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Raikin (Spas T.) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Spas T. Raikin papers
    Date (inclusive): 1922-2011
    Collection Number: 80148
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In Bulgarian and English
    Physical Description: 55 manuscript boxes (22.0 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, writings, bulletins, serial issues, printed matter, and photographs, relating to Bulgarian history, the Bulgarian Orthodox Eastern Church, Bulgarian émigré affairs, and activities of anti-communist organizations, including the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and the Bulgarian National Front.
    Creator: Raĭkin, Spas, 1922-
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1980, with a voluminous increment received in 2012.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Spas T. Raikin papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    A Bulgarian-American historian, Raikin served as secretary of the Central Executive Board, Bulgarian National Council, from 1960 to 1963.
    Born to a poor peasant family, Raikin herded cows and sheep until he was admitted to the Plovdiv Theological Seminary. He graduated with honors and went on to study in the School of Theology in Sofia University and teach in the Sofia Theological Seminary. Once the Bulgarian Communists had solidified their power, they intensified their religious persecution, drafting Raikin into the army, where he served his time in a military labor camp. In 1951, he and several of his friends escaped from the camp and formed a partisan group in the Rhodope Mountains in southern Bulgaria. Evading the Communists, they managed to cross into Greece, where he received a scholarship from the World Council of Churches to study theology at the University of Athens. He went on to study at the universities in Geneva, Basel, and King's College in London, finally taking a graduate degree in political science at Columbia University in New York. In New York, Raikin became a social worker who helped resettle Bulgarian refugees in the United States under a State Department Program, as well as a staff member in the Travelers Aid Society. It was in that capacity that he was directed to meet Lee Harvey Oswald upon his return from Russia. Raikin found a hotel room for Oswald, his wife, and baby, and handed him a check that paid for their move to Fort Worth, Texas. His account of this event is in the Warren Commission Report and is discussed in dozens of works on the Kennedy assassination.
    Raikin's academic career was mostly with East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, where he taught from 1966 until his retirement in 1991. He published some twenty books on Bulgarian history, politics, and culture from the late nineteenth century into the twentieth. He was also active in Bulgarian and East European anticommunist exile organizations.
    Additional biographical information may be found in box 1.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Raikin's papers, contained in ninety-nine binders, document Rhis historical research and writing as well as Bulgarian émigré activities in the United States.
    Spas T. Raikin notes, "The following?99 volumes of my archives are a mirror of my political activities in exile. They contain information on historical, political, social, and ecclesiastical events in the turbulent 20th century in which I personally participated, witnessed and interpreted."
    "Some of this information was published in my twenty volumes in the [several] series Politicheski problemi pred bulgarskata obshtestvenost v chuzhbina (Political Problems Facing the Bulgarian Community Abroad), five volumes, Politichesko pateshestvie sreshtu vetrovete na XX vek (Political Journey Against the Winds of the XX Century), thirteen volumes, and San Stefanska Bulgaria. Poiava, sudba, triumf i tragedia na bulgarskata natsionalna ideia (Origins, Fate, Triumph and Tragedy of the Bulgarian National Idea) , two volumes."
    "Articles, documents, essays, papers and commentaries not included in the above publications are in these Archives. I believe that all these materials - published or not published, but saved here - will serve well future scholars in understanding and interpreting Bulgarian history of our age, specifically our exile movement." Spas T. Raikin, 29 November 2011, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Box 1
    Binder number 71, however, is different from the others. It contains copies of documents, notes, and clippings about his meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald in the port at Hoboken, New Jersey on June 13, 1962, when Oswald was returning from the Soviet Union.
    Arranged by Raikin in numerical order by binder, with all titles retained. Although Raikin created 99 volumes, he did not include number 78 in the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Anti-communist movements
    Bulgaria -- Emigration and immigration
    Bulgarians -- United States
    Bulgaria -- History
    Bŭlgarska pravoslavna t͡sŭrkva
    Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations
    Bulgarian National Front