Lithuania remembers anniversary of mass deportations on June 14. This day is one of the most tragic in Lithuanian history. During the soviet period of deportation about 300 thousand Lithuanians were deported into exile.
In Lithuania soviets started mass deportations in 1941, June 14. On this occasion, many events were held in various cities. Parliament has organised special conference. It opened a photography exhibition where various photos related to exile is shown.
A demonstration was also held in the centre of capital Vilnius, near former KGB headquarters. Some participants brought symbolic suitcases. They claim that a whole life of exiles fits into the luggage.
People that where sent into exile say that they still remember all the details of those disastrous days. They think that more international attention should be attracted to the soviet crimes and the damage should be fully compensated.
Stalin conducted a series of deportations on a huge scale which profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. Historians have estimated that between 1941 and 1949 nearly 3.3 million people in all Soviet Union were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. Up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition.
10% of the entire adult Baltic population was deported or sent to labour camps.
Video material that was submitted to European Broadcasting Union:
1. Archival material of deportations
2. Soundbite (Lithuanian), Marija Makuskaite, former exile, saying: When they placed us into the carriage, then I started to pray. Lord bless the trip that I see through mists of tears. I leave my pleasant past like islands in the sun. And I do not know what the future waits. Gray days or troubles? But the heart rejects new country.
3. More of the archival material
4. Parliamentary conference
5. Soundbite (Lithuanian), Irena Degutiene, speaker of Lithuanian Seimas, saying: More than decade totalitarian regime has organised operations with poetic names such as spring, wave surfs, autumn. This in fact meant massive deportations and tragic fates of thousands that were pulled out of their houses, their families, their land.
6. Demonstration near KGB headquarters
7. Soundbite (Lithuanian), Albinas Liutkevicius, political prisoner, saying: I was 18 when they incarcerated me. Right from the 5th class of gymnasium. My cell was in that corner. I was imprisoned there for 3 months. And then they deported me into the concentration camp.
8. More of the demonstration