On Friday ( Begin With Chapter 1 ) I went to a rally against the ACLU to represent my Father, on Father's Day Weekend.
In this last post in this series I want you to meet a man who LEGALLY immigrated to the United States, and is my answer to all those who have gotten, and will continue to get, angry over my views on ILLEGAL ALIENS.
Gorge Kundurdziev was born in a small town in the Macedonian part of Yugoslavia, in 1923, immigrated to the United States in 1951/2, had his name involuntarily Americanized to GIorgio Kundurazieff in the process, married, in 1957, fathered a son, and 2 daughters, developed the Mental Illness known as Paranoid Schizophrenia ( a chronic mental illness. ), in 1969, and died, in a hospital, in Los Angeles, in 1988 ( What happened to him, in the end, was not easy to watch happen, and we could only wait for the final act, knowing he was beyond communicating with us. ).
In between he lived a complicated, and difficult, yet mostly happy life.
The 2 photos here are the oldest family photos our family has of him.
The bottom one is of him, and his Bulgarian Army buddies, early in WW2 ( That's him in the back row, on the left. )
The top photo was taken at an Eastern Orthodox Church, in Glendale Ca., in about 1953.
Dad never talked much about his life before America. The memories were too painful, I suppose.
Mom always said he was in the Bulgarian Airforce, then in the Macedonian Underground, against Tito ( America's Commie of Choice in Europe at the start of the Cold War. ), and that he lost his left eye blowing up a railroad.
She said that when his unit was betrayed he fled the country and spent a few years in Refugee Camps before immigrating to America.
He never saw his parents, and sisters, in person, again, and they apparently spent some time in Concentration Camps because of him.
When he died, in 1988, I was able to get his complete Immigration Files thru a Freedom of Immigration Request.
What I learned there was startling, and intriguing.
While his Immigration was LEGAL there is a mystery in the details that confuses the issue of the life he led during, and immediately after, the war.
He spent time in at least 2 Refugee Camps between 1947 and 1951, and apparently made quite an impression on some people, somewhere, because he eventually gained a sponsor for immigration to America.
The sponsor was part of the American Friends Society, a Quaker Relief Organization.
While Dad never made it into High School, he was fluent in the languages of his country, and even knew some Greek, Italian, and German.
Thus thru his paperwork, I know what day, and year, and who, in what camp, Americanized his name. ;-D
Not knowing any English, he just went with the flow, apparently. ;-D
I know the boat he came over on, and where he went once he got here, and why he ended up in California.
When you supposedly fought in the underground against a country supported by the people you hope will take you in, I suppose being completely upfront, with the US Displaced persons Commission, about your recent life wouldn't be, um, prudent. ;-D
Dad hated Communism, and was a proud Macedonian Nationalist and, as was shown in the 90's life, in the now broken up Yugoslavia, is all bound up in matters of history, culture, ethnicity, and religion.
All Dad knew was that Freedom , and the chance to rebuild his life, lay in America, and death lay behind him.
This 1st page details the story he gave fighting in the Bulgarian Army, spending time in a Forced Labor Concentration Camp, in 1945-6, where he lost his eye, beign transported to a hospital, then home to recuperate, then making for Greek and Italian, Refugee Camps in 1947, and 1948.
As the 2nd page, attached to this document, states:
"The Commission further states that assurances have been given to the Commision on behalf of the principal applicant by: Mrs. W. M. Storey, Old Mill Farm, Lexington, NY.
That these assurances are in accordance with the requirements of the Act and Regulations, have been approved by the Commision, and bear the Commision Number A-8751.
That the Principal Applicant will be employed as a FArmhelper in NY., that he will reside at Old Mill Farm, lexington, NY, and...
That the Principal Applicant will execute the oath of affirmation required under Section 6 of the Act prior to issuance of Visa.
Based upon the foregoing findings, the Commision determines, and hereby certifies:
That the the Principal Applicant is a displaced perosn, and an eligible displaced person, eligible for consideration for admission into the united States under Section 2(C) of the Act, and that such admission would be in accordance with the regulations of the Commision;
That the Principal Applicant is entiled to: The 1st preference under section 6 (A) of the US Displaced Persons Act of 1948, as amened, because of the nature of his employment.
Therefore in accordance with the regulations of the Commision, this report is submitted to the Officer of the US Foreign Service at Naples, Italy, for consideration in connection with the Principal Applicant's application for an Immigration Visa."
Unlike more than 12 million folks, who shall remain nameless, since 1986, my Dad jumped thru all the LEGAL hoops he was required to to come to The Promised Land, The Land of Opportunity, The Land of Freedom, and Democracy.