Report given by Frieda Genrikhovna Winter (Gelhorn)

Report given by Frieda Genrikhovna Winter (Gelhorn)

Frieda Genrikhowna Winter (Gelhorn, born 1929).

Father – Genrich (Heinrich) Mikhailovich Gleim, mother –Maria Mikhailovna Gleim.

They owned a big house: „Everything was like it is here“. They lived in the hamlet of Straub. The family consisted of 8 children. Before the deportation Frieda Genrikhovna completed 4 classes at the German school. Lessons of Russian language took place once a week – as foreign language education.

The father belonged to the party staff, the mother was a housewife. One day the father came home and said that the family had been given 24 hours to bundle up their belongings. Everybody was taken to the Volga bank and from there to Saratov by barge. Afterwards they were transported to „Siberia to do forced labor“. Two of them died on the way. The children were called Frieda, Andrej (born 1930), Anna (born 1935; she worked in the hamlet of Karatuskoe as a teacher of primary classes), Lilia (born 1937), Rosa and Peter were already born in Siberia. With the family also lived grand-mother Maria Petrovna (the mother’s mother). The parents were not religious.

They lived in the hamlet of Sagaiskoe, where they arrived by horses: „The children were seated on hay carts, while the adults walked behind“. They stopped several times in order to give people and animals a rest. The village was big. They did not have anything to eat, they were hungry. From the 14th year of their life she worked for the farm milking cows. After she had learned what was mostly needed for her job, she was entrusted with a whole group of 15 animals. She also helped with the tobacco crop, but soon fainted; moreover she had to harvest hemp. They went to pick berries, in order to get some food. They lived with another family, the family of the mother’s brother, in one house. Later they had the opportunity to purchase an own house there. They spun and sewed and sold parts of their handmade products.

Once a month they had to go and get registered with the commandant’s office. Frieda Genrikhovna had to „inform“ the commandant about whether all residents still lived at home or someone was absent without leave. In order to make the procedure of checking the presence of the people easier, the commandants had “appointed” underage persons, who were responsible for the count of the people. After the end of the war life became easier step by step.

The father later left his family because of a Russian woman. Frieda Genrikhovna was the translator for her mother during the court hearing. The mother stayed behind all alone with her children. She was a simple kolhoz worker“.

In 1952 she moved to Karatuskoe. She got married twice; the first marriage with a Russian did not last long. Her second husband was a German. He, Genrich (Heinrich) Genrikhovich (Andrei Andreevich), also came from the hamlet of Straub, but they became acquainted with each other only in Karatuskoe. He had been in the labor army. He was killed in an accident in 1999.

As long as the grandfather was alive, she intended to leave for Germany. She went with him to Novosibirsk to pass the test which was needed to receive a residence permit for Germany. Unfortunately, the grandfather grew ill, and they stopped all activities and efforts relating to their emigration, but many relatives, mainly from her husband’s side, left for Germany.

Frieda Genrikhovna‘s children are no longer able to speak German; they can just understand a few words.

She feels herself a German, a Russian German admittedly. She got accustomed to life in Siberia.

The interview was held by Darya Svirina.

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).


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