The Day of Mourning and Hope – June 14

What do we commemorate?

In June 14, 1941, NKVD started the mass arrests and deportations of Lithuanian people – the whole families were exiled to the depth of the Soviet Union, Siberia. There’s still unknown the exact number of deported and dead.

 

Definition of exiles

Exiles or deportations (lat. “deportatio” – the act of forcing somebody to leave the country, exile) – is a specific type of political repression. A distinctive feature of deportations as a type of repression is their administrative (non-legal) manner and the fact that they were directed not towards the particular person but towards the group of people defined by some prejudged criteria.

 

Who made the decisions?

The decisions on exile were made by the leaders of the Soviet Union communist party on the initiative of NKVD-MVD and NKGB-MGB institutions.

 

Who and why were deported?

Only those whose record files contained some “discreditable material”, for example, on the participation in the fight for Independence, occupation of high public service position, belonging to the corps of rifles, etc. had to be deported. NKVD documents call the procedure of deportation “the expulsion of socially alien elements”. All these categories and types of repression were similar in the sense that none of the exiled was formally sentenced.  Three types of repression were designed for tens of categories of deportees: residence in the area by NKVD supervision, residence in prison camps and in the GU­LAG system labour camps. The representatives of Lithuanian political, military and economic elite were mostly among the deported.

 

Where were they deported?

Most people were deported to the region of Altai, fewer to the region of Novosibirsk, Kazakhstan and Komia. Some were deported to Bellag (Carelia) and Oneglag (the region of Archangelsk). Men, who were separated from their families, were brought to different camps – Carlag, Vorkutlag (the region of Komia), Siblag (the region of Kemerov), Sevurallag (the former Sverdlovsk region) and Kraslag (the region of Krasnoyarsk, Resiotai town), Norillag. In extremely narrow circumstances were brought to the north of Jacutia, the islands of the Lena river delta.

 

Number and composition of the exiled

The number of the deportees from Lithuania amounts to 12 832 people (the fate of 12 331 was established). The number of the detained – 4 663 (the fate of 3 915 was established). Total number of all the categories of the repressed after the deportation operation in Lithuania amounts to about 17 500 people (the fate of 16 246 deportees was established). Among the deportees whose fate was established some 2 045 were Jews, 1 576 – Poles, 11 991 – Lithuanians. Some 5060 among the deportees were children under the age of 16 (41% of all the exiled to the places of deportation).

 

Deportation consequences

1. Repression was directed towards the annihilation of families’ not particular people. By annihilating the whole families, their years of accumulated experience, social-cultural influence had to vanish. The most educated part of officers, policemen, teachers, journalists etc of the two decades had to vanish.

2. Deportation affected all national groups more or less in the same way, however, relatively the Jewish community suffered most – 1% of the community members were exiled (about 0.5% of Lithuanians).

3. Deportation had a special impact on the situation in Lithuania – the exile of thousands of people, absence of information on the fate of deportees due to the war lets us evaluate deportation as a physical annihilation of people. Under the conditions of the Nazi occupation the fact of deportations was used to disseminate national-socialist doctrines in the society, to promote intolerance as well as to ascribe the responsibility for the deportations to the representatives of the Jewish community.

4. The deportees were taken to the places not suitable for residence, therefore a part of them died. Deportation is seen as a crime of genocide or a crime against humanity.

 

Destiny of the exiled

Out of all the deportees 33.59 % returned to Lithuania, 26.52 % died in the places of deportation and imprisonment and the fate of almost 40% remains unknown.

 

The total number of deportees in 1941-1952 is estimated to be at least 135 500.

During the period of 1945-1952, over 32 000 children were deported from Lithuania.

 

Mourning...

That thousands of people died and were killed wantonly; because of cruelty, inhumanity, injustice and heartlessness of those who call themselves human beings

And hope...

That it will never happen again