Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Split Heritage?

Not only did I have one relative who "named names" during the HUAC/McCarthy Hearings (third cousin) and one who didn't (grandfather), but I also had one grandfather who was a conscientious objector to World War I, and one who served in the Polar Bear/North Russia Expeditionary Force (anti-Soviet action) in 1918-1919.

I have not yet spoken about my father's side of the family, but let me introduce you to my grandfather - father's father- Jacob Kantrowitz/Kantorovich, later Kant. He was born in Kishinev in 1886. Kishinev shuffled back and forth between Romania and Russia, and was also the site of the worst pogrom (official action against the Jews, which included killing, raping, maiming, burning and looting,as well as desecrating holy books). He told us that his father, a rabbi, had, um, a few places of residence and a few wives, one for each place:  Russia, Turkey, Israel (Palestine then) and maybe France, as well. Jacob started organizing for the Jewish Labor Bund (Jewish Socialist and Self-Defence Organization) when he was quite young (13?) and traveled to many places in Russia and Poland, as my mother's father did with Young People's Socialist League here, in the USA.

However, when my grandfather -father's father- arrived here in the USA, he didn't find any jobs on which he could live. So he went into the Army. To his surprise, they made him a sergeant and a Russian and French interpreter. He ended up being awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Cross of St. George.

My dad dug this up.

Soldier Summary

Jacob Kantrowitz

Altername names
  • Kant, Jacob
Military History
Rank: Sergeant (French and Russian Interpreter)
Unit: United States. Army. Infantry, 339th. Company M.
Medals Awarded
  • Cross of St. George
  • Croix de Guerre
Bronx, NY
The history of the American expedition fighting the Bolsheviki; campaigning in north Russia 1918-1919
"M" Company 339th infantry in North Russia
Joel Roscoe Moore papers, 1917-1929, 1940, and 1949-1952

Almost all of the Polar Bear Expedition manuscript and archival materials held by the Bentley Historical Library, as well as related books and periodicals, have been digitized and are freely available for public use on this website. The library is actively seeking additions to the collections, so some recently-acquired materials are not available online. However, all of these collections are described on this site, and researchers are welcome to contact the library's reference staffregarding access or copies.

Bentley Historical Library logo
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI
(734) 764-3482
Why this ad?Ads –
One Company To Serve All Your Needs Our customers are our priority!

No comments:

Post a Comment