Leopold Quint: The mystery of his fate.

My late grandmother Annie Freedman (born 1885 Pikeliai, Lithunia; died 1967 Melbourne, Australia) told me that her younger brother Leib/Leopold Kvint returned to Lithuania from England in order to marry. I have a photo of him and his wife taken in Kursenai in 1928.

My grandmother told me that her brother moved to Riga and was killed on the first day of the German occupation of the city. She believed that Leopold's wife and children were killed subsequently. She did not recall the name of her brother's wife or children.

For over 40 years I have been seeking evidence as to my great-uncle's fate.

Recently I received a prompt reply from The International Tracing Service at Bad Arolsen, Germanyinforming me that they had no record of him.

An on-line database "Victims of Political Terror in the USSR" http://www.lists.memo.ru/index11.htm includes

"Leopold Yudelevich Kvint, born 1888 in Lithuania, Jewish, without specialoccupation, lived in Orlov, convicted 15.01.1944 by a special committee ofthe NKVD under law 58.10 and sentenced to 5 years deprivation of freedom. Rehabilitated 07.04.1961. Source: Kniga Pamyati (Memorial Book) of Kirov Oblast."

As my great-grandfather's name was Yoel-Yehudah (Yudel), and my greatuncle was aged 16 according to a Hamburg Passenger list from 1903 en-route to London(therefore born about 1887), and was born in Lithuania, then I believe that the above was indeed my long-looked-for great-uncle Leib or Leopold Kvint.

My grandmother told me that he reurned to Lithuania to marry and Latvian records include his marriage in 1923 in Kursenai to Sare Luriye.

What I do not understand is why my grandmother thought he had perished in1941, how he survived, what he was doing between 1941 and his arrest in1944, why he was arrested in Orlov, was he alive when he was "rehabilitated", and what then became of him (if he survived his imprisonment) !

I have studied various sources for the period, but fail to understand why he and many other Jews were arrested in 1944 by the NKVD, that is after theGermans had been defeated in the USSR.

Details of the period are to be found on "Gulag during World War II" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag and details of the Penal Code of theRSFSR at http://www.cyberussr.com/rus/uk58-e.html#58-1a give the following information:

"Article 58 of the Russian SFSR Penal Code was put in force on February 25,1927 to arrest those suspected of counter-revolutionary activities.Sentences were long, up to 25 years, and frequently extended indefinitely without trial or consultation. Inmates under Article 58 were known as"politichesky" as opposed to common criminals, "ugolovnik". Upon release, the prisoner would typically be sent into an exile within Russia without the right to settle closer than 100 km from large cities.Section 10 of Article 58 made "propaganda and agitation against the Soviet Union" a triable offence, whilst section 12 allowed for onlookers to be prosecuted for not reporting instances of section 10. In effect, Article 58was carte blanche for the secret police to arrest and imprison anyone deemed suspicious, making for its use as a political weapon. A person could be framed: The latter would arrange an "anti-Soviet" incident in the person's presence and then try the person for it. If the person pleaded innocence, not having reported the incident would also make them liable to imprisonment. During and after World War II, Article 58 was used to imprison many returned Soviet prisoners of war on the grounds that their capture and detainment by the Axis Powers during the war was proof that they did not fight to thedeath and were therefore anti-Soviet."

The fate of Leopold Quint remains a mystery.

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