The deportations of 1941 and 1949 II WW2

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.

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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.

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More information sources

https://www.vestnesis.lv/ta/id/25351

Deportation in Latvia on June 14, 1941 - National Encyclopedia (enciklopedija.lv)

Deportation on March 25, 1949 in Latvia - National Encyclopedia (enciklopedija.lv)

Related objects

Victims of Communist Terror Memorial in Torņakalns

The memorial site is located in the Torņakalns railway station in Riga. It is dedicated to those deported in June 1941. Initially it was planned to create a memorial in Esplanāde park, but later it was decided to place it at the Torņakalns station. The memorial consists of five torn stone sculptures symbolising the ruined families and three generations of deportees. The sculptor of this memorial is Pauls Jaunzems and the architect is Juris Poga. It was unveiled on 14 June 2001 by the then President of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. Next to the station there is a freight waggon and a commemorative stone dedicated to the deported Latvians. The commemorative stone with the inscription “1941” is a 1.2 m high crude boulder. The author of the memorial stand is the sculptor Ojārs Feldbergs.

Exhibition in the KGB Building "History of KGB Operations in Latvia"

The former USSR State Security Committee (commonly known as Cheka) building is open for visitors. Here chekists imprisoned, interrogated and murdered Latvian citizens who were considered opponents by the occupation regime. There is also an exhibit from the Latvian Occupation Museum on the activities of Cheka in Latvia. Guided tours of the prison cells, corridors, basement and courtyard are available. The house was built in 1911 and it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Riga. Called the ‘Corner House’ by the people, it was the scariest symbol of the Soviet occupation regime in Latvia, and also one of the pillars of power of the USSR. Cheka operated from the Corner House during the occupation from 1940 to 1941 and then again from 1945 to 1991. Tens of thousands of Latvians were affected by direct political persecution. The fight against enemies of Soviet rule continued also after World War II. Cheka’s approach towards its operation slightly changed after Stalin’s death. Physical torture was replaced by psychological terror. The majority of Cheka agents were Latvians (52%). Russians were the second largest group – 23.7%. 60.3% of the agents were not members of the Communist Party. 26.9% of the agents had higher education. The system was designed in a way to involve local people and thus have greater control over the society. Staff documents and service records are located in Russia. And these materials have not been made available to Latvian authorities and researchers.

Gulbene Railway Station

The Gulbene Railway Station is located in the city of Gulbene. During World War I, in 1916 to 1917, the narrow-gauge railway line to Pļaviņas was reconstructed to 1,524 mm width to ensure that it can serve as a connection to the Rīga-Daugavpils line. In addition, a railway line to Ieriķi and to Sita was constructed, thereby establishing a connection with Pytalovo. As a result, Gulbene became a railway hub. The current station building by architect Pēteris Feders was constructed in 1926. During the War of Independence, on 31 May 1919, when Gulbene was liberated from the Bolsheviks, the 1st (4th) Valmiera Infantry Regiment collected a significant number of war trophies here. On 14 June 1941, both civilians and Latvian Army officers arrested in the Litene Summer Camp were deported from the Gulbene Railway Station. As a key hub, it was bombed in the spring of 1944. After the war, it was restored to its original form. An educational and interactive centre named ‘Railway and Steam’ was opened in 2018. Next to the Gulbene station is the company SIA Gulbenes – Alūksnes bānītis, which offers interactive lessons and tours. Visitors have access to the station building and platform, a memorial plaque and a monument to the repressed ones by sculptor Indulis Ranka.

Latvian Army Summer Camp in Litene

The Latvian Army Summer Camp in Litene is located in the forest in Litene parish, near the Pededze River. The beginnings of the Litene Camp can be traced back to 1935 when the construction of a summer camp complex for the Latgale division of the Latvian Army was started. From May to autumn, several thousand soldiers learned combat tactics and shooting skills in Litene. In the summer of 1941, Latvian Army officers were arrested by Red Army and NKVD troops at an army summer camp in Litene. Several officers were shot on the spot, while others were deported to Siberia. On 14 June 1941, at least 430 officers were arrested and deported to Siberia in the Litene and Ostrovieši camps about 10 kilometres from Litene. The only historical building that has survived from the camp is a food storage facility. Only the foundations remain from the other buildings. There is a viewing platform with the Latvian flag, benches and a well-maintained place for a fire. A demilitarised cannon was installed with the support of the Ministry of Defence and the National Armed Forces. Information boards are in place. The Wall of Pain memorial in the Litene graveyard is also connected with the events at the Litene camp. The YouTube channel of the Latvian Army features a video named ‘Litene, Katyn of the Latvian Army’.

Preiļi Museum of History and Applied Art exhibition "Museum stories for Latvia"

It is located in the premises of the Preiļi Cultural Center.

Preiļi Museum of History and Applied Art (PVLMM) exhibition "Museum stories for Latvia" about the First World War, the War of Independence and the Second World War can be viewed.

The "Story of Drywys" section of the exhibition "Museum Stories for Latvia" (opened in 2018) of the Museum of Preiļi History and Applied Arts is dedicated to the First World War, the War of Independence and the liberation of Latgale, as well as to the knights of the Lāčplešana War Order. The exhibition section "The story of the flag" tells about the difficult events of the Second World War period, during which the people of Preila were affected by deportations, the Holocaust, involvement in the military units of the warring parties, and after the war - in the ranks of national partisans. The "Righteous Among the Nations" medal awarded to Vladislav Vuškānas, the savior of the Jews from Preiliat, can also be viewed.

Upon prior application, a tour is available in Russian and English.

Museum of Melānija Vanaga and Siberian dugout

The Melānija Vanaga Museum is located in the Amata village school in Cēsis municipality. The museum showcases materials about the life, literary activity, family and destiny of writer and cultural historian Melānija Vanaga: video content about Siberia and the deported Latvians living there and a Siberian dugout taking its visitors on a trip to the writer’s place of deportation in Tyukhtetsky district, Krasnoyarsk region. The appearance and layout of the dugout form a realistic idea of life away from home. The dugout features unique historical objects brought there from the Tyukhtet Museum: a birch-bark dish known as ‘tuyesok’, a clay mug known as ‘krynka’ and a kerosene lamp. The museum features video interviews with politically repressed people from the municipality and 18 characters from Melānija Vanaga’s book Suddenly, a Criminal: Sixteen Years in Siberia. The museum’s virtual exhibition ‘BE YOURSELF!’ (http://esipats.lv) shows the experiences of five deported children and their parents who were wrongly accused by the Soviet authorities of ‘betrayal of the motherland’.

Valka train station

The Valka Railway Station is located at the end of Poruka street, next to a set of train tracks that are out of use. The station building can only be viewed from the outside where information stands of the importance of the railway in Valka and Valga are in place. Near the station building is a memorial stone devoted to the people deported to Siberia on 14 June 1941. The station building was constructed around 1896-1897. Narrow-gauge railway lines in the Valka-Rūjiena-Pärnu section were put in place here initially. During World War I, the railway was severely damaged. After establishing the state border, the Valka Railway Station (Valka II) became a border station. In late September 1920, the special Railway Board Commission arrived in Valka. The commission was authorised to negotiate and conclude an agreement with Estonia on the transfer of passengers from the station of one state to the other. The tracks between the triangularly placed Lugaži, Valka and Valga stations were strategically important, as they allowed armoured trains to turn around and move in the opposite direction. During the Soviet period, the USSR Army used this station to deliver ballistic missiles to Valka. A mass deportation of the Latvian people to the inland areas of the USSR took place on the night of 13-14 June 1941. More than 90 people from Valka and the surrounding areas were put in cattle waggons to be deported from the Valka Railway Station without any court judgement, prior warning or explanations. In September 1944, the station was destroyed by the retreating German Army.

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.

With the help of deportations, the Soviets dealt with supporters of the national partizans’ and at the same time intimidated the remaining rural population, forcing them to join the collective farms.

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.
The author of the idea, Pēteris Ozolas himself, also has his own pillar, who was taken from "Pērkonių" of Kos parish together with his family at the age of six on March 25, 1949.
Information about the deportation of 1949 and the operation "Priboi" (Coastal Wave) carried out by the repressive organs of the USSR in the occupied Baltic states, which was the basis of the deportation, can be read on the information board.

Luggage railway station

Located 3 kilometers from the city of Valka, on the left side of the highway Valka - Inčukalns (A3).

During World War II, the railway line Riga - Valka was of special importance. It served as the main supply artery for the Leningrad Front for the German army. The luggage station was established in 1942 as a precinct for the formation of military echelons in Valka. It had 12 tracks. The tracks between Lugaži, Valka and Valga stations, which formed a triangle with each other, were also of strategic importance in order to turn the armored trains in the opposite direction. Near the Pilenai's house (behind the station) is a collapsed guardhouse, which was used by German soldiers to monitor prisoners of war - railway workers.

Nowadays, the station building can only be seen from the outside.

A monument has been erected at the Lugazi railway station since March 25, 1992 to more than 600 citizens of the Republic of Latvia deported to Siberia on March 25, 1949 and before that. This is a work by architect Aivars Kondrāts based on the design of the monument to Jānis Sīmanis. It is shaped like a stone cut in half, which symbolizes the hearts of a divided Latvian family, essentially the entire nation with its culture and virtues, reminding of one of the darkest pages in the history of the Latvian people.

Memorial Wall of Pain

Artrodas Litene cemetery.

On June 14, 2001, the memorial “Wall of Pain” created by architects Dina Grūbe, Benita and Dainis Bērziņš, stonemasons Ivars Feldbergs and Sandra Skribnovskis was unveiled in Litene Cemetery, it symbolizes the resting place of the soldiers killed in 1941. In October 1988, the ashes of 11 officers killed in June 1941 by the Soviet Army were found in the territory of the former Latvian Army summer camp in Sita Silila, Litene Parish. Although they could not be identified, on December 2, 1989, at the consecration service in Gulbene Evangelical Lutheran Church, Litene Cemetery was solemnly reburied.

11 white crosses, memorial plaque and information stands.

Monument to the soldiers of Anna Parish who died in the First World War and the Latvian Liberation War

Located in the central part of Anna parish Ezeriņi cemetery.

In the cemetery, where the burials have been made since 1925, there is a monument to the soldiers of Anna Parish who died in the First World War and the Latvian Liberation War, built with the funds collected by the Department of Guard of Anna Parish and unveiled in 1933. Until the Second World War, the guards of Anna Parish took care of the care of the monument, who went to the cemetery every Sunday and laid flowers in honor of the fallen. On November 18, 1940, the monument was shot, and the footprints of the bullets are still visible. Today, the cemetery commemorates Lāčplēsis Day every year.

In 2004, a memorial to the politically repressed in 1941 and 1949 was unveiled in the cemetery, and in 2006 a memorial plaque to the national partisans was unveiled.

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.

The roof and foundations of the tower were damaged for the Cesvaine Evangelical Lutheran Church in World War II. In the post-war years, the organ, the altar, the pulpit and the lead frames of the window glass were destroyed. On March 29, 1964, the last service was held in the church, but in 1978, architect Maija Elizabete Mengele developed a reconstruction project for the church to be used as a house of tradition. In 1985, a group of craftsmen was formed to carry out interior reconstruction work. On August 25, 1990, the first service was held in the partially restored church, which was led by Archbishop Kārlis Gailītis (1936 - 1992). In 1994, the construction of the altar and pulpit was completed. On August 17, 2002, Archbishop Jānis Vanags consecrated the partially restored organ.

Source: http://www.cesvaine.lv/turisms/apskates-objekti-cesvaines-novada/cesvaines-luteranu-baznica.html

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.

Historical Exposition “The Burning Conscience”

The historical exhibit ‘Fire of Conscience’ is located in Cēsis, near the Cēsis Castle Square. Established in a Soviet-era temporary detention facility, it tells about the occupation of Latvia and reveals surprising and heroic stories of resistance from individuals. The yard features a memorial wall with the names of 643 residents of the former Cēsis district who died in Soviet repressions, including national partisans deported in 1941 and 1949 and those shot and sentenced to death. The exhibit’s timeline encourages visitors to study the course of the occupation of Latvia from 1939 to 1957. Arranged by topics, quotes from local newspapers offer a comparison of the political propaganda of the two occupation regimes. The six cells for temporary detention have survived to the present day in their original form from 1940 to 1941 and the post-war years. Here, the residents of Cēsis district, detained for various anti-Soviet activities, including national partisans, their supporters, young people who distributed anti-Soviet leaflets and other ‘traitors of the motherland’, were held for several days during the initial investigation and interrogation before being sent to the main KGB Building in Riga. Everything here is real: cells with iron doors, built-in ‘kormushkas’ (small openings for providing food), plank beds, a latrine for detainees, a small kitchen with an oven, as well as typical Soviet-era oil paint on the walls. In 2019, the exhibit was ranked third in the national design competition, the Latvian Design of the Year Award.

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.

Related stories

Deportation echelon secretly photographed at Skrunda station in 1949

On 25 March 1949, Elmārs Heniņš, a pupil in Skrunda, witnessed his classmates being taken away. He took his camera and climbed a pine tree on a nearby hill to document what was happening, later hiding the pictures.