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NIKIFOROVA

St Petersburg

Nikiforova, Marksena Mikhailovna
She was born in Leningrad on 12 October 1923. In July 1937, her mother and stepfather were arrested, and she was left on her own to look after her two brothers (10 and 6 years old respectively). In August 1937, the children and the family's housekeeper were evicted from their flat and made to move into a room in a communal apartment. In September 1937, after her brothers had been put into an orphanage, she sold the family's remaining possessions and went to live with her aunt (Sizova, Alevtina Nikolaevna). She left school in 1941. She stayed in Leningrad throughout the Siege. In September 1941, she enrolled at the Philological Faculty of Leningrad University. In February 1942, the University was evacuated. She found work as a librarian in a district library from April 1942 to October 1944. In 1943, she received a summons saying that she was to be deported from Leningrad, so she went into hiding for several months. A year earlier, in 1942, she had married Ivan Nikolaevich Nikiforov, giving birth to a son in 1944. As she didn't have a higher education diploma, she had difficulty finding employment after the war. She first worked as a grinder at Factory No. 77 until she was able to get a job as a school librarian in 1948. She gave birth to another son in 1954, but fell seriously ill and wasn't able to work for several years. In 1962 she went back to work in the Oblast Statistics Department, where she was eventually employed as an economic planner. However, she fell gravely ill and was dismissed from her post in 1973. From 1973 to 1975, she worked as a laboratory assistant at the Diesel Research Institute. On account of her illness she was registered as an invalid in 1975. She has been a member of Memorial since 1989 and was involved in its managing committee until 2001. At Memorial she works mainly on the social problems suffered by former 'Ostarbeiter.' She has three sons and six grandchildren.

Mother: Karpitskaia, Anna Iakovlevna (1900-1937). Born in Warsaw, she worked as a nurse during the First World War. She joined the Communist Party in 1919 and completed only three years of her course at Leningrad University. In 1929, she was appointed Chairman of the Oblast Committee of the Cotton Workers' Trade Union. In 1926, she divorced Marksena Mikhailovna's father, marrying P. L. Nizovtsev in 1928. On 5 July 1937, she was arrested on charges of 'espionage and counterrevolutionary activity.' She was sentenced to death by a resolution of the NKVD and the Prosecutor General on 22 September 1937, and was shot in Leningrad four days later. She was posthumously rehabilitated by the Military Commission of the Supreme Court of the USSR on 20 October 1956.

Stepfather: Nizovtsev, Petr Leonidovich (1893-1937). Born in the town of Kirzhach, he went to secondary school and completed a vocational course at a technical college, qualifying as a mechanic. He served in the Baltic Fleet from 1914 to 1918. From 1918 to 1922, he was assigned to the Red Fleet bases on the Volga. After 1922, he was engaged in educational work for the Communist Party, which he had joined in 1919. Before his arrest, he was in charge of the Department of Leading Party Organs of the Leningrad Oblast Committee. He was arrested on 5 July 1937 on charges of 'espionage and counterrevolutionary activity.' An Extraordinary Session of the Military Commission of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to death on 29 November 1937. He was shot in Leningrad on the same day. Posthumously rehabilitated by the Military Commission of the Supreme Court on 22 September 1956.

Father: Sizov, Mikhail Nikolaevich (1898-1981). He was born into the family of a government worker and enrolled at the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute in 1917. During the Civil War, he fought in the Red Army, joining the Communist Party in 1920. In 1923, he enrolled at the Party School of Leningrad Oblast. In 1928, he left for Gornaia Shoriia in Novosibirsk Oblast. After a warrant for his arrest was signed in 1937, he went into hiding in Novosibirsk. He eventually managed to get hold of legal papers, allowing him to work as a school teacher. However, he was arrested in 1948 and taken to Moscow where he was held in prison, awaiting trial, until 1953. After Stalin's death, he was exiled to Ukhta, where he worked in a cement factory. On grounds of ill health he was released in 1955 and was able to return to Leningrad. Rehabilitated in 1956.

Stepbrother: Nizovtsev, Aleksei Petrovich. Born in Leningrad, in 1927. After his parents' arrest, he was put into an orphanage in Kirov Oblast. Before the German invasion, he was able to complete a course at a School of Forestry. He fought in the Far East, returning to Leningrad in 1946 where he was reunited with his sister. He then enrolled at the Electrotechnical Institute. After graduating, he worked in various Scientific Research Institutes. He is married, and has two daughters and two grandchildren.

Stepbrother: Nizovtsev, Vladimir Petrovich. Born in Leningrad, in 1932. After his parents' arrest, he was put into an orphanage in Udmurtiia. His relatives were unable to find him.

 


The Interviews
Marksena Mikhailovna was interviewed by Irina Flige on three separate occasions.
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The Family Archive
The archive contains only family photographs.
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