Saturday, May 14, 2011


Thursday Tanya and I had supper with another school friend, Olga Bengert. Her family were Volga Germans.  When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Stalin rounded up all those of German ancestry as he considered them dangerous collaborators, and shipped them in cattle cars to Siberia and Kazakhstan.  Some of them, including Olga's family ended up in Abakan.  Her grandfather was sent to a labour camp near Lake Baikal to cut timber.  He never returned and they have no idea where he died or is buried

Tanya and Olga
I grew up on the east edge of St. Joseph's Colony in west-central Saskatchewan which was settled in 1906 by Volga Germans and other German and German/Polish Catholics. I went to high school in Leipzig and there was a Bengert family in the community as there was a girl in my younger brother's grade.  It would be interesting to know how or if there was any connection or how many other familiar names there are here in Khakasia.

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