Where in the World is Arnolds Vinakmens?

Arnolds Vinakmens was born in 1911, probably in Tukums. He was the second son of Vilis Augusts Wihnstein and Emilija Karline Veisbergs. I have very little information about Arnolds.

He is listed in “These Names Accuse” as a deportee of June 14, 1941. Registration and group no:  17668/4, last known whereabouts: Daugavpils. The 4 in his case number means he was likely either in the military, or a communications or transport official or employee who was evacuated by force to Russia.

One of my great aunts, Arnolds’ niece, recounted to me that Arnolds had a wife named Valentina. They lived in Russia near St. Petersburg and had two sons, one of which was a violinist and one a painter.  So, if he was deported, he must have stayed there, and he was probably already fluent in Russian, since his family lived in Russia for a few years when he was a child.

Indeed, today there are Vinakmens in St. Petersburg. Whether or not they are descendants of Arnolds I don’t know yet, but I am attempting to find out!


After learning how to spell “Vinakmens” in Russian Cyrillic (“Винакмен”), I searched the web. I found a few hits on Facebook.com, of those living in St. Petersburg. Knowing that Vinakmens is not a common surname, and the fact that they lived in St. Petersburg like my great aunt had told me, I decided to send messages. Bingo! I found myself speaking to Arnolds’ grandson, who seems just as interested in family history as I am.


4 thoughts on “Where in the World is Arnolds Vinakmens?

  1. Of course I am interested:)
    Arnold is my grandfather who lived Daugavpils, Valmiera, Riga (since 1958 till 1993). He died in 1993. Just before his death he was taken by my father Jury to St.Petersburg, where hi is buried.
    My grandma Valentina lived till 1995. And she also is buried in St.Petersburg.
    They had one son Jury, who in 1995 became a student of Leningrad Military Academy from wih yt graduated in 1961 and served as officer mostly on Far East. Where in 1963 in Khabarovsk my brother Pavel was born. In 1982 the father returned in St.Petersburg, work as a teacher in MMA and write some books on infectious diseases.

  2. Pingback: Ancestor Story: Arnold Vinakmen | A Latvian Canadian Story

  3. Pingback: 52 Ancestors, Week 2: Karlis Vinakmens | A Latvian Canadian Story

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