"They were notified by the same agency that helped them resettle. When word came back to the Americans in Berlin, a communication was sent out to my grandfather, and my father flew up to New York to meet his mother.
I know that while they were in New York, because I have a picture of it, my father took his mother to the Empire State Building. I have a picture of them standing at the top on the observation balcony. So I imagine they spent a little time in New York, but that’s about all I know.
Based on the interviews that were covered in the paper at the time, [Maria] believed that [she was released] because she wrote numerous letters directly to Josef Stalin. Now, that’s her belief. I would tend to doubt that that really had a lot of influence, but Stalin died a couple of months before she was released, so it is possible that some of his policies were no longer in effect with the new regime in place, they no longer wanted to pursue whatever led to her kidnapping, incarceration, and so on. So maybe they felt they just didn’t need her there anymore."