BERNER, Vil’gel’m Mihajlovič. v Baranovič, Minskoj gub. (now Byelo-Russia) 1903 — Leningrad 1958. Russian Indologist. After school from 1917 apprenticed in NW railway, in 1920 volunteer in Red Army and member of Communist Party. In 1922-26 machinist in Soviet Navy, 1926-29 fireman in the factory Krasnaja Zarja, Leningrad, 1929-31 “revizor oblfinotdela”. From 1931 studied Indian politics at TASSovkom dept. of Leningrad Oriental Institute, in 1933 participated in Pamir expedition. In 1935-36 aspirant at Anthropologixal Institute of Academy in Moscow, then working in its office. But in 1936 dismissed from party on “diminished class alertness”, soon also from institute and arrested in 1937, was prisoner in Central Asia, Ural, and Dneprodzeržinsk, until 1957. Now returned to Leningrad, but died soon in gangrene.
Sources: Vasil’kov et al. 2003.