Tag Archives: Bulgarian

Faces of the First Red Scare

As part of the ongoing research for my book on the global history of immigrant radicals who were deported during America’s First Red Scare, I have posted brief profiles of 761 (and counting) individual deportees I have identified. This list is a work in progress, and some entries will be updated as I obtain additional sources.

Who is included:

This list includes radicals and suspected radicals who were deported between 1918 (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 by government order 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) 1918-1926, the United States deported 979 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:

Profiles have been posted in small batches. They are organized 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.) You can also browse the Index of Names.

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; D.J. Alperovitz, who has provided photographs of several IWW members; 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!

Perkus to Petruccioli

Hyman Perkus (Хайман Перкус; Nikofor)

Born 1888, Riga, Russia (present-day Latvia). Jewish. Carpenter. Had been a social democrat in Russia. 1912 migrated to Paris; from there migrated to US 1915. Became an anarchist in the US and joined the Union of Russian Workers in Cleveland in 1916, then a member of the URW’s First Branch in New York. Member Anarchist Red Cross. Partner of fellow URW member Dora Lipkin. Became national Secretary of the URW; succeeded Peter Bianki as editor of URW paper Khleb i Volia. During examination answered: “Why did I become an anarchist? I have suffered from injustices and oppression and have seen that the people in general also suffer from injustices and oppression.” Also stated, “I think the only way is to use the same methods that the United States people used against England in 1776 when the United States people got their freedom…You know what they did.” Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. January 1921 he founded the Union of Russian Anarchist Workers Repatriated from America, which critically supported the Bolshevik dictatorship as a temporary necessity, and he accepted the concept of the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” February 1921 he spoke at Peter Kropotkin’s funeral, reading a paper that criticized Kropotkin’s support of the Allies in the First World War and which, according to Alexander Berkman, “outraged everyone at the grave.” March 1921 joined Berkman and Emma Goldman in unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate peace between the Red Army and the Kronstadt sailors. Arrested multiple times in the aftermath of the Kronstadt uprising. Later attended the Moscow Institute of Journalism. He may have eventually joined the Communist Party. Reportedly killed during Stalin’s purges.

INS file 54709/116

See also: Victor Serge, Anarchists Never Surrender: Essays, Polemics, and Correspondence on Anarchism, 1908–1938; Alexander Berkman Papers, International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam; The J. Abrams Book: The Life and Work of an Exceptional Personality, trans. Ruth Murphy, ed. Brian Moen; Rose Pesotta Papers, New York Public Library; Paul Avrich, Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America

Filippo Perrone (Philip; Felipe; aka Vincenzo Lentini)

Born 1881, Agrigento (Sicily), Italy. Laborer. Migrated to US 1901. Lived in Tampa, New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee. Anarchist, closely associated with Luigi Galleani’s Cronaca Sovversiva. 1911 joined group of Italian anarchists who joined the forces of the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM) in Tijuana, Mexico, in opening phase of the Mexican Revolution; quickly disillusioned with the the PLM and soon returned to US, where an outspoken critic of the PLM and Mexican Revolution. September 25, 1911 arrested in San Francisco after he “spoke disparagingly about the American flag, condemned law and order, denounced all forms of government and ended with a tirade against the Pope”; this sparked a successful “free speech fight” involving anarchists and IWW members, and the charges against him were dropped. Arrested circa 1922 in Seattle. Deported August 8, 1922. 1923 arrested in Ventimiglia while attempting to clandestinely emigrate. 1924 illegally emigrated to France and then US, using the name “Vincenzo Lentini.” Remained active in Italian American anarchist movement. Deported again after World War II. Died in Sicily shortly thereafter.

CPC busta 3875

See also: Michele Presutto, La rivoluzione dietro l’angolo gli anarchici italiani e la rivoluzione messicana, 1910-1914; Kenyon Zimmer, Immigrants Against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America; Un trentennio di attività anarchica (1915-1945)

Pietro Giovanni Perruchon (Peter; aka Ursus)

Born 1885, Arnaz (Aosta), Italy. Miner. Migrated to US 1907 but returned in Italy 1910; 1911 returned to US. Wife (Maria Rosa Joly) followed in 1912; daughter Lotta (“Struggle”) born in 1914. Worked as miner in Colorado and then Arizona. Became an anarchist sometime before his return to the US. Acted as literature and correspondence distributor for Luigi Galleani’s Cronaca Sovversiva. 1915 published a militant anti-war article for La Questione Sociale. 1917 involved in miners’ strike in Globe and Miami, Arizona. Arrested March 26, 1918 in Globe for distributing radical and antiwar literature. Convicted of violating the Espionage Act at trail in Tucson in May 1918; jury deliberated for only one minute and thirty seconds; sentenced to two years in Leavenworth. Upon release, detained for deportation. Denied permission to visit his wife (Rosa) and daughter (Lotta) in Miami, Arizona before his deportation. Authorities noted, “it is understood that his deportation will not seriously interfere with their maintenance or welfare since the wife is operating an apparently prosperous boarding house.” Deported March 27, 1920. In Arnaz, founded Gruppo di emancipazione anarchica in 1920. April 1921 arrested on suspicion of connection to the bombing La Diana theater, but acquitted. 1923 migrated to France; returned to Italy 1924. 1925 returned to France; worked as chauffeur in Paris; his daughter Lotta joined him in France. 1937 returned to Italy to claim an inheritance; arrested and claimed to have abandoned his radicalism; freed and returned to France. Remained in correspondence with Italian anarchists in the US up until his death in France in 1967.

INS file 54379/192; CPC busta 3877

See also: Cronaca Sovversiva, passim; Harry Weinberger Papers, Yale University; http://www.bfscollezionidigitali.org/entita/14402-perruchon-giovanni-pietro/; Il Fondo L’Adunata Collection, Boston Public Library; L’Adunata dei Refrattari, October 14, 1967

Paraliett Kutzman Petcoff (Kuzman; Huzman)

Born 1887, Bulgaria. Laborer. 1910 migrated to Canada. Lost the sight in one eye due to workplace accident. Migrated to US 1917. Joined the IWW’s Metal Mine Workers Industrial Union no. 800 in March 1919. Arrested June 11, 1919 in Cleveland. Claimed to be from a wealthy family in Bulgaria, but immigration authorities concluded, “While the Bureau is unable to find that any of the anarchistic charges contained in the warrant are substantiated, it is of the opinion that the alien was a person likely to become a public charge at the time of entry.” Deported January 22, 1920. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/220

Jose Petit y Fernandez (Jose Petit Fernandez; Jose Petit; aka Casimiro Petit Fernandez; Jesus Sanchez)

Born 1879, Oviedo, Spain. Cigar worker. Anarchist. Migrated to US circa 1914. Married Maria Alvarez in Tampa, January 1914. Returned alone to Spain circa 1917; again migrated to the US to rejoin his wife and three children November 19, 1918. Arrested February 1919 for having fraudulently used his deceased brother’s passport to enter the US (and avoid military service during his time in Spain). Bureau of Investigation agent opined “that this man is too ignorant to take any initiative in anarchistic and Bolsheviki propaganda or plots but he is a dangerous man to be at large to be used as a tool for those who have the initiative.” Deported to Cuba, June 22, 1919, accompanied by his family. Subsequent activities unknown, but he was still living in Cuba in 1946.

FBI file OG 335078

See also: Tampa Times, April 24 and June 20, 1919; Tampa Tribune, February 1, 1914 and February 5 and June 24, 1919 and May 21, 1946

Konstantin Petrashka (Константин Петрашка; Kontatin Petrosham; Kostativ Petroshak)

Born 1898, Stanki, Russia (present-day Poland). Millworker. Migrated to US 1914. Joined the Union of Russian Workers branch in New London, Connecticut, July 1919; became its secretary. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/528; FBI file OG 8000-382590

Settimio Petruccioli (Settime; Settimo; Petrucioli)

Born 1888, Bevagna, Italy. Laborer; barber. Migrated to US 1913. Anarchist. Member of the Circolo di Studi Sociali in Kensington, Illinois; supporter of Luigi Galleai’s Cronaca Sovversiva. Arrested June 1919. Deported December 20, 1919. February 1920 emigrated to Canada. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54616/215; CPC busta busta 3912

Tataranovich to Tori

Victor Tataranovich (Виктор Татаранович)

Born 1889, Russia. Laborer; mechanic. Migrated to Argentina 1909, then Panama 1912, then to the US 1913. Employed by the Ford Motor Company. 1918 joined Detroit’s Russian Branch No. 3 of the Socialist Party of America, which in September 1919 transferred into the Communist Party of America in Detroit. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. “Voluntarily departed” via Canada, October 16, 1920. Subsequent activities unknown.

FBI files OG 386338 and BS 202600-710-1

Josef Teichman (Joe; Feichman)

Born 1890, Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, Austria-Hungary (present-day Poland). Miner. Migrated to US 1912. Worked in a mine in Vestaburg, Pennsylvania. Joined the Socialist Party of America branch in Vestaburg in 1918; 1919 transferred into the Communist Party of America. Pittsburgh. December 1919 became branch secretary. According to Immigration Inspector in Charge W. W. Sibray, “He is a nice clean-cut appearing fellow and does not impress me as being one who would be implicated in a project against the interest of this government. He does, however, belong to the Communist Party of America and is its secretary, and if it is the policy of the Department [of Labor] to deport persons who belong to that organization, then this man should be deported to the country whence he came.” “Voluntarily departed” to Poland, October 20, 1920. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54809/281; FBI file OG 386882

Nik Telatitski

Telatitski’s URW membership card

Born 1893, Brest-Litovsk, Russia (present-day Brest, Belarus). Laborer. Migrated to US 1913. Wife in Russia. Union of Russian Workers. Youngstown, Ohio. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/541; FBI file OG 8000-379688

Afanasy Timonatnko

Deported to Russia, October 16, 1920. No further information found.

Included on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

Jacob Tiomay(?)

The partially illegible name as it appears in the record

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

Included on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

Konrad Tkach (Конрад Ткач; Kondrat)

Member of the Communist Party of America in Bayonne, New Jersey. Deported to Russia December 23, 1920. No further information found.

Included on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

See also: The Morning Post (Camden NJ), December 12, 1920.

Mike Tkach

Member of the Communist Party of America in Pittsburgh. Arrested February 20, 1920. Deported to Russia February 1, 1921. No further information found.

FBI file OG 8000-193906; list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

Benjamin Tobak

Born 1898, Austria-Hungary. Printer. Date of migration to the US unknown. Member of the Communist Party of America in New York. Arrested December 8, 1919 and charged with “criminal anarchy.” Deported to Austria June 19, 1920. No further information found.

FBI file OG 377698

See also: New York Herald, November 3, 1919

Spas Todorov (Спас Тодоров; Sam; Todoroff)

Born 1898, Bulgaria. Construction worker. Migrated to US 1917. 1918 lived in Toledo, Ohio. 1919 joined the Communist Party of America in Buffalo. Arrested December 28, 1919 in Lusk Committee raid on Buffalo’s CP headquarters. Initially indicted for “criminal anarchy,” but then turned over to Immigration authorities for deportation. Deported September 8, 1920. Subsequent activities unknown.

Included on list of deported radicals in INS file 54325/36G

See also: Ancestry.com; Buffalo Courier, December 30, 1919; Buffalo Evening News, January 10, 1920

Iacopo Tori (Jacopo; Jacob; aka Louis Tori)

Born 1892, Montecarlo, Lucca, Italy. Laborer. Migrated to US with his father circa 1907; both returned to Italy circa 1908; Tori again migrated to the US 1909. 1913 became an organizer for the IWW and an active member of its Latin Branch in San Francisco. Arrested September 19, 1916 for “disturbing the peace” while protesting the conviction of Warren Billings. Active in anti-conscription agitation during World War I; in 1917 he hand-wrote a placard displayed at the IWW’s headquarters in South San Francisco reading: ” The clergy and the capitalists want war but they are not going to war. Imitate them!” December 20, 1917 arrested in San Francisco for avoiding the draft (for which he was not legally eligible!); he was in possession of a false passport and allegedly planning to make is way to Tijuana. Defendant along with 45 other IWW members in federal trail in Sacramento for violating the Espionage Act; engaged with most of the other defendants in a “silent defense” by refusing to participate in the proceedings. Sentenced to ten years in Leavenworth Penitentiary. In Leavenworth he was repeatedly disciplined for refusing to do work. August 1919 authorities at Leavenworth confiscated a letter from Tori to his older brother in Italy, reading: “The penal institutions of this rotten bawdy-house, American democracy, will never succeed in keeping in chains within the walls of shame the spirit of good men; this rises above the walls and goes where it will. I am sorry to hear that you are still a solider. I understand very well, though I have not tried it myself, that being a soldier in a monarchy is a dog’s life. Military life is a dog’s life anyway.” Sentence commuted December 1923 on condition of deportation. On eve of their deportations, Tori and two other IWW members “asserted that they will carry on the work of the Industrial Workers of the World when they are released, whether it be in this country or in a foreign land.” Deported March 29, 1924. Imprisoned in Italy upon arrival for avoiding Italian military service and conscripted into the 79th Infantry Regiment until October 1925. Returned to Montecarlo, where authorities in 1936 reported his “good conduct in general, without giving rise to any kind of political remarks”; he was removed from the Italian government’s list of “subversives” that same year.

FBI file OG 110181; CPC busta 5160

See also: Kenyon Zimmer, Immigrants Against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America; Iacopo Tori, Il processo muto di Sacramento, Cal. (1919); St. Joseph Gazette (St. Joseph MI), December 27, 1923