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 764 (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!

Fernández to Foli

Ramón Fernández (Jose Ramon Fernandez; Josef Ramon Fernandez; Raymond Fernandez)

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

Born 1898, Oviedo, Spain. Laborer. Migrated to Cuba circa 1914 and became Cuban citizen; became anarchist around same time. 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. US attempted to deport him to Cuba, but he was denied as having forfeited his Cuban citizenship by avoiding military service in WWI; deported to Spain May 1919, but returned to US as a non-Spanish citizen; 1922 allowed to “voluntarily depart” at his own expense to Russia (via Germany). He intended to join the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony in Kuznets. No further information found.

INS file 54616/79

See also: Harry Weinberger Papers, Yale University Library; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Papers, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Helen C. Camp, Iron in Her Soul: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and the American Left

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 1896, 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.” No further information found.

INS file 54517/68

See also: The Workers’ World (Kansas City), August 1, 1919

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

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. May be the same Nels Madsen who, 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.

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)

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

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