Anna Georgievna Ilina was born in the hamlet of Taskino, Karatus District, Krasnoyarsk Territory, in 1950; she is German.
Father: Georgiy Georgievich Stumpf, born in 1919, her mother: Yekaterina (Katharina) Stumpf, her mother’s father – Georgiy Michailovich.
They lived in a hamlet within the ASSR of the Volga-Germans. They owned a house; it was a big household – a total of eleven people, including sisters-in-law. They were keeping horses and several cows. The farm was their own property.
In 1941 they were deported to Siberia on freight-cars. At night-time the trains were running, during the day they kept standing on the track. On their way to Siberia the brother was lost. Once they arrived, they officially announced a search of the train, but the boy was not found. The children apart from Georgiy were Anna, Ella, Ivan and Elya.
They were taken to Karatus District and accommodated in the houses of local residents. The re-settlers had taken along everything they were able to carry. The people here lived in great poverty; everybody was quire dissatisfied with the situation. In view of the fact they did not even have enough food for themselves, they felt rather offended about having to take accept so many resettled persons. When the older brother was born, there was nothing to feed him with. And so the grandmother would chew up a piece of bread until it was all wet and wrapped it into a gauze cloth, which she then put into his mouth. And he started snuggling.
Georgiy Georgievich worked for the post-office der Post, but as he did not speak Russian very well and made a lot of mistakes, he was bound to leave. From then he worked for a joinery for the rest of his life. He carpentered all furniture for the house himself: diwan, tables…
He was called in the labor army, where he also fulfilled a job as a carpenter. Upon his return he married a Russian woman; they have four children. The father’s parents did not have any objections against the marriage to a Russian woman.
The grandparents spoke German, the mother (Russian) learned to understand German but was unable to speak.
They used to cook German dishes: kreppel, soup with dumplings, strudel. Anna Georgievna also knows how to prepare all these dishes.
„All these Germans are very clean! They never worked on Sundays. They used to meet; nowadays, for example, the fairly old Germans come over to see us for prayers; next Sunday we will be at the Funkners in order to pray together. Grandma has planned to prepare a festive meal that day. They do not drink tea, but there is a solemn atmosphere. The grandparents are no longer alive, but Mum and Dad were also used to not working on Sundays, but went to visit acquaintances at their house“.
The father’s sister left for Germany. She had a good life there. The first one to leave was her daughter Mascha, who already spoke German well at that time and also taught her children the German language. The came to a really nice place. „Where ever you happen to get - there will be people who welcome you in a friendly way. Some, however, felt they were undesired persons and later returned to Russia“.
Those who left Russia also meet in their new place of residence and go to church together. Apart from this the wish came up to return to the Volga Region, but they were not allowed to return for ever, and just going there for a trip did not fit their financial situation.
The mother (Russian) was from a family of Old Believers. The father was Lutheran, and both confessions were tolerated in the family and even well agreed together. The used to say there prayers separately, and the children were partly baptized according to the practice of the Old Believers and the Lutheran religion. Anna Georgievna‘s children were baptized in the 1970s as per German customs. Although Anna Georgievna is an Old Believer, she crosses herself in the Lutheran way.
They celebrate Easter in the German tradition. „Well, I bake something delicious, paint eggs, hide them, so that the children, having got up early in the morning, can search them. This is the way grandma used to proceed when we were children ourselves. I do not clearly recall in which year at school I was, but I firmly believed that the Easter Bunny brought the eggs along. Today the children, of course, are aware of where the eggs come from; you cannot tell them lies any longer, but at that time we believed in it for a long time. Grandma would sew us new cotton dresses – and shirts and trousers for the boys. We all leave the house newly dressed. Each of us carries along what he can hold in his hands, and then we go out for a picnic on the hill to celebrate. We have taken along eggs and a big family skillet; we light a campfire and roast potatoes on a couple of bricks“.
At that time only German children would celebrate Easter, although they were good friends with the Russians. Weddings and funerals are almost identic – either with the Germans or the Russians. Whenever a German was buried, the said prayers and sang songs in German, and then they would take each other by the hands, surrounded the grave and say prayers again. The crosses also look the same; the Russians, however, place them at the foot end, the Germans at the head end. „There they rest in their grave looking at each other“.
The children have Russian first names.
In the 1990s they started founding national associations, and the father went to Krasnoyarsk to attend a meeting of the German Society.
Place of interview: the house of the Ilin family
The interview was taken by:
1. Yelena Leonidovna Sberovskaya
2. Maria Viktorovna Konstantinova
3. Yevgenia Aleksandrovna Franz
Total duration of interview: 35,05 minutes
Expedition of the State Pedagogic V.P. Astafev University Krasnoyarsk on the project "Ethnic groups in Siberia: Conditions for preserving cultural memory", 2017. Districts of Karatus and Kuragino.