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Cold War CaptivesImprisonment, Escape, and Brainwashing$
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Susan Carruthers

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257306

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257306.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Upper East Side Story

Upper East Side Story

Repatriation, Romance, and Cold War Mobilization

(p.23) 1 Upper East Side Story
Cold War Captives

Susan L. Carruthers

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the story of Oksana Kasenkina, a schoolteacher who had fled Manhattan some days earlier in a bid to avoid repatriation to the USSR by the diplomats whose children she had spent two years tutoring. Although this schoolteacher drew Americans' attention to communist “captive taking,” she was scarcely the first Soviet citizen to balk at the prospect of returning home. Viewed from a wider angle, Kasenkina was one among thousands of nyevozvrashchentzi (nonreturners). For some, the Kasenkina affair underscored the need for a more generous attitude toward the thousands of refugees in Europe who had escaped Soviet control and continued to risk death in order to flee west. Others extracted a quite different lesson, however, focusing not on what the schoolteacher represented but on what the presence of the Soviet consulate on East Sixty-first Street meant for U.S. security.

Keywords:   Oksana Kasenkina, Soviet Union, communists, captive taking, refugees, Soviet consulate

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