Vassiliy Karlovitch Maisner was born on the hamlet of Karatuskoe on 1st November 1954. Father – Karl Wilhelmovitch Maisner (born 1929); mother – Maria Fedorovna Maisner (Orlova). All their children were boys: Alexander Maisner (born 1953, Viktor Maisner (born 1957), Vladimir Maisner (born 1959), Sergei Maisner (born 1964).
Vassiliy Karlovitch shares with us his remembrances on what his parents told him about the hard time they had. In September 1941 his parents were resettled from the Saratov Region, hamlet Straub, Kukkus District. On barges they were taken to the railroad station and from there by train to Abakan. They were picked up by people on horse carriages. The father and his family were taken to Sosnovka. He was aged 11 at that time. He had been to school just for a short time, finished four classes; and this had been in his home place, when they were still living in the Saratov Region, here, however, in the new location, there was no chance to frequent school any longer: the war was on, people suffered from hunger, it was hard to bear the environment under conditions of exile. For this reason he and his brother were forced to work for a blacksmith’s shop.
He virtually did not speak any German; after his mother’s death he lost practice completely.
His son, Vassiliy Karlovich, spoke German fluently when he was a little boy.
The people in the village did not behave very kind to the Maisners, they also showed a hostile attitude when running across any of the other exiled people. At school they were often called „German pack“, „fascists“. And under such circumstances they were now forced to live.
It was not prohibited among the Germans to get married to a Russian man or woman. The grandfather from the mother’s side only was not content that Maria Fedorowna married a German; her brother had been killed at war.
As far as religious holidays were concerned, they especially used to celebrate the Catholic Easter and Christmas. Apart from that there were no other holidays to be celebrated.
Vassiliy Karlovich did not even know that he was mentioned in the lists as victim of political repressions, until, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, they passed the ukase about the payment of compensations to those people who had once been repressed.
In his working life he was employed as a driver, tractor driver, mechanic and master.
When the possibility arose to leave for Germany, his family rejected.
They show a calm and serene attitude towards their deportation in the past and do not bear grudge or hatred to the responsible persons of that time. Vassiliy Karlovich considers this issue from the philosophic point of view: „If we had stayed there, our fate might have turned out to be even worse“.
The interview was taken by Tatyana Nazarets.
Expedition of the V.P. Astafev State Pedagogic University Krasnoyarsk and the Krasnoyarsk „Memorial“-Organization on the project „Anthropologic turn in social-humanitarian sciences: Methodology of field research and practical experience in the realization of narrative interviews“. (Sponsored by the Mikhail-Prokhorov Foundation).