Fonds PR3415 - von Berg family fonds

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von Berg family fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the records.

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    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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    • 1957-1993 (Creation)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    15 reels of film: Super 8 [ca. 45 min.]. - 14 reels of film: 8mm [ca. 84 min.]. - 4 videocassettes: VHS [ca. 8 hrs.]. - 5 videocassettes: VHS-C [ca. 2 hrs., 10 min.]

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Victor von Berg was born on July 30, 1912 in Sangaste, Estonia and was the third son of Graf Ermes Friedrich von Berg and Ernestine (von Ettilinger) von Berg. He attended primary and secondary school in St. Petersburg; Boscome, England; Bournemouth, England; and Tartu, Estonia where he graduated in 1932. He then spent one year in the Finnish military and continued his education at Berlin University in 1934, returning to Estonia in 1937.

    In 1939, von Berg and his family were re-located to Germany as part of land agreements between Germany and the Soviet Union. He was then drafted into the German air force and served as an instructor and code-breaker on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. He married Erika Gehlert on March 11, 1941 in Lodz, Poland. The couple had a daughter, Karin, in 1942 but she died shortly after.

    After the war, Victor and Erika von Berg lived in Weissenfels-Sachsen-Anhalt, East Germany from 1945 to 1950. They had two sons during this period, Reinhard (1945) and Wolfgang (1947). The von Berg family managed to immigrate to Finland in 1950 with the assistance of Victor's brother, Markus, who lived in Helsinki. However, living conditions in Finland were not much better than in East Germany at the time, so the von Berg family immigrated to Canada in 1951 after Canadian immigration restrictions related to the war were lifted in 1950.

    The von Bergs moved to Edmonton and temporarily stayed with Victor's older brother, René, and his wife, Ellinor. Victor initially worked in construction and the trucking industry until taking a job as a salesman with the Dominion Life Assurance Company in 1952. This was followed by the birth of Victor and Erika's third son, Fred, in 1954.

    Victor opened his own insurance company in 1960, Victor Berg Insurance, and eventually retired to Comox, British Columbia in 1976. Erika von Berg died in 1974. Victor re-married to Hildegard Abermeth von der Ropp in 1977.

    In addition to his career in insurance, Victor was also active with the Edmonton Soaring Club (an aviation group) and the Phoenix Club (a German cultural association). Victor was an amateur pilot, flight instructor, and tow-pilot for gliders in the Edmonton Soaring Club and the president of the Phoenix Club. Victor was instrumental in the creation of campgrounds and summer cottages at Lake Isle for the Phoenix Club.

    He died in Comox in 1996.

    Custodial history

    The material remained in the possession of Victor von Berg until his death, at which point they came into the possession of Fred von Berg in Comox, British Columbia.

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of films and videos that were created by Victor von Berg and document family activities as well as events and activities related to the Edmonton Soaring Club and the Phoenix Club. Footage includes glider and small-engine plane flights around Alberta and British Columbia, water skiing, the construction of facilities at Lake Isle, church services at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, and family excursions to Jasper, California, Mexico, and around Alberta. There is also a video of Victor narrating his life story.

    The remainder of the material was created by Reinhard von Berg and focuses on his family in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Reinhard von Berg gathered Victor von Berg's materials from Fred von Berg and combined them with his family's records to donate to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 2010.


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      Script of material

        Language and script note

        The material is in English and German.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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        File list is available.

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        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Includes accession PR2010.0001.

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