Report given by Viktor Rudolfovich Kreiber

Report given by Viktor Rudolfovich Kreiber

Born in 1954.

His parents were deported from the Saratov region, hamlet of Nain-Colony, to the Novosibirsk region, Vesyolovsk (today Krasnozersk) district. Mother Varvara (Barbara), Father Rudolf Ivanovich (both were born in 1929).

The grandfather from his fathers side, Ivan Kreiber, was arrested in the ASSR of the Volga Germans in 1937; rumor has it that he served a sentence in Norillag.

The grandfather from his mothers side Yossip Bartolomevich Nomutrok (?) was a lumberman. He was supposed to be arrested, too, but somebody gave him advance warning. The grandmother worked at school as a technician. The grandfather and one of his neighbors hid away in the basement of the school; they stayed there for three months. Day and night they were waiting for the two men to come out, trying to lure them into an ambush. The grandmother put some foodstuffs into a pail covering them with a wiping cloth. At nighttime they came out in order to smoke.

They were given three hours to pack their belongings, which was hardly enough. One of the bigger objects they took along was a meat grinder. At first the re-settlers were met with suspicion there were rumors that they had horns and tails, that the Germans were terrible people. And later it turned out that they were just like them they lived and worked together and even got married to each other. However, the Germans were forced to go and get registered with the commandants office in regular intervals. Community policemen arrived and checked, whether everyone was still on site. In Vesyolovka they built themselves dug-outs, in which they then lived for two years; afterwards they constructed a house.

The grandmother from the fathers side was mobilized to the labor army, her children were placed with relatives. While being in the labor army for forced labor, one of her legs was smashed by a trunk; the leg had to be amputated above the knee.

The family was desirous to returning to their native place. After rehabilitation the father made a trip to his old home village strangers had occupied his former house, and he was prohibited to return there.

He went to Irba as they promised to allocate him an apartment at the mine.

The grandparents used to speak German at home, the parents die not for some reason or other. Grandfather would say: We are now going to eat; ask me in German that you wish to eat now. The parents preserved German customs such as celebrating Easter, Pentecost. They used to cook German dishes for example Galushki (soft noodles). The dough was rolled out, coiled and cooked. Afterwards it was cut into pieces and then boiled again with potatoes; they roasted onions and added them. Every now and then they prepared roulades. They rolled out dough, cooked a pumpkin, rolled the pulp into the dough and baked it in the oven. They fried bacon and put it on a slice of bread; hence, the bread got fatty not dry but somewhat juicy; but this had to be down in a typically Russian stove, not in a baking oven.

The parents were baptized Lutherans. They were buried according to Lutheran customs: Germans put the cross at the front end. They stick to this tradition, as muslims follow their own customs, and the Old Believers have their own cemetery and bury the dead in a way they are used to before lunch, in the morning. Die Religious people were persecuted; therefore the Germans gathered in the house of prayer in secret. The Old Believers also used to meet regularly every Saturday.

Townsite of Irba, Kuragino district 15.07.2017
The interview was taken by Yelena Sberovskaya.

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..