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According to Wikipedia, Ayn Rand got her visa in 1925 and left in 1926. Lenin died in 1924. Stalin was the main leader in 1925 and 1926, but I believe Stalin had not yet consolidated his dictatorial powers yet (that happened in 1927, according to Wikipedia). Nevertheless, I had thought it was always hard to escape the Soviet Union. I always thought that the Soviet Union was like George Orwell's novel "1984," with no one free and everyone afraid and a slave. And yet, Ayn Rand apparently escaped the USSR with great ease. She got on a ship and got off in New York City. From there she made a stop in Chicago before heading to Hollywood. How many Soviet citizens got on a boat to Hollywood? Not many, I suspect. That makes me wonder: How did Ayn Rand escape the Soviet Union with such great ease? Were Soviet authorities trying to get rid of her because she was known in her university as being anti-collectivist? Wikipedia says this about Ayn Rand: "Along with many other bourgeois students, she was purged from the university shortly before graduating. After complaints from a group of visiting foreign scientists, many of the purged students were reinstated in the university. Rand was among these reinstated students and she completed her studies at the renamed Leningrad State University in October 1924." Or is is possible that that some Soviet official, perhaps a relative of Ayn Rand's, or a friend of the family in the pre-Soviet days, broke the Soviet rules to give Ayn Rand her visa to visit the USA? I just watched the 1965 movie "Dr. Zhivago," and early in that story (based on true events) the main character, Dr. Zhivago, is granted a travel visa due to the intervention of a Communist Party member and police office who was Dr. Zhivago's half-brother and childhood pal. That visa allowed Dr. Zhivago and his wife and father-in-law to leave Moscow and resettle somewhere past the Ural Mountains, at the family's country estate near a very tiny village. Later in the movie, Dr. Zhivago's wife and father-in-law (who were very wealthy in the pre-Soviet era) seem to gain permission from Soviet authorities to permanently resettle in France.