Daniel Yegorovich Root was born in 1926. His Father was named Yegor Danilovich (born 1896), his mother Anna; she died when Daniel Yegorovich was 5 years old. Later his father married again, and some more boys were born, but he does not recall the names of all relatives anymore.
He lived in the hamlet of Straub, Kukkus District, Republic of the Volga Germans (hamlet of Skatovka, Rovnesk District, Saratov Region). On the Volga their family lived well: they owned a big house, kept sheep, cows and horses. Before they deported they managed to sell the house, for which they received 100 rubels. They took along whatever they could carry, but had to leave behind most of their belongings.
Already from Sagaiskoe Daniel Yegorovich’s father and his elder brother were mobilized to the labor army in 1942 (VyatLag). In the spring 1943 the father was demobilized and sent back home. However, he never returned. After discharge his brother returned to Daniel Yegorovich. He reported that in the camp where he had been, German prisoners of war had been assigned to forced labor and that, irrespective of the fact that he and other Volga Germans were Russian-Germans, they had been treated as bad as the German prisoners of war. Moreover, conditions of living were bad; many prisoners froze to death in their barracks at that time. Sometime he was assigned to deliver the mail, and according to his words he only survived because then he got the chance to warm up here and there and people gave him something to eat.
Daniel Yegorovich did not know the exact date of his birth, for the documents got lost. He supposed that he was born on the 22nd of June, but he did not like that date, because the war broke out exactly on the same day. He decided to determine this precisely; he was repeatedly sent a birth certificate mentioning the 23rd of June as his date of birth. This information gave Daniel Yegorovitch a feeling of great relief.
There were no serious conflicts with the local residents. They were all in quite
When the Volga Germans began to leave for Kazakhstan, in order to „make a quick buck“, Daniel Yegorovich and his family went, too (at that time his son Sergei, born 1958, was already part of the family). Another daughter was born to them in Kazakhstan (Yekaterina, born 1962). His wife recalls that he was a straight man and a good worker. He worked a lot doing several jobs: he ploughed, cultivated and harvested cotton. Three years later they returned to the previous place of residence. The Germans started leaving for Germany – one after the other, but Daniel Yegorovich returned to Sagaiskoe.
He got married to a Russian woman, Valentina Ivanovna. Till this day the family has preserved the travel bag, which served as depository for the bride’s dowry. He did not teach his children the German language, but would occasionally use it at home, when relatives from Germany were visiting them. In spite of all problems experienced in the course of his life, he did not want to leave for Germany. Valentina Ivanovna recalls her husband as a good, eager man; he enjoyed a good reputation among the villagers: „You may ask everybody here, and he will tell you that he was a good man“.
The interview was taken by Darya Svirina.
Special resettler’s certificate
Information from the archive
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).