April 16, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 16, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Execution of Alexander Karpov

Part 2

(Continued from last week)

For one of the investigations that I will relate later, we were asked to prepare a set of questions that we would like to have answered. Obviously, we think we know the answers to some of the questions, such as: “When, where and to whom did he get married?” and “Did he have children?” But since no documentation exists, we wanted to hear from an independent source, if one could be found.

Dorothy had previously received confirmation from several independent sources close to her family, of families who had been helped by Alexander to escape from Russia using documents forged by him. Therefore, that part of the story has been independently confirmed. Everything Dorothy knows about her father comes from her mother, to the extent that she was willing to disclose.

During the relating of the story, I will be mentioning the name of a Boris Feldblyum repeatedly. Not only had he been of tremendous help in solving the problem of Herzl by obtaining documents from the Russian Ministry of Defense, but he was of invaluable help throughout the Herzl effort as well as the Alexander research. Boris, Russian by birth, has contacts in, and a lot knowledge of, that geographic area and was able to write letters for us in Russian to officials we wanted to contact. He lives in Maryland and by profession is an architectural photographer. He is paid by the hour for the time he spends on working for me.

I find my first correspondence on the subject of Alexander was as early as June 2013 when I had hardly started on the Herzl investigation. At that time, I wrote to Counselor Vlad Chernyshov in the Washington Embassy asking whether it would be possible to obtain any Russian Army records. On the same day that I wrote to him I received a letter from Major General Valery Baranovsky, defense attaché at the embassy, to whom I had written regarding Herzl. It is a miracle that I did receive a reply. He gave me various suggestions for contacts to obtain any information. This over time I would find happening over and over again, and it would be very frustrating—one person or one organization referring you to another. As time passed, I would often find myself going around in circles of references and not getting anywhere.

But when I asked the general whether it would not be possible for someone in his office to make the contacts, giving as the reason my lack of knowledge of the Russian language, the correspondence came to an end.

Through someone’s recommendation I obtained a book, “Lives of the Great Patriotic War,” that relates the stories of many Jewish Russian soldiers and officers, including Jewish generals. “Great Patriotic War” is the name the Russians gave to WWII. I wrote to Olga Golovanova of the Blavatnik Foundation, the publishers of the book, to inquire whether possibly their extensive archives contained any information on either Herzl or Alexander. The reply was negative but she recommended that I contact the “Memorial Center,” which is the best source specifically focusing on Stalin’s repressions. A reply from Sergey Larkov of the Memorial Foundation informed me that there were 101 Alexander Karpovs in their database and none of them fit the description that I had given. It seems, as confirmed by others later, the name Alexander Karpov is like John Smith in the U.S. I gave Sergey what little information we had about Alexander, but we heard nothing further from him.

In July 2013 I started my correspondence with Boris on the subject of Alexander, furnishing all the information we had, not only about him, but also about Ita and Dorothy so that he could start some inquiries.

The first result from Boris was when he related having spoken to the Vital Records office in Baranovichi (supposedly the birthplace and place of marriage of Alexander). They stated that there were no Melcers (Ita’s maiden name, in various spellings) but many Karpoviches (Alexander’s name before he shortened it to Karpov due to anti-Semitism). There was no marriage record of either name in the 1945-1947 time frame. Not too surprising since they might not have considered a legal marriage important, since they were planning to emigrate or for security reasons or both.

Throughout the month of July there were pages and pages of emails back and forth between Boris and myself, discussing numerous possibilities and actions taken by him, but nothing led to anything concrete.

One suggestion came from Sergey Larkov of “Memorial,” namely to write to the Belarus Committee of State Security in Brest where supposedly the archival investigative files are stored. Since the letter had to be written in Russian, I asked Boris to write for me. I signed it and mailed it registered.

My activities on this subject were placed into hiatus while I was concentrating on the correspondence regarding Herzl.

(To be continued next week)

By Norbert Strauss

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles