Tag Archives: Norwegian

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 836 (and counting) individual deportees I have identified. This list is a work in progress, and entries are being added updated as I obtain additional information.

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 or being interned as “enemy aliens.” 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 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 and Brooke Thompson, who photographed hundreds 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!

Fernández to Foli

Josef Ramón Fernández (José Ramón Fernández; José Fernández; Fernande)

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

Born 1898, Oviedo, Spain. Laborer. Became an anarchist at age sixteen, migrated to Cuba circa 1914. Migrated from Cuba to US 1917. 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 Fernandez, held for deportation as anarchists. Deported to Spain May 5, 1919. No further information found.

INS file 54616/79

Ramón Fernández (Raymond Fernandez)

Born in Cuba. Anarchist and likely IWW member. Arrested 1918 in Seattle and convicted of Criminal Syndicalism; pardoned by the governor after three months so that he could be deported. Held in Seattle immigration station until March 1920, then transferred to Ellis Island. November 1921 deported to Spain, but refused admission due to his Cuban birth. Returned to Ellis Island, and March 1922 deported to Cuba, but refused admission on the grounds that he forfeited his Cuban citizenship by avoiding military service in WWI. July 22, 1922 allowed to “voluntarily depart” at his own expense to Russia (via Rotterdam). Joined the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony in Kuznets until its dissolution in 1926, writing occasional reports for the paper Cultura Obrera.

See: Harry Weinberger Papers, Yale University Library; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Egor Matveevich Feskov (Грегори Матвеевич Фесков; Egor Feskow; Harry Feskow; Grigory Feskov)

Born Stepok, Russia, 1885. Laborer. Migrated to US 1913. Joined Hartford, Connecticut branch of the Union of Russian Workers in 1919. Arrested during first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. 1935, via Russian Consul in New York, employed attorney Aaron Banenson to recover bank savings lost due to deportation, totaling $2,404 ($983.50 plus compound interest); 1943 a judge ruled in Feskov’s favor.

INS files 54709/524 and 56167/137

See also: Hartford Courant, December 23, 1943

William Fields (Field)

Born 1880, London, England. Lumber worker. Migrated to US 1905. Joined IWW 1917. Arrested Seattle, May 1918. Deported February 1919. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54379/416 (file missing); FBI file OG 194446

Ivan Filisofov (Иван Философов; John Philisoph)

Born 1877, Volynia, Russia (present-day Poland). Laborer. Migrated to Argentina circa 1914; from there migrated to US circa 1915. Wife and three children in Russia. Allegedly a member of the Union of Russian Workers branch in Thomaston, Connecticut; however, he claimed he only belonged to the non-partisan Union of Russian Citizens (an umbrella organization for Russian progressives). Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. A large amount of anarchist, IWW, and Communist literature was confiscated from his room, some of which he claimed belonged to a roommate. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/166; FBI file OG 355772

Olaf Finnestad (Finnstad)

Flier protesting arrests of Finnestad and fellow IWW member Adolph Errson

Born 1894, Stavanger, Norway. Laborer. Migrated to US 1910. Joined IWW in Los Angeles, 1916; 1918 secretary of Minneapolis IWW branch. Arrested Seattle, October 1918. Deported March 1919. In Norway, immediately joined the Norsk Syndikalistik Federation (Norwegian Syndicalist Federation) and the anarchist Norges Ungsocialistiske Forbund (Norwegian Youth’s Socialist League), and lectured “on conditions in the United States.” August 1920 immigrated to Canada. At some point prior to 1951 he illegally returned to the US and gained US citizenship. Died Portland, Oregon, 1974.

INS file 54517/68

See also: The Workers’ World (Kansas City), August 1, 1919; Ancestry.com

Friedrich Fischer (Fred Fischer/Fisher; aka Charles Williams and Charles William Fischer)

Born 1877, Germany. Sailor; lumber worker; laborer. Migrated to US 1896; sailed all over the world from US ports. Joined IWW 1916. Arrested December 1917 as “enemy alien” working on waterfront; released; arrested January 1918, Walla Walla, Washington for IWW membership. Interned as “enemy alien” as Fort Douglas, Utah (even though he declared, “We don’t believe in the German Kaiser ourself [sic]. I have no love for any king or kaiser; makes no difference where he is….I wish the German Kaiser went to hell a long time ago.” “Voluntary departure” June 1919 in exchange for release. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54379/61

Enrique Flores Magón

Enrique Flores Magón (standing center left, without a had) with family and supporters in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, March 4, 1923, following his deportation

Born Mexico, 1877. Millwright, journalist. Opponent, along with brother Ricard Flores Magón, of Mexican president Porfirio Díaz, leading to arrest in 1903. Both brothers immigrated to the US later that year, founding the anti-Díaz Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM) and its newspaper Regeneración. The Flores Magón borthers, and hence the PLM, became increasingly radical, eventually embracing anarchism and supporting the syndicalist IWW. The brothers were repeatedly arrested up until 1917, when Enrique left the PLM. 1918 Enrique began sentence for “mailing un-mailable matter”; released from Leavenworth 1920. 1923 “voluntary departure” to Mexico. Active in Mexico’s anarchist movement for many years, but became less radical over time. Died 1954.

INS file 54861/116

Ignacz Fogler

Deported May 1920 to Austria. No further information found.

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

Virgilio Foli

Born 1886, Fanano, Italy. Miner. Migrated to US 1902. Became anarchist circa 1916. Arrested in Spring Valley, Illinois, December 1920. Deported March 1921. Briefly migrated from Italy to Belgium in 1923 looking for work. In Italy, became farmer. Italian authorities noted no radical activity, an in 19137 removed him from the list of subversives. However, after his death in 1969, his comrades wrote in the anarchist newspaper L’Internazionale that his was “a life lived intensely for the affirmation of anarchist ideas the affirmation of anarchist ideas for which he suffered persecution and exile.”

INS file 54885/19; CPC busta 2101

See also: True Republican (Syncamore, IL), March 30, 1921; Andrea Pirondini, Anarchici a Modena: Dizionario biografico.

MacDonald to Makarevich

John Alex MacDonald (J. A. MacDonald; McDonald)

IWW, J. A. MacDonald, 13133 Leavenworth, Sept 7 or 8, 1918

Editor of the IWW’s newspaper The Industrial Worker in Seattle from June 1916 to July 1918; active in defense of IWW members on trial following the Everett Massacre. Defendant at federal IWW trial 1917-1918; sentenced to ten years. His wife Kate edited the Industrial Worker, for which she had been the bookkeeper, during the trial. 1923 his sentence commuted on the condition of his deportation to Canada. In Canada, continued organizing for the IWW and writing for American IWW publications until at least 1926; led 1925 effort to organize Canadian agricultural workers, along with fellow deported IWW member Sam Scarlett. He should not be confused with the Communist Party of Canada organizer of the same name; MacDonald believed “a political revolution had occurred in Russia, but that any industrial revolution other than from feudalism to capitalism was unthinkable…[I]ndustrial communism must not come from the top but from the bottom, changing the foundations of society and consequently its superstructure, and destroying the state, of necessity an instrument of class rule.” Or, as he put it elsewhere, “a proletarian revolution is possible in a nation of smokestacks but it can not occur in a nation of haystacks” (see Industrial Pioneer, May 1925 and May 1926).

FBI file OG 8000-41990

See also: Industrial Workers of the World Collection, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University; Stephen M. Kohn, American Political Prisoners: Prosecutions under the Espionage and Sedition Acts; Heather Mayer, Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924; James Sullivan, “Reviewing the 1925 Harvest Drive,” Industrial Pioneer November 1925; J. A. McDonald [sic], “Training for Freedom,” Industrial Pioneer, March 1926; J. A. MacDonald, “The Reforging of Russia,” Industrial Pioneer, May 1925.

Samuel Mackway

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

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

Victor Macur

Born Vilna, Russia, 1887 (present-day Lithuania). Polish. Laborer. Migrated to US 1912. 1919 joined Russian Branch No. 3 of the Socialist Party of America in August 1919, which subsequently transferred into the Communist Party of America. Arrested during the second Palmer Raids, January 1920. “Voluntarily departed” to Poland via Canada, October 16, 1920.

INS file 54859/984; FBI file OG 387500

Nils Madsen (Nels; Madison)

Born 1886, Drammen, Norway. Laborer; union organizer. Migrated to US 1904. 1912 joined IWW; became General Organizer for the Lumber Workers’ Industrial Union No. 500 circa 1916; arrested multiple times in connection with IWW organizing. Arrested March 26, 1918, in St. Maries, Idaho under state “criminal syndicalism” law. Deported November 4, 1918. 1918-1919 lectured throughout Norway on conditions in the US and cofounded the “Norwegian-American Defense Committee” to raise money for imprisoned IWW members. By 1922, had become an organizer for the Norske Arbeiderpartiet (Norwegian Labour Party) and led its Norges Røde Speiderforbund (Norwegian Red Scout Federation, NRS), an attempt to create a radical alternative to the international Scout movement, but in the Labour Party’s 1925 split sided with the expelled pro-Communist faction connected to the publication Mot Dag and most of the NRS organizations followed him, only to collapse in 1926. 1934-1955 served as head of Norway’s Hotel Workers’ Union (Hotellpersonalets forening). Died 1965.

INS file 54379/199

See also: “Norwegian Workers Come to the Aid of the I. W. W.,” One Big Union Monthly, March 1, 1919; Terje Halvorsen, Partiets salt : AUFs historie; Sondre Ljoså, “‘Etter beste evne at alltid være en god kamerat’: Speiderarbeid i arbeiderbevegelsen på 1920-tallet,” Arbeiderhistorie (2007); https://leksikon.speidermuseet.no/wiki/Nils_Madsen

Piotr Mager (Петр Магер; Peter Magyar)

Born 1891, Russia. Metalworker. Migrated to US 1913. Wife in Russia. Joined the Union of Russian Workers in Youngstown, Ohio circa 1915. Arrested August 1919, then again during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. Deported on the Buford. Subsequent activities unknown.

INS file 54709/498

Ivan Maiboroda (Иван Майборода; John)

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

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

Vinko Majetic

Deported to Croatia, September 1, 1920. No further information found.

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

George Makaranko (Makarenko)

Born Kyiv, Russia (present-day Ukraine), 1893. Migrated to US 1914. Laborer. Wife and children in Russia. Member of Detroit’s Russian Branch No. 3 of the Communist Party. Arrested January 1920; deported March 18, 1921.

INS file 54859/621

Lavrenti Makarevich (Лаврентий Макаревич; Lawrence Makarvitch)

Born 1894, Grodno, Russia (present-day Belarus). 1914 migrated to Canada; 1915 migrated from there to US. Joined the Union of Russian Workers in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Arrested during the first Palmer Raids, November 1919. According to INS file, he was deported January 22, 1921; however, a Department of Justice agent reported that Makarevich attended a June 4, 1922 conference of the URW in New Haven as a delegate of that city’s Russian Progressive Organization. His wife, Sophie Babitz, was living with her parents in Connecticut “and does not desire to have anything more to do with him.” Unclear if he was deported and returned, was never deported, or was deported and the DoJ report was in error.

INS file 54709/399