In a previous post, Family Friday: Jose Shabetai Glicker, I discussed my great-uncle “Jose” Shabetai Glicker who lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is a photo of Shabetai’s daughter, Aida Glicker Narovisky (also spelled Narosky, Naroviscky, and Narovischky).
I have written previously about Shabetai, the brother of my grandfather Sam Glicker, and about the last letter received from him about 1950. In the letter, Shabetai mentioned his daughter and the heartache he suffered because his daughter’s husband was a revolutionary.
I thought little more about Shabetai’s family until I started compiling a family tree a few years ago. My grandfather had died in 1969, having outlived his other siblings, but now I wondered what had become of Shabetai’s daughter after the 1950 letter? In 2012, I managed to contact Paulo Valadares, a historian in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mr. Valaderes sent me information about Shabetai that I mentioned in my previous post, and the following message about Shabetai’s daughter:
His daughter was AIDA GLIKER (1911) married to CHAIM RUBIM NAROSKY (1904), “Polish nationality“. The couple were expelled from Brazil [for] “communist activities” on 12/01/1937. I [have] not found Gliker and Narosky currently living in Brazil.
I found this information from Mr. Valderes far more shocking that what Shabetai had described simply as “heartache” about his daughter in his letter. I was determined to find out more. At the Library of Congress, I viewed the original source of this information: a book in Portuguese titled Bolchevismo & judaísmo : a comunidade judaica sob o olhar do DEOPS (Bolshevism and Judaism: the Jewish community under the gaze of DEOPS). This is what was written about Aida’s life on page 104.
The Israelite Aida Glicker Naroviski was arrested on September 19, 1931 during a march organized by the Women’s Committee of the International Red Aid and the Communist Youth. She was, according to police, waving batons and red flags and cheering communism on XV de Novembro Street. She was released from custody on September 24, 1931. After a long… and surveillance, she was arrested at her home along with her husband, James Naroviski. With them were seized a book by Trotsky, a passport, some internal circulars, reports and balance sheets of the International Red Aid, correspondence related to activities within the Communist Youth, newsletters, journals, etc. Declared on December 17, 1935 … adherent of Marxist ideology. Aida and James were accused of communism and agitation, as well as maintaining close relations with members of the Communist Party, especially among foreigners, Aida being responsible for sending communist correspondence. On April 14, 1936, they were expelled from national territory to Warsaw. (translated from Portuguese with the help of translate.google.com)
Not only was Aida’s husband considered a “revolutionary,” as Shabetai mentioned, but it seems Aida also clashed with Brazilian authorities. Aida and her husband were caught in a web of political intrigue during a dark period in Brazil’s history. Until the 1980’s, press censorship and secret hearings before military courts kept Brazilians and others in the dark about those who were arrested and punished during this period in Brazil’s history. Most information was suppressed until the 1980’s when Brazil began to release records about this period publicly. Very few of the books and records I have found have been translated to English, but are in Portuguese, of course. I’ve had to painstakingly translate whatever information I could find.
I learned that the year before Aida was first arrested, 1930, was a watershed for Brazil. Brazil had been a monarchy until 1888 when Brazil’s 700,000 slaves were finally emancipated, angering plantation owners. In 1889, a military coup resulted in a “coffee presidency,” a federation of independent states ruled by plantation owners. Then, the 1929 stock market crash, the worldwide depression, and the collapse of Brazil’s coffee market led to turmoil in Brazil’s economy and government. Taking advantage of the unstable conditions, Getúlio Dornelles Vargas seized power in a 1930 military coup and ruled under a totalitarian dictatorship that lasted until 1945. This period is known as the “Vargas Era” in Brazilian history, during which the Brazilian economy expanded its industrial sector and all political opposition to the Vargas regime was crushed.
To maintain his grip on the country, Vargas emulated the Fascist and Nazi governments in Spain and Germany. Vargas considered the Communist Party his enemy, similar to how it was viewed in Spain and Germany during the 1930’s. With Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, anti-semitism evidenced itself in Brazil as well as Germany, even though the average Brazilian had little to no contact with the Jewish population.
As told by Jeff Lesser in Welcoming the Undesirables : Brazil and the Jewish Question:
Brazil’s Jewish community reacted quickly to the rise in anti-semitism in the early 1930s. Pamphlets circulated among Rio’s Jews suggested that it was time to defend “the legitimate interests of the Jewish Collective of Brazil,” and in late March 1933, the Jewish Colonization Association’s Isaiah Raffalovich organized a protest in Rio de Janeiro “against the tyrannical treatment of German Jews.” The march, according to the rabbi, was peaceful. Even so, the police waded into the crowd, where they waged “a brutal aggression against the defenseless Jewish population,” eventually wrecking homes in the area, attacking Jews in local cafes, and finally violating a nearby synagogue.
An uprising in 1935 was led by Luís Carlos Prestes who was aligned with Comintern (Communist International Movement) in Moscow, and the National Liberation Alliance (Aliança Nacional Libertadora – ANL), an organization that included anti-fascist military officers (socialist, communist, liberals, progressive and nationalist). Vargas portrayed the unsuccessful uprising as a communist plot and retaliated by jailing 7,056 communists. To eradicate any opposition to his rule, he declared martial law on March 24, 1936, permitting the roundup and deportation of his “enemies.”
A little more than a week before Aida was expelled from Brazil, newspapers in the United States publicized an allegation by United States Congressman Vito Marcantonio that an American citizen, Victor A. Barron, was arrested, tortured, and murdered in Brazil for communist activities. Congressman Marcantonio was himself a member of the Communist Party, so one might think his allegations were questionable. Eyewitness testimony has verified his allegations and has been documented by historians, though.
In an analysis of the repression after the 1935 uprising, Portland University Professor of International Studies Shawn Smallman stated,
It became common to refer to the uprising as the “Jewish-Communist conspiracy.” In using rhetoric that defined its victims as “aliens,” the Brazilian
military adopted a discourse (frequently anti-Semitic) often used by Latin American militaries to justify repression.
Using google translate to read the Portuguese article shown above, I determined the article verified the deportation of Aida and her husband Chaim Rubin Narosky (also known by the name Jaime or James Narovisky).
Eliminating the harmful elements of the community
The Bureau of Surveillance and Arrests, through its section of Expulsions, served 53 ordinances of expulsion from the national territory in 1936 – these 41 were prosecuted for carrying on communist activities. The Department of Expulsions of the Bureau of Surveillance and Arrests, the office of the clerk Waldemar Teixeira, expelled the following by ship during the year 1936: … Chaim Rubim Narosky, 32 annos, married, for extremism; Aida Glicker Narosky, 26 annos, married, for extremism; … for a total of 41 prosecuted for communism, 9 for loitering and 3 for procuring, with costs for shipping them to their countries of origin in the amount of 73:$ 933 900 (seventy-three tales, nine hundred thirty-three thousand, nine hundred kings ). (Translated from Portuguese with the help of translate.google.com)
Aida and her husband were listed among the 41 deported for “extremism” or “communist activities.” Unlike some of the other deportees whose listing added “and family,” there was no “and family” appellation to Aida or Jaime’s names, suggesting they had no children deported with them. At the port of Santos, Aida and Jaime boarded the French ship Aurigny on April 14, 1936.
I had recently noticed a posting by Susan Eansor in the facebook group Tracing the Tribe – Jewish Genealogy on Facebook mentioning a newly digitized group of records for immigration in Brazil. Sure enough, I found an alien registration card for Aida and her husband, both stamped “Expelled.” (The cards were dated August 18, 1942 which I believe was the date that the card was created or stamped, and not the date when they were expelled.)
While I now know a bit more about Shabetai’s family, many questions remain unanswered. A question about Aida’s place in my family tree remains unanswered. The only indication I found of Shabetai’s marital status was on his record of arrival to the United States in 1913, showing him as single and listing his mother as his closest relative in Yedinitz. Since Aida was born around 1911, how could Shabetai be the father of Aida? Was Shabetai her step-father instead?
An even more haunting question is: what happened to Aida after her deportation from Brazil? The alien registration card for Aida states the ship she boarded, the Aurigny, was bound for Genoa, Italy. Her husband’s alien registration card states the Aurigny was bound for Warsaw, Poland. Was Aida really shipped with her husband to his birthplace in Poland or was she returned to her own birthplace in Romania (Yedenitz)? Whether in Warsaw or Yedenitz, her fate would have been as precarious as the rest of the Jewish population there throughout the Holocaust. The mystery about Aida’s ultimate fate continues. I cannot help wondering if Aida had any children after her deportation, and if so, I am hopeful that one day our families will reconnect.
1913; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2144; Line: 8; Page Number: 76. Shabtai Glicker. Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957. Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; National Archives at Washington, D.C.
New York, State Census, 1915, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 09; Assembly District: 06; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 11
“Os primeiros judeus de S. Paulo. Uma breve história contada através do Cemitério Israelita de Vila Mariana“, by P. Valadares, G. Faiguenboim and Niels Andreas (S. Paulo, Fraiha, 2009), p. 128.
Bolchevismo & judaísmo : a comunidade judaica sob o olhar do DEOPS. (Bolshevism and Judaism: the Jewish community under the gaze of DEOPS) Taciana Wiaxovski, Sao Paula: Arquivo do Estado/Impensa Oficial, 2001.
Holocaust Enclyclopedia at http://www.ushmm.org
“Brasil, São Paulo, Cartões de Imigração, 1902-1980,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKD5-C7F9 : accessed 22 October 2015), Aida Glicher Narosky, 1942; citing Immigration, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, certificate 405756, registration , Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo State Public Archives, São Paulo).
Brasil, São Paulo, Cartões de Imigração, 1902-1980, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKD5-C7FQ : accessed 22 October 2015), Jayme Naroscky, 1942; citing Immigration, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, certificate 249842, registration , Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo State Public Archives, São Paulo).
The New York state military census and inventory; a report to Hon. Charles S. Whitman, governor of the state of New York, 1917. New York (State) Military census bureau. Published: (1918)
Smallman, S. (1999). Military terror and silence in Brazil, 1910-1945. Canadian Journal Of Latin American And Caribbean Studies = Revue Canadienne Des Études Latino-Américaines Et Caraïbes, 24(47), 5-27.
Internaional Red Aid article at Wikipedia.org
Welcoming the Undesirables : Brazil and the Jewish Question, Jeff Lesser, Publication Information:Berkeley : University of California Press. 1995.