Mr. Uhl to Mr. Breckinridge.

No. 50.]

Sir: I inclose a copy of a letter from Mr. Robert M. Lewis, respecting the case of John Ginzberg, a naturalized American citizen, under arrest in Russia.

It appears that Ginzberg left Russia at the age of 14, four years before any obligation to perform military service could have accrued. He was duly naturalized as an American citizen and received a passport from this Department on October 8 last, the statements in his application corresponding with those of Mr. Lewis’s letter. It is said that he was arrested on crossing the Russian frontier, thrown into jail at Minsk Pinsk and is now held under surveillance while his case is being considered at St. Petersburg.

You will investigate the case and use your good offices in his behalf.

I am, etc.,

Edwin F. Uhl,
Acting Secretary.
[Page 1082]
[Inclosure in No. 50.]

Mr. Lewis to Mr. Gresham.

Dear Sir: Last October John Ginzberg left this country to visit his parents at Minsk Pinsk, Loheshin, Russia, having left Russia fifteen years ago, when but a boy of 14 years of age. He took out his naturalization papers at Wilmington, Del., some years ago, and before leaving this country procured a passport for two years. I am in receipt of a letter to-day from him stating that when he crossed the Russian border at or near Prostken he was arrested, and the authorities took away his certificate of naturalization and passport, also his clothes, when he was placed in jail at Pinsk. It seems from his letter that he is now allowed to go about, but under surveillance, and without his passport can not leave. He further says that he understands that his case is to be carried to St. Petersburg. I trust that this matter will be promptly taken up by your Department, that Mr. Ginzberg may be released, his crime consisting of becoming an American citizen. Kindly acknowledge receipt and oblige.

Very respectfully,

Robert M. Lewis.