The deportations of 1941 and 1949 II WW2

1941. gada deportāciju vagons Torņkalna stacijā. Foto autors: Edgars Ražinskis. 2021.

6/14/1941 more than 15,400 Latvian citizens were deported from Latvia. Some of the deportees were immediately arrested and taken to prisons. The rest were settled in Siberia and Kazakhstan. This was the first mass deportation from Latvia.

In the autumn of 1939, immediately after the occupation of Latvia, the overthrow of its statehood began, the establishment and strengthening of the Soviet regime, as well as extensive repression against the so-called "enemies of the people" and "foreign elements". Following the example of the USSR, repressive institutions were established in Latvia in a short time, and USSR legislation came into force, incl. also the Criminal Code of the USSR, which opened opportunities for repressive institutions to punish Latvian citizens for their activities before the occupation of Latvia.

By order of the Main Archives Board of the USSR People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, a special file of “socially dangerous elements” was created, in which compromising information about more than 10 categories of the population had to be recorded. Employees of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs and the People's Commissariat of National Security of the Latvian SSR used the archives of various state institutions, organizations, liquidated associations, publications of the independent Latvian press, reports of the State Statistical Bureau, as well as the issuance of USSR passports. related documents.

Along with the arrests of certain "anti-Soviet elements", which were immediately investigated and prosecuted, in Latvia, as in other areas of interest in the so-called Molotov-Ribbetrop Pact, preparations were launched for the widespread deportation to Siberia. The purpose of the planned deportation was to arrest and then in many cases take revenge on Latvian statesmen, army officers, court and police officers, members of political parties, prominent scientists, writers, teachers, and members of other professions and deport their families.

The deportation of more than 15 thousand Latvians on June 14, 1941, according to the orders and instructions of the USSR Government, the USSR National People's Commissariat of Security, the USSR People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, was prepared by the LSSR National Security People's Commissariat with the support of LASCO, as well as employees of the Baltic Special War Area Headquarters, Part 3. In doing so, the troops of the USSR convoy, the People's Commissariat of the Interior and the militia, as well as local Communist Party and Soviet activists were involved in the deportation. The deportations took place mainly on the basis of "class signs" - those arrested for those who had been gathered about "counter-revolutionary" activities and "anti-Soviet agitation", as well as the wealthiest citizens of the former Republic of Latvia.

The Special Discussion of the USSR ICTY sentenced prisoners to death or imprisonment in camps for 3 to 10 years. More than 690 Latvians were executed. Some of those arrested, who had been sentenced to the highest sentence, died before they were executed. More than 3,400 citizens of the Republic of Latvia arrested on June 14, 1941 died in prisons. At the end of the 1940s, some prisoners were transferred from general correctional camps to the special camps of the USSR Ministry of the Interior, where the prison regime was even stricter.

Among those arrested, many were rural residents, who were repressed mainly as members of the Latvian security organization. On June 14, 1941, deported women, children and the elderly were deported to a lifelong camp in Krasnoyarsk Oblast, Novosibirsk Oblast and northern Kazakhstan, where they had to work in forestry companies, collective farms, and Soviet farms under the special command of the USSR Ministry of the Interior. More than 1,900 deported Latvian citizens died in the camps.

On June 14, 1941, the deportees were able to return to their homeland in the mid-1950s, and many only in the 1960s and early 1970s. In accordance with the UN Convention on Genocide of 9 December 1948 and the penalty for its deportation on 14 June 1941, it can reasonably be considered genocide against the Latvian people.


3/25/1949 The deportation campaign "Krasta banga" (Прибой) started in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, during which 42,125 Latvians were deported to Siberia for life.

After the Second World War, the leadership of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1939-1940. In the occupied and annexed territories in 1940, efforts were made to complete the 1940s and 1941s. The Sovietization of the region, which began in 2006, involved the amalgamation of individual farms into collective farms (Russian colossus, abbreviated to Russian colony) and the elimination of armed resistance. In order to achieve these goals, the 1948-1952 Deportations from these areas took place in. One of the shares was "Krasta banga" on September 25-30, 1949. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It was one of the largest post-war deportations in the USSR, as well as the largest deportation campaign in the Baltics (a total of 95,000 people were deported).

The data published by the State Archives of Latvia provide the most complete picture possible today of the victims of the deportation in 1949 in Latvia. March 25-30, 1949 deported 42,125 people from Latvia (2.2% of the Latvian population), i.e. sk. 16,869 men and 25,256 women. Among them were 10,987 children under the age of 16. Adding the number of children born on the way to Siberia, people deported or joining families after 30.03, the total number of deportation victims is 44,271. Most of them belonged to the “kulak” category - 67.7%. 94.5% of the deportees were Latvians, the next largest groups were Russians, Poles and Belarusians.

The deportation campaign started on March 25. after midnight. Each family was allowed to take 1,500 kg of luggage. It took one hour to collect. However, sometimes the task forces arbitrarily shortened the time to 15 minutes or less. There have been cases of soldiers, destroyers or activists engaging in maraudierism, robbery at the time of removal, or farms of already deported families.

The population of Latvia was deported to the Amur, Omsk and Tomsk regions. Upon arrival at the settlement site, a questionnaire was completed for each deportee who had reached the age of 16. They all had to sign that they had been deported for life under a decree of 26 November 1948. Escaping from the camp was punishable by 20 years in the cemetery. Special detainees were not allowed to move outside the administrative district without permission. Most of the deportees were employed in agriculture, mostly in collective farms.

Among the deportees were many people who were included in the lists due to negligence or error and whose deportation was illegal even under the rules of the time. However, complaints from the VDM and the MoI were generally ignored.

In 1954, the liberalization of the situation of special detainees began, and the release of “erroneously” deportees and some other categories began to be exempted. Decisions were made for each family separately, they were prepared by the Ministry of the Interior of the Latvian SSR, which made a decision on release. The materials were then sent to the LSSR Council of Ministers (MP). 5/19/1958 A decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (APP) was adopted, exempting all "kulaks" from the special camp. The release did not mean the right to return to Latvia; the MP of the LSSR still gave permission to each family separately.

More information sources

Deportation in Latvia on June 14, 1941 - National Encyclopedia (

Deportation on March 25, 1949 in Latvia - National Encyclopedia (


Your comments

After World War II, the leadership of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in the occupied and annexed territories of 1939-1940. , efforts were made to complete the Sovietization of the region, which began in the 1940s and 1941s, and which included the consolidation of individual farms into collective farms and the elimination of armed resistance. To achieve these goals in 1948-1952. deportation operations took place from these areas. One of the operations was “Krasta Banga” on September 25-30, 1949 in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It was one of the largest post-war deportations in the USSR, as well as the largest deportation operation in the Baltic states (a total of 95 thousand people were deported). For escaping from the camp, he was sentenced to 20 years in the cemetery. ??? (hard labor) In 1954, the liberalization of the situation of special prisoners began, they began to exempt them from release ????? (deportation) of “wrongly” deported and some other categories.

Mar 26, 2024, 9:54:53 AM

Hello! Thank you for your comment. The description of this topic in Russian is a machine translation from Latvian. Original text in Latvian is available here: Best regards, "Lauku ceļotājs"

Lauku ceļotājs
Apr 4, 2024, 12:13:42 PM

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Cattle wagon used for deportations – museum at Skrunda train station

To commemorate the deportations of June 1941 and March 1949, a memorial stone and a four-axle wagon, which also serves as the museum dedicated to deportations, was erected at the Skrunda railway station. This is the first wagon-type museum in Latvia that holds a permanent exhibit of photos, letters, memoirs, documents and various items made by the people deported from the Skrunda station. Skrunda station was a location where deportees were gathered, and one of the three stations in the region to which people from the Skrunda and the Kuldīga area were brought. In 1941, the family of the first President of the restored Republic of Latvia, Guntis Ulmanis, was deported from here to Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia.

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Memorial place near Amata station - echelon No. 97322

It is located in Drabešu parish of Amata county, near the former Amata station building.

The deportees' memorial with an information board and a square can be viewed.

A total of more than 42 thousand people were taken from Latvia in 33 echelons on March 25, 1949 and the following days.
On March 27, 1949, at two o'clock in the morning, echelon No. 60 long wagons left Amata station. 97322 with 329 men, 596 women, 393 children.

The central object will be 1318 metal poles of various sizes and colors. Each of them symbolizes a person taken on March 25, 1949 from the then counties of Cēsis and Alūksne. On each column, the name, surname, year of birth and parish - from which the person was sent. At the moment, 21 posts have been installed with the support of the deportees themselves or their relatives.
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Memorial Wall of Pain

Artrodas Litene cemetery.

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Memorial to the Cesvaine Victims of the First World War and the War of Independence in the Cesvaine Lutheran Church

Located in Cesvaine Lutheran Church and church grounds.

A memorial site for church members who died in the First World War and the War of Independence can be seen in the church.
In memory of the inhabitants of Cesvaine and its environs who died in the war of independence, a memorial place was restored and consecrated in the church in 2004, dedicated to the writer Augustus Saulietis in poetry.
All 34 surnames engraved on the old plate are also engraved on the plate. The wooden altar was made by a local master Juris Neimanis.

A memorial to the victims of the communist genocide, opened and consecrated on March 25, 2003, can be seen in the church garden.

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Monuments to the fallen and deported inhabitants of Palsmane Parish

Located near Palsmane Lutheran Church.

Monuments to be seen - the fallen and missing of the Latvian War of Independence, the fallen of the Second World War and the missing and the monument to the residents of Palsmane Parish deported in 1949.
The monument was unveiled in 1927 to the residents of Palsmane Parish who died in the Latvian War of Independence and disappeared. It was discovered by General Eduard Aire (1876–1933).
Funds for the creation of the monument have been donated by the associations and public organizations of Palsmane, Mērs and Rauža parishes.

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Exhibition "Struggles for freedom in the 20th century" in Jēkabpils History Museum

Located in Krustpils Palace

Viewable exhibition "Fights for freedom in the 20th century"
Soviet repression. Hard memories. Sitting here in a club chair, you can listen to fragments of the book "Those were the times" by Ilmars Knaģ from Jēkabpils. On one of the walls of the room, a list of townspeople deported to Siberia slides dispassionately, like the credits after a movie. There you can watch an amateur video about the removal of the Lenin monument in Jēkabpils on the old TV. Visitors are interested not only in the content, but also in the technical possibilities - how did this film get on the old TV.

It is possible to listen to the lectures prepared by the museum specialists at the Jēkabpils History Museum or apply for an excursion: Jēkabpils and its surroundings in the First World War, Jēkabpils in 1990, the time of the Barricades, the deportations of 1949 - 70, Jēkabpilians Cavaliers of the Lāčplēš Military Order, etc.
The average duration of lectures is 40 min. Information and registration for lectures by calling 65221042, 27008136.

Information about prices

Jēkabpils History Museum is located in Krustpils Castle. In 1940, after the inclusion of Latvia in the USSR, the 126th Rifle Division was stationed in Krustpils Castle. During the Second World War, the castle housed a German infirmary, and after August 1944, a Red Army war hospital. After the war, Krustpils Castle with the adjacent manor buildings were occupied by the central warehouses of the 16th Long-range Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment and the 15th Air Army of the Soviet Army.

A monument to the memory of the members of the Drustu parish who fell in the First World War and in the battles for the Liberation of Latvia

It is located near the Drustu Lutheran Church.

The monument was opened on June 19, 1932.

On June 14, 1931, the foundation stone of the monument was laid, on which the text "Hundreds of years will come and go, heroes will sacrifice themselves for fatherhood". A galvanized tin capsule with a memorial letter signed by the then Chief of Army Staff General Aleksanders Kalējs, parents of the fallen soldiers and other honored guests of the ceremony is embedded under it.

During the communist occupation, the text under the tab was cemented, but the bronze tab was hidden by the parishioners. When the Revival began, local activists of the Latvian People's Front cleaned the inscription and placed the preserved tab in its place.

41 members of the Drustu congregation who died in the First World War and the Latvian War of Independence have been identified.

Placed in the niches of the church wall are commemorative plaques for the victims of the communist terror - with 58 names of Drustenians and Gatartians carved into oak - the names of people whose graves are unknown.

‘Railway Tracks Remember’ monument to those deported from West-Estonia

This monument is situated in the small borough of Risti, next to its railway station.

Designed by Viljar Ansko, the monument was unveiled in 1999 and is dedicated to all of those deported from Western Estonia.

Risti station, the last stop in Lääne County, was the point from which not only the majority of the people from the local area, but also those from Pärnu and Rapla counties and the islands of Hiiumaa and Vormsi were deported to Siberia. A total of 3000 deportees passed through here along with people arrested in Lääne County. The 13-metre monument is mounted on a small railway platform with stone stairs at both ends. Four rails rise up into the air from the platform, which are bound together by a double cross made from rails. Aside from commemorating the mass oppression of the recent past, the cross also represents the history of Risti as a railway settlement.


Stende railway station in narrow gauge railway network and the memorial stone for deportations

The railway line Ventspils - Mazirbe, as well as the Stende - Dundaga extension to Mazirbe with a branch to Pitrags, were intended only for strategic military needs. During the construction of these lines, and afterwards, all civilians were evacuated from the region. The main task of the military railways in the Irbe Strait area was to provide the German army's coastal defence positions with guns and ammunition.

These military-only military railways also connected the three most important lighthouses, located in Oviši, Mikeltornis and Šlītere.

Nevertheless, passenger transport was also provided as early as the years of World War I.

A memorial stone (1989) to the deported Latvians of 1941 and 1949 is located at the Stende railway station.

On 30 October 1919, Stende railway station was occupied by Bermont troops. On 17 November, soldiers of the Latvian army led by K. Šnēbergs attacked the station, driving away a wagon with weapons, war materials and grain. 6 soldiers were awarded the Order of the Order for these battles: K. Bumovskis (1891-1976), P. Strautiņš (1883-1969), R. Plotnieks (1891-1965), E. Jansons (1894-1977).

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