361.1121 Sviridoff, George/8

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Henderson) to the Secretary of State

No. 510

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s instruction of February 12, 1937 (File No. 361.1121 Sviridoff, George/5 [6]),51 [Page 492] enclosing a copy of a letter dated November 24, 1936, from Mr. Kliment Sviridoff with reference to the alleged imprisonment in the Soviet Union of his son, Mr. George Sviridoff,52 who is reported to desire to return to the United States, and requesting that the Embassy communicate with Mr. George Sviridoff with the view of informing him that he may be issued a passport valid for his return to the United States provided it is established that since attaining his majority he has performed no act which has resulted in his expatriation. The Embassy was also requested, in the event that no reply is received from Mr. Sviridoff within a reasonable time, to ask the assistance of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs in ascertaining the present whereabouts and welfare of Mr. George Sviridoff and if he is serving a term of imprisonment or is otherwise detained, to take such further steps as advisable with a view to obtaining his release with permission to return to the United States.

Upon receipt of the Department’s instruction a letter was addressed by double registered mail to Mr. George Sviridoff, Mine No. 1, Pechorski Camp U.KH.T., Vorkuta, Northern Krai, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, regarding his welfare and plans for the future. A return postal registration card was finally received by the Embassy which indicated that the letter addressed to Mr. Sviridoff was delivered to the representative of the mine on August 25, 1937, but it is not known whether Mr. George Sviridoff actually received the communication or was in a position to reply to the letter. A note was, accordingly, addressed to the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs on June 26, 1937, requesting information regarding the whereabouts and welfare of Mr. Sviridoff. The People’s Commissariat was furnished with Mr. Sviridoff’s last known address and pertinent information regarding his residence in this country, but no reply was received to the Embassy’s communication. A second note was sent to the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs on August 3, 1937, inquiring regarding Mr. George Sviridoff. The Embassy is now in receipt of a communication dated August 21, 1937, from the People’s Commissariat in which it is stated that it is impossible to establish the whereabouts of Mr. George Sviridoff.53

It is regretted that the Embassy has been unable to furnish the father of Mr. George Sviridoff with any information concerning the welfare of his son.

Respectfully yours,

For the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim:
A. I. Ward

Chief of the Consular Section
  1. Not printed.
  2. George Sviridov had attempted to stow away on the Soviet ship Kim, outward bound from Novorossiisk, in March 1934, to return to the United States. Upon discovery, he had been returned to the Soviet Union, where he had been sentenced to 10 years of convict labor.
  3. The father received a letter from his son subsequent to February 14, 1939, sent from the same address as given above.