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Vizhay forester Rempel's granddaughter


Letters from Natalya Rempel to Roman Feldberg February 9-10, 2019

Hello Natalya! I’m researching the death of the Dyatlov group, you’ve probably heard. You probably know that your grandfather was one of those who talked to the Dyatlov group before they died. I would like to ask you, was there any discussion in your family about the cause of their death? Maybe you remember something from childhood?

Sorry if this is suddenly not a comfortable topic for you. Thanks in advance for your answer! With respect, Roman.

Hello Roman! The topic that you are working on is very interesting, but, unfortunately, I don’t remember anything from childhood because I was 4 months old when this happened, but my mother remembers them, says that she talked to them at the club and my grandfather was very upset after their deaths about the fact that they neglected his advice not to go to this mountain. My grandfather is long gone and my mother’s older brother and sister also passed away, and my cousins were also children at that time and don’t remember anything, although for several years ago (when the search for the reasons for the death of students began), this topic was raised and discussed in our family, but, alas.

This mountain was called "Mountain of the Dead", that’s what Mansi called it, that’s why grandfather warned the guys not to go there, it was probably connected with some deaths and grandfather either knew this or believed Mansi, because we lived together amicably. We left Vizhay in the summer of 1965, I was almost 7 years old and I remember that Mansi sometimes came to our house in skins. Мy dad was convicted and sent to Vizhay, where he met our mother and worked as a mechanic. I remember deer, how they rode us on reindeer. The settlers and the Germans lived very friendly and Mansi were frequent guests in our village, as my mother says, she is now 84. I also can't remember any tense moments. Mom once talked about luminous objects, but I need to ask her more, I’ll definitely do it next Sunday and I’ll definitely write to you.

Hello Roman, as promised, I talked to my mother and she told me that she was there when my grandfather was talking with the guys from the Dyatlov group (because she brought me to my grandmother to babysit) and she herself heard that my grandfather advised them not to go to this mountain, because at that time there are strong winds and snowstorms. When the guys went hiking anyway, in the area where the group was in the mountains, and it was at that time when my mom and dad saw a very bright light of an explosion in the sky. It was unmistakably an explosion, early in the morning and it was still dark, so it was clearly visible from our porch. After that the group did not go to the check point at the appointed time and immediately a group with foresters gathered to search. Mom said that they lived very friendly with the Mansi and that they were not capable of murder. Mansi had also died on this mountain once before, but that was before and she only heard about it.

And the fact that the bodies were found with soft tissue injuries was because the wolves had already found them before people found them, and that’s what Pashin told my grandfather. My mother was friends with Pashin’s daughter. And most likely the cause of the fright was the explosion and it somehow affected their emotional state.

Whether these were some kind of tests or a natural phenomenon - ball lightning or something else is unclear, but ball lightning does not occur in that region at this time of year, grandfather immediately dismissed this version.

Yes, my mother knew Pashin very well, she says that he knew the taiga like in his own backyard.

But they began the search only after about a week, because they did not report their arrival on the other side of the ridge.

Please, you can even refer to the story of my mother Rempel Maria Ivanovna, she is already 84 years old, but she remembers everything very clearly (her head is fine).

And she remembers the explosion very clearly, although I tried to assume that maybe a star fell or something else, but she said that there was definitely an explosion.

Hello Roman, I would like to clarify that they went to look for the group about a week after the time when they did not check in on the other side of the pass. Find out (maybe you have the information) when they should have been registered and then you can calculate the date the bodies were found.

Hello Roman, I talked to my mother, asked your questions and this is what she said: only boys came to grandpa, there were about 5 or 6 of them. They sat with grandpa in the kitchen and he said something, pointing to the map. Mom was not present during the conversation, she brought me to my grandmother (I was 3 months old) because she and my dad were going to a Komsomol meeting at the club, and after she handed me, she left immediately. The guys sat with my grandfather for quite a long time. Mom doesn’t know where they should have check in, but she remembers that one of the them returned.

Mom didn’t talk to Pashin about the disappearance of the group, but since she was a friend of Pashin’s daughter, she remembers how her friend talked about how her father had gone to look for the group with others, but with whom exactly, she doesn’t know. After they discovered the guys, everyone in the village who somehow knew them or heard about them was upset. Grandfather was very sad that such young and good guys died, mother says he was very upset and said, "why didn’t they listen and went there anyway?" He warned them that there were strong winds at this time of year. As for the suspicion that the Mansi had anything to do with this, no one in the village had such a thought, it is clear that in our time someone has already put forward such a version, but my mother says that although the Mansi are gloomy people, they are not evil and they have never harmed anyone.

As for Ivdellag, the relationship with people was normal, because the prison population mainly consisted of political convicts. My dad was one of them at first, and after liberation my mother and I got married. Mom worked as a cashier and twice a month with the guards she went into the zone to give the prisoners salaries and says that she never even heard swear words either from the guards or from the prisoners. She can’t say anything about the cruel treatment of prisoners, but she knows about escapes. If they survive the harsh weather they almost always return. One prisoner worked as an accountant in the accounting department with my mother, and my mother remembers him as a very intelligent and mannered person.

As for the explosion, there was no sound, maybe due to the distance, but the flash was very bright. She remembers well that it was precisely at the time when a group of students was in that area and it was dark, it was in the morning or in the evening, not exactly sure.

She doesn’t remember talking to my grandfather about dead animals and fallen trees. She can't say anything about gold mining either. There were no poachers; everyone hunted on their own and knew each other. After the boys died, investigators carried out checks and interviewed residents and interrogated my grandfather.

In 1965, we left Vizhay for Murom, my grandparents left in 1964 and also lived in Murom, then they moved to Tsimlyansk, Rostov region. I can ask my cousin, he lives next to my grandfather’s house (Ervina, his son’s widow lives there) may find something, if there is anything left.

Of course, I will talk to my mother about all this, but there are only a few living witnesses left, because 60 years have passed and many have already left us. About three years ago, my kindergarten teacher, who also lived in Vizhay, Maria Afanasyevna, came to visit Germany. If I find her (but the person she came to is no longer alive), I’ll try to contact her. And the rest of my friends and relatives were children and don’t remember anything. And after returning, the hiker (I think his last name was Yudin) came to my grandfather and said that the time of return was postponed a couple of days later. Apart from the guys from the expedition, no one else died at that time. My mother says that they would have known, my grandfather told his family almost everything, and we lived very friendly, I was with my grandparents almost every day at that time. Grandfather died in 1980 from a heart attack in the city of Tsimlyansk, Rostov region, and most of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren live there. My grandmother can’t say anything about the tests - she doesn't know and there was no conversation. The explosion happened around the time when the guys were already on the ridge according to time calculations, and this was also talked about in my grandfather’s house, but what kind of explosion it was, there were different assumptions.

Hello Roman, first of all, I apologize for the long silence, but sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want. I'll go in order: the flash was not as bright as in your video, but after this flash there was talk in the village about some kind of military tests Mom says that people said so. The village of 2nd Northern at that time was populated, but there were very few residents there and many houses were empty. As for the hikers groups, my mother says that there were a lot of them and from different cities. They often stopped in Vizhay and then went further into the mountains. Ask if you have any more questions. Natalya


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