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  1.  

    Okay I didn't know any of this until yesterday and I am just now starting to absorb it. Turns out my name is actually Semkiw, not Senkowski. Below is two letters my folks uncovered while helping my grandfather look for something else. It is some crazy shit and ties nicely into the cold war...

    <b>Personal Statement</b>
    I, Henry Senkowski (Semkiv), was bron on May 23, 1924 in the village of Hermakivka in western Ukraine. During the Second World War the NKVD began to transport their wives and children to their homes. At that time they also took individuals who owned horses for their own personal needs. As a result, I was one such individual that was taken by the NKVD.

    I was taken to the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine. When I arrived there, I heard that if there would be no room on the train in the city station, that I would be transported to the city of Vinnytsia, Ukraine. At the time that I heard this, German warplanes appeared and began to bombard the station and the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi. During the bombardment, I fled to my brother in the village of Ivane-Puste, Ukraine.

    I remained with my brother for 7-8 days until the German army appeared in the village. While I was with my brother, the NKVD came to my village (Hermakivka) and searched for me, and checked for my wagon and horses. They came two times and questioned my mother and left. This incident thus ended in such a fashion. To the best of my knowledge, the individuals that were taken by the NKVD in Kamianets-Podilskyi did not return and were never heard of again.

    The German army, when they arrived gave individuals two choices, to go to work in Germany or to join an SS division. I decided to go to work in Germany, this was approximately in 1942. In Germany I was sent to an area near Vicksburg, Germany. Here I worked on a farm for approximately one year. After that time I was transfered to work in the Romika shoe factory until August 1944, which coincided with the Normandy invasion in June of that year. The last few months of the war I worked as a spent artillery gatherer in various locations in Germany. I did this until March 15, 1945. Once the US army took control of Germany, I went to work in the US army, as an artillery feeder, as well as a cook.

    In July of 1945 I was placed in a displaced persons camp in Trayer, Germany, and later in Deze, Germany. WHile I was in Trayer, the United States government allowed Russians to search for Ukrainians and Russians for the purpose of repatriating those individuals back to the Soviet Union. Many individuals chose to commit suicide rather than return to the Soviet Union. Later I learned that 16 of my former classmates were shot by the Russians upon their return to Ukraine.

    In order to avoid the same fate, I changed my name from Semkiw to my present name of Senkowski. In this manner I was able to avoid the fate that befell my classmates. When I applied for entry to America, I advised the vice-counsel in Rostad, of my predicament. At the time of my birth Hermakivka was part of Poland, so he said that in the eyes of the United States I was born in Poland.

    Thereafter I was called before the CIA in Baden-Baden, Germany and told the same information to the agent there. As far as I understood, and was relayed to me by a German language translator, the country of my birth was considered to be Poland.

    The forgoing has been prepared to provide the reader with a background of information to understand why I changed my name and what circumstances gave rise to this change. As set forth in the enclosed letter, perhaps the investigation and phone calls that I have received are in some way related to the foregoing information. The name change itself was for the purpose of avoiding forced repatriation to the Soviet Union, and not for any criminal or espionage based purpose.

  2.  

    <b>Letter to the FBI</b>
    To whom it may concern:

    I have drafted this letter to this agency to inquire whether this agency or any other agency in the United States government has in any way caused my person to be investigated for any reason in the past and if such investigation continues to this time. I will try to set forth my reasons for my belief that I have been investigated.

    In 1979, I attended the funeral of my relative in Fort Williams, Canada. Shortly thereafter I began to receive telephone calls during which time the caller failed to indentify himself and hung up the phone.

    I was at one time the owner of a business located at 2931 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago, Illinois known as Senkowski Home Bakery. During the course of the time that I was the owner I was visited by agents of the United States government, namely a Mary F. Harkenrider and Mr. Jeff Rogers, Assistant US attorneys regarding my business. At no time was I aver cited for any wrong doing by these individuals.

    In 1988 I retired to Phoenix, Arizona area and resided at 2223 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix, Arizona 85028. During the time that I resided in Arizona I continued to receive phone calls asking for a Mr. Pico, from someone at: Spragins Associates, 847 N. Beeline Highway, Paxson, Arizona 85541, (602) 870-4280. When I would return the phone calls, I was advised that there was no one there who needed to speak to me. During my entire stay in Arizona, I received numerous phone calls and felt that I was being observed.

    I returned to the Chicago area in June of 1994 and the phone calls continued, again asking for Mr. Pico. However, when the calls were returned, no person was present or acknowledged that a phone call was made. As late as April 11, 1996, I again received a phone call asking for a Mr. Pico. When I attempted to inquire about the phone call, the caller hung up the phone.

    My request to this agency is that if I am in any way being investigated, that I be so advised and given an opportunity to meet with an officer of the agency in question and provide the agency with any information they require. I would only like to know if my beliefs are warranted or if I should disregard what I believe to be positive signs of investigation.

    Very truly yours,

    Henry Senkowski

    Crazy shit huh? Not only was it a complete surprise to all of us, it felt kinda like a sock in the jaw...

    Keith

  3.  

    Wow!! I keep saying, "closer than you think," and now look.

    I'm not quite clear on this ... is Henry (the letter writer) the same grandfather you were helping find stuff? Did you get to talk to him about it, or do you plan to?

    I'm fascinated to know whether the letter to the FBI was ever answered, or even acknowledged.

    It's also interesting that all this began in the late 1970s ... I associate investigations of this type with Hoover's FBI (Hoover died 1972), and especially not with Webster's (became FBI director 1978). So that's strange too, and perhaps suggests a very concrete operation with warrants and so on.

    Best, Ron

  4.  

    Henry is the same grandfather. He plays things close to the vest about his past and doesn't know we have it, though he has expressed interest in getting me to write a book about his past. So I am thinking that I might use that as a smoke screen to flush out some more information from him. My relationship with him is a strange one that is best explained over coffee and cigarettes...

    Yeah I thought you would notice the late 70's seeming start date of the investigation. After talking to my mom, it seems he was barely in this country legally. I forget what kind of card he had. He was supposed to report to the big G when he moved, but didn't. We think that sent up red flags (Ukrainian/Pole passing himself as a Pole, entered the country through Canada, moving around a bit).

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