104. Letter From Vice President Nixon to Chairman Khrushchev0

Dear Mr. Khrushchev: In the course of our talks last Sunday1 I had occasion to speak of certain persons, American citizens and relatives of American citizens, who desire to be reunited with their families in the United States, and said I would write you on the subject before my departure. In pursuance of this talk, I enclose the names and latest known addresses in the Soviet Union of a number of those persons whose situation I believe merits the compassionate attention of both our Governments.2

The United States stands ready to admit these persons under our immigration laws. I hope the Soviet Government will also find it possible, for its part, to facilitate their departure.

In the interests of a continuing improvement in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, I believe that matters such as this, involving principles of non-separation of families which we both support, should not persist as irritants to larger solutions. In this regard, I can state that the United States Government does not stand in the way of persons including its own citizens who desire to depart from the United States to take up residence in the U.S.S.R.

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The only case which I know to be of concern to the Soviet Government is, as I mentioned to you, that of the Kusmin children now pending in our courts;3 and I desire to report to you the intention of the United States Government to facilitate a solution of this matter.

I very much appreciated your receptive and sympathetic attitude when we talked about this question and I shall be grateful for your attention.


Richard Nixon4
  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1416. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 99.
  3. The list has not been found, but a list of names of Soviet residents and names and addresses of their relatives in the United States who wanted them to come to America is in the briefing book on Nixon’s visit. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1416)
  4. According to a briefing paper prepared on July 8 in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs, there were four Kusmin (spelled Kozmin in the briefing paper) children, three of whom were Soviet citizens and the fourth, having been born in the United States, an American citizen. These children were wards of the Chicago Family Court of Cook County since July 1953 when their parents were placed in mental institutions. Since their release the following year, the parents, Soviet displaced persons unable to adjust to life in the United States, tried to regain custody of their children. The Soviet Embassy in Washington entered the case in June 1956, and the parents left the United States a year later without their children. The case went to court in the State of Illinois, and in response to a request from the Attorney General of that state, the Department of State sent a letter to Governor Stratton on June 26, 1959, reiterating Department of State policy not to impede the voluntary repatriation of citizens to their own country and to facilitate the reuniting of families. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1413) On August 19, the Family Court of Cook County rendered a decision giving custody to Mr. and Mrs. Kusmin of their four children, and the children left the United States by airplane on August 27 to be reunited with their parents in the Soviet Union. Additional documentation on the Kusmin case is ibid., Central File 211.6122.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.