Me: “I was thinking about that phrase, “If you don’t watch it, you might get sent to Siberia.”
Me: “You know the getting sent to Siberia line.”
Hubby: “Who says that?”
Hubby: “What people? I’ve never heard it.”
Me: “Seriously? You never heard you might get shipped to Siberia?”
Hubby: “No. It must be another one of ‘your world’ things. Lord only knows what is happening in your world.”
Has anyone else heard this phrase? Anyone else get threaten with being sent to Siberia? While looking over my genealogy recently I came to a conclusion as to where this phrase originated. My grandma’s parents were Volga Germans. What that means is a one time Catherine the Great of Russia invited German families to come and farm in Russia. They were allowed to keep their language, religion and didn’t not have to serve in the military as many of them were Lutheran Mennonite and did not believe in fighting. However, in the early 19th century the military policy changed and many families including my great-grandparents moved to the Midwest so they would not have to fight. Unfortunately for the families staying behind, life was about to get harder because of a little evil mustached man. Russians believing that the Volga Germans might be working with this mad man were all gathered and shipped to labour camps in…you guessed it…Siberia. I think it makes perfect sense growing up around Volga Germans I would hear this phrase. It was something from reality in our past.
Here is a short film about some survivors and, well, it is hard to explain. I’m glad my Great Grandparents escaped. The pain I see in this man’s eyes is heart breaking. This branch of my family currently ends with my great grandparents. I don’t know what family might have stayed and if they were shipped to Siberia. I am anxious to continue my search. Any other Volga German descendants reading my blog?