An interview with the grandson of the Consul Wiklund

You're going to talk about the so-called "Vickland case."
— "I'm writing a book about his grandfather Arnold Wicklund, including the so-called "case Viklund" that has affected the lives of many inhabitants of the German settlement of Arkhangelsk in the late 30 - ies," says the Norwegian Victor Roddvik — grandson of the Norwegian Consul Wicklund (mother of Victor was the eldest daughter of Arnold Wicklund).
Arnold Vicklund, a Norwegian citizen, from 1922 to 1938 worked at the Norwegian Consulate in Arkhangelsk first as a Secretary, Vice-Consul, and recently as a Consul.

 

 

 

 

 

In 1937, Wicklund was accused of espionage in favor of England: that from 1930-ies he carried out intelligence activities in favor of British intelligence, and the best restaurants of Kiev as the organizer and leader of the espionage and sabotage agents on the territory of the Soviet Union, involved in espionage activities of people from his entourage. Many residents of the Archangelsk German settlement were arrested and convicted in this case only because they were familiar with the Consul of Norway. Only on the night of November 22, 1937, 54 people were arrested. Most of those arrested were shot, and only a few were exiled to the GULAG.  All of them were subsequently rehabilitated. In February 1938 the people's Commissariat of the USSR required from the Norwegian government to withdraw the Norwegian Consul Wiklund from the country.  In may 1938 Arnold Wicklund left the Soviet Union with his wife, a native of Arkhangelsk, and two daughters.
- How is Your work going, what material has already been collected?
— The life and work of my grandfather was interested in me for a long time. Already in 1991, I worked on the documents stored in the Norwegian archives, and realized that this is a very interesting material on the basis of which I would like to write a book. But only after a fairly long period of time have I finally been able to seriously engage in writing a book about my grandfather.  In addition, I work with documents A. Wiklund from his personal archive, working papers from Norwegian and Russian archives and the work of historians of Russia and Norway that have addressed this topic. In my opinion, it is time to write a truthful and interesting book about the life of the Norwegian Consul, who was born in Russia and lived most of his life in Arkhangelsk. I hope that I will be able to complete the book in 2013. Now I'm going to go to Arkhangelsk to work in the historical archive.
— How much he Wiklund knew about the arrests occurred in November 1937?
— In the documents I found in the Norwegian archives, I found a report written by A. Viklund and during his stay in the Soviet Union and after he moved to Norway, where he calls people from his entourage, who were arrested. His relatives, consular officers and people who lived on the territory of the Consulate appeared in the list given by Viklund. That many of his acquaintances were accused of contact with him, probably, he understood, but he didn't know about scales of these processes and arrests. I am not sure that he was aware of the fact that the arrested were accused of espionage and sabotage activities, the head and organizer of which he allegedly was.  All these absurd accusations were absolutely groundless and unfounded. Almost immediately after A. Wiklund left the Soviet Union, was interrupted by contact with relatives remaining in Arkhangelsk, so the information about what took place in Arkhangelsk after his departure was virtually inaccessible. My mother and her cousin named about 30 people who were arrested, many of whom they knew well.
— How did the events in Arkhangelsk, on the future life of A. Wiklund?
— Of course, what happened in Arkhangelsk, leaving Wiklund to the end of his days. He lost all contact with relatives, friends and acquaintances, did not know what happened to them. My grandmother Vera Wicklund, nee Aaron, often told about the incident.

 

When the family was together, she always talked about relatives in Arkhangelsk, about whose fate she knew nothing. Only in the late 1960s was contact restored with my mother's cousin, who lived in the USSR. She told about her family. She herself was sent with her mother and grandfather from Arkhangelsk to the settlement.
— What topics do you touch upon in the book?
- I'm writing a book about my grandfather's life. His fate is very interesting. He was born in Russia, early lost his father, a teenager began to work in a Norwegian company and managed to grow to a business Manager. He worked for many years in the diplomatic service trade, actively contributed to a favourable business relations between Russians and Norwegians. My grandfather spoke fluent Russian, married a Russian woman, loved Russian culture. It is rooted in Russia, owned land, big house. We can say that Russia was his Homeland. But at the same time he remained a Norwegian citizen, did not lose the Norwegian language, actively maintained contact with the historical Homeland — Norway. A. Wiklund was not going to leave Russia, but his fate changed dramatically in 30 years. I would like to describe what happened, to trace the fate of the people my grandfather knew, and who were arrested because of falsified accusations against him. An interesting fact is striking — many held by the so-called "case Viklund" were residents of the German settlement. I met a publication that "thing Viklund" came to an end the German settlement. Maybe this was the main goal of all fabricated processes? I will certainly write about the German settlement, about the people my grandfather knew well, with whom he worked, was friends.
— How is Your work in the Russian archives going?
- It is not so easy to get access to the documents of the period of the 30s, but I will work in the state archive of Arkhangelsk. I also hope to be able to collect information through the descendants of those who were repressed in the "case Viklund". Maybe some documents are the historians who have described the events that took place in the German settlement in 1937-1939. I hope that people who have material relating to my grandfather Arnold Wicklund and his friends will make themselves known. In order for the book to be original, I would like to collect as much information as possible, both about the events and the people of the difficult time for Arkhangelsk.
- Where will the book be published?
— I write a book in Norwegian, and there is already interest on the part of a Norwegian publisher.  But if there is interest in the book from the Russian side, I hope that the book will be published in Russian. But then, probably, it will be the own revised edition calculated on the Russian reader.

 

 

 

Viktor Roddvik,

viktor.roddvik@gmail.com

Light memory of Evgeny Petrovich Bozhko, historian-researcher

Archangelica - children German settlement

Chronicles of the ancient genus PEC (Paetz), little-known pages of history from the XIV century to the present day

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