchist ideas “Since my childhood” and sympathized with anarchism in Spain, but not active in movement until emigrated. Member of Los Corsarios Group which published anarchist paper El Corsario. One of 14 members arrested in New York, February 1919, by Secret Service on baseless allegations of plotting to assassinate President Wilson. All charges dropped, but several members, including Nicieza, held for deportation as anarchists. Deported to Spain May 4, 1919. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/79

Frank Nikolaev (Николаев; Nikolaeff)

Born 1884, Russia (somewhere in present-day Belarus). Steelworker. Migrated to US 1913. Joined the Union of Russian Workers in Monessen, Pennsylvania, in 1919. Arrested November 26, 1919 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/520; FBI file OG 381430

Paul Nikolajchyk (aka Paul Nicholas)

Deported to Russia February 1, 1921. No further information found.

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

Alexey Nishancoff (Aleck; Alexey Nischtsshankow; Alexis Nischtschkenov; Nischenko)

Born 1892, Mordovo, Saratov, Russia. Laborer. Migrated to Canada 1912, and from there migrated to US 1916. Attended radical meetings, purchased radical literature, and sympathized with the Bolsheviks, but never joined any radical organization. Worked as a stock-keeper at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, but “he was discharged by this latter firm for making Bolshevik and I.W.W. speeches to his fellow workmen. The Ford company delivered him over to the Department of Justice and he was later turned over to this service.” Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54649/62; FBI file OG 379194

David Nordloff

Nordloff’s IWW credentials

Born 1889, Gävle, Sweden. Metalworker. Migrated to US 1910 (via Canada). Joined the IWW in 1916; became delegate and organizer for the IWW’s Metal and Machinery Workers’ Industrial Union. Arrested May 1918 on raid on IWW members in Seattle. “Voluntary departure” with wife and four children, June 6, 1919.

INS file 54379/451; FBI file OG 8000-189115

Joe Notore (Ioe)

Born Italy. Laborer. Migrated to the US 1914. Member of the anarchist Circolo di Studi Sociali in Chicago’s Kensington neighborhood. Arrested May 1918. Deported December 20, 1919. Italian government attempts to locate and surveil him after his arrival failed. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/190; CPC busta 3562

Shepelov to Shveykus

Efrem Shepelov (Ефрем Шепелов; Ephraim)

Member of the Communist Party of America in New York. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. Deported December 23, 1920. No further information found.

INS file not identified; included in lists of deported radicals in FBI file BS 202600-33 and INS file 54325/36G

See also: Butte Daily Bulletin, December 29, 1920

Walter Sherwen (Wherwan; Wladylaw Ozerwonajcio)

Born 1892, Russia (in Russian Poland). Carpenter. Deported to Russia February 26, 1921. No further information found

See also: Ancestry.com

Mikhail A. Shinkarenko (Михаил А. Шинкаренко; Michael; Shinkaroff)

Agricultural worker. Secretary of the Russian Branch of the Communist Party of America in Rockford, Illinois. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. “Voluntarily departed” to Russia, October 30, 1920. No further information found.

FBI files OG 370620 and BS 202600-154-1

Trofin Shipuk (Трофин Шипук; Trofim Chepuk)

Member of the Communist Party of America in New York. Deported December 23, 1920. No further information found.

FBI file OG 386641

Alexander Shkilnyuk (Александр Шкильнюк; Shkilnuk; Szkilniuk)

Born 1895, Kiev, Russia (present-day Ukraine). Ukrainian. Laborer. Migrated to Canada 1912 with father; from there migrated to US 1916. Unaffiliated socialist. Registered for draft in Detroit June 1917, but arrested March 1918 in Elgin, Illinois for not carrying his registration card. Returned to Detroit to claim exemption from the draft as an unnaturalized alien, but was detained and (illegally) conscripted; sent to Camp Custer, Michigan, where arrested by military police June 22, 1918 for “disobedience of orders” and (illegally) court-martialed; sentenced to life imprisonment, subsequently reduced to ten years in Fort Leavenworth disciplinary barracks, then released July 1, 1919 but immediately detained for deportation. His admitted belief in socialism did not meet the legal standard for deportation; instead a warrant was issued on the grounds that he was “likely to become a public charge” at the time of his entry to the US—despite the fact that he claimed to have been carrying $400 at the time—because he had subsequently become a military prisoner, regardless of the illegality of his incarceration. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/239

See also: Detroit Free Press, June 27, 1918; Kenyon Zimmer, “The Voyage of the Buford: Political Deportations and the Making and Unmaking of America’s First Red Scare,” in Deportation in the Americas: Histories of Exclusion and Resistance

Lukoz Shohidko (Lukcz Shoidko; Louis Sedlko; Zhohidko)

Shohidko’s URW membership card

Born 1886, Antosia, Russia (present-day Ukraine). Laborer. Migrated to Canada 1913; from there migrated to US 1916. Wife and two children in Russia. Joined Union of Russian Workers branch in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1918. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/381

Fred Sholuh

Chauffer. Deported to Russia February 26, 1921. No further information found.

Mikhail Shveykus (Михаил Швейкус; Mike Shweikus)

Born 1894, Grodno region, Russia (probably in present-day Belarus). Metalworker. Migrated to US 1912. Joined the Union of Russian Workers branch in Ansonia, Connecticut. Participated in 1919 strike at American Brass Company in Ansonia. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/324