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IN RE IWANENKO'S PETITION

October 8, 1956

PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION OF LARYSA IWANENKO.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Perry, District Judge.

The petitioner, Larysa Iwanenko, seeks to take the oath of naturalization after fulfilling all preliminary requirements.

Petitioner is a widow, 48 years of age, and was born in the Ukrainian portion of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. She was admitted to the United States through the New York port on January 13, 1950 for permanent residence under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, §§ 1951-1965, as a Polish citizen chargeable to the Polish nonpreference quota, and has remained continuously in the United States since that entry.

The Designated Examiner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service has objected to the petition for naturalization on the ground that she has not proven lawful entry in that she made an incorrect statement concerning her birth at the time she was granted a visa, a pattern of misrepresentation which was initiated by her a few years earlier to avoid repatriation to Russia.

The Designated Examiner appeared in court, filed written Amended Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommendation, and advanced his objections and recommendation of denial.

In support of his recommendation, the Examiner concluded "that the petitioner is not eligible for naturalization on the ground that she has failed to establish lawful admission to the United States for permanent residence, and is subject to deportation."

The Designated Examiner in his amended Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law reports a detailed history of the petitioner as follows:

    "The petitioner made her formal application for
  animmigration visa before the American Consul at
  Stuttgart, Germany, on December 1, 1949. In her visa
  application she gave her place of birth as Pabianice,
  Lodz, Poland; this statement has been acknowledged by
  her to be false, as she was not born in that place
  but rather in a town that since World War I has been
  part of the U.S.S.R. The reasons for making this
  false statement will be set forth at greater length
  hereafter.
    "The petitioner declared her intention to become a
  citizen of the United States in the United States
  District Court in Chicago, Illinois, on November 27,
  1950. In that application she again stated that she
  was born in Pabianice, Lodz, Poland.
    "The petitioner testified that the reason for her
  false statements to the American Consul concerning
  her place of birth was for the sole purpose of
  averting repatriation to the U.S.S.R. She testified
  that her father, who was born in Russia, was an
  Orthodox priest and that since the age of ten she
  recalls that her father was arrested on numerous
  occasions by agents of the Communist government
  because of the fact that he was a priest and because
  he did not believe in communism. She testified
  further that her father was tortured by the N.K.V.D.,
  agents of the Communist government; and that in 1937
  when her father was sixty-eight years of age, he was
  spirited away and since that time she has never heard
  from him. She testified that her husband whom she
  married in 1928 was also arrested in 1937 because he
  refused to accept the Communist viewpoint and he,
  too, disappeared. Subsequently, she heard that he had
  been killed. After the death of her father and
  husband she roamed from city to city because of a
  fear that she, too, would be apprehended by the
  N.K.V.D. agents. In 1941 when Germany occupied
  Russia, she was forced to work for the German
  occupation forces; and in 1943, when the German army
  retreated from the Ukraine, she and thousands of
  other Ukrainians were taken to Germany, and she was
  required to work in a factory.
    "At this point, it might be well to examine the
  proof offered by the petitioner to show her innocence
  in the matter of the false claim to birth in Poland.
  She states that such false statements were made under
  duress and because of circumstances which placed her
  in fear of being repatriated to Russia; and that she
  did not attempt to deceive the United States Consul.
    "Seven witnesses whose testimony was stipulated
  testified as to the various phases of these claims
  and circumstances. Some of these witnesses were
  displaced persons who had personal experience with
  conditions abroad prior to the entry of the
  respondent to the United States. Others, such as
  Alexandra Tolstoy of the Tolstoy Foundation and the
  head of the United Ukrainian-American Relief
  Committee, gave testimony as to their knowledge of
  the conditions which led the respondent and thousands
  of other persons similarly situated to make false
  claims to birth in Poland.
    "In essence, their testimony as to conditions in
  Europe immediately after World War II is as follows:
  Shortly before World War II ended in Europe, an
  agreement was entered into, commonly known as the
  Yalta Agreement. This agreement was made at the
  Crimean Conference held February 4-11, 1945. The
  contents of this agreement were not generally known
  until sometime later. One of the provisions of this
  agreement was reported to be that the powers involved
  agreed to return to each other and to assist in such
  return persons wanted as war criminals, collaborators
  and others in like category. There is no specific
  agreement in the published form of the Yalta
  Agreement that required all citizens of signatory
  powers to be returned. After the end of World War II,
  in Europe, it seemed most natural to Government
  officials of the various countries, that people who
  had fled or had been forced to leave their homes
  would want to return there. The situation, of course,
  was vastly different with respect to those who came
  from Communist dominated countries, particularly
  those from the Ukrainian portion of the U.S.S.R. All
  of the witnesses testified that subsequent to the
  close of the fighting in Europe, steps were taken by
  the American and other Allied authorities to return
  Russian citizens to Russia, and that sometimes this
  was done forcibly. On October 4, 1945, certain
  disturbances had been brought to the attention of the
  Allied forces of occupation which resulted in the
  issuance of an order that no more forcible
  repatriations would take place unless orders to the
  contrary were received from higher authority. The
  witnesses further testified that there may have been
  sporadic instances of forcible repatriations for a
  short time thereafter but that the last forcible
  repatriation which could possibly be pointed to took
  place in 1947, although the major activity seems to
  have terminated in 1946. It has been testified to,
  however, that members of the Soviet Repatriation
  Commission were present in Germany and in various
  Displaced Persons camps searching for Soviet citizens
  for a long time thereafter, even as late as 1949.
    "There appears to be no doubt that what led the
  petitioner to originally adopt Poland as her place of
  birth was the fear of being repatriated to U.S.S.R.
  She described the conditions which existed in the
  camps wherein she was located when word was
  officially given that persons from the Soviet Union
  would have to register and would have to be returned
  to Russia. She related how some individuals committed
  suicide and how others fled from the camp where they
  were required to register. She testified that she and

  her mother also attempted to flee from the camp but
  returned later because they did not have the strength
  to walk the long miles to a distant camp. Upon
  returning, she attempted to register and wanted to
  furnish her correct place of birth but was advised by
  sympathetic authorities at the camp that this would
  cause her to be repatriated to Russia and that it
  would be best if she were to register as a citizen of
  Poland. She thereupon seized upon the suggestion and
  from that time onward she claimed her place of birth
  to be in Pabianice, Lodz, Poland. Stories of forcible
  repatriations kept circulating from one D.P. camp to
  another, and it appears reasonable that the
  respondent would have feared repatriation even after
  1946. The petitioner and the witnesses testified to
  the effect that individual officers of the UNRRA,
  individual American Army officers, and officers of
  other Allied nations in charge of specific Displaced
  Persons camps, cooperated with persons who wished to
  conceal their Soviet birth. These persons either
  encouraged such misrepresentations or did not reveal
  false birth claims, although they knew of them. In
  effect, it appears that they closed their eyes to the
  situation and cooperated with those persons who
  wished to avoid repatriation to Communist Russia or
  Communist dominated countries.
    "The petitioner's fears, however, were apparently
  overwhelming due to her particularly harsh and
  unhappy life in Russia and she was unable to bring
  herself to inform the American Consul of the true
  facts concerning her birth. This fear of being
  repatriated to Russia evidently continued until June
  of 1954, when in an effort to assist ...

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