A Russian German Career in Munich

Biber, Helene. "A Russian German Career in Munich; Mit Know how aus Siberian zum Chef an der Isar." Volk auf dem Weg, June 1999.

Translated from German to English by Alice Morgenstern, Munich, Germany

"Wer wagt, gewinnt" ("You win if you dare") is a well known German proverb. It has been the motto for the life of 45 years old Artur Grauberger.

Several years ago the Russian German Artur Grauberger was a mason and later a building engineer in Russia. Now he owns a building firm in Munich, Germany. He is married and has three children.

"It depends on how you cope with circumstances", he says. He grew up with his brothers and sisters in Baley, a small Siberian town. Because of his German origin he was not permitted to attend a college after having successfully finished high school. The only career open for him was an apprenticeship as a mason. But in spite of his disadvantages he made his way, ending up as chief engineer of a Soviet building firm in Krasnoyarsk in Russia.

The decision to emigrate to Germany proved to be the turning point in his life. "Positive thinking helped me to overcome difficulties when I started in Germany," he says. That was in 1995.

As a rule his working hours began at 7 o'clock in the morning. When he appears at the building site, and do not end before 10 o'clock at night when he is busy with his office work. But he is sure that being his own boss has not lost attraction for him. "Once you have achieved something in your life, you realize how it backs up your self-confidence; you carry on and see how you develop," he says.

His Russian German background, his education in Russia together with his experiences there have undoubtedly contributed to the success of establishing a firm within one year. He started by taking a language course and afterwards three months of practicing in a firm; and later, after only 9 months studying he passed his exam as a "master craftsman", a position which is highly valued in Germany.

His endeavors bore fruit: When he got the contract to build a new hospital in a Munich suburb, the offer made an sensation. Most of his 12 employees are skilled craftsmen of Russian German origin. His firm has a turnover of 1,2 million DM a year.

Belonging to a new generation of Russian Germans with enough ambition and drive to make a dream come true, Artur Grauberger is also an active member of a Russian German study group who seek ways for their compatriots of "Integration and independence". He himself experienced what it was like to struggle to overcome financial and organizational difficulties, when he had decided to make a start, and he knows what it means to waste time. Competent assistance is necessary; proper schooling in seminaries and useful contacts may be the means to find ways, perhaps even shortcuts, to the desired aims.

Asked about his future plans, Artur Grauberger says that he hopes that his firm will expand and set up branches in other Bavarian communities, because "where there is a will there is a way."

Our appreciation is extended to Alice Morgenstern for translation of this article.

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