Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Spas T. Raikin papers
Collection Number: 80148
Creator: Raikin, Spas T., 1922-
55 manuscript boxes
(22 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
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.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Collection is open for research.
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[Identification of item], Spas T. Raikin papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1980, with a voluminous increment received in 2012.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
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.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bŭlgarska pravoslavna tsŭrkva.
Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations.
Bulgarian National Front.
Bulgaria--Emigration and immigration.