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.