Jul 302010

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Buy Volume 1 A-K, and Volume 2 L-Z

The book “The Children of Siberia” Part 1 have been published in 2008. It collects interviews from  letter A-K. The second volume, published November 22, 2012, include the L-Z letter.

The deportations of June 14, 1941, involved 15,425 residents of Latvia – Latvians, Jews, Russians and Poles, including more than 3,750 children aged 16 or less.  During the process, men were split off from their families and sent to camps in the Gulag, where fathers and brothers died of starvation and disease.

Women and children were sent to special settlements, mostly in villages in the Krasnoyarsk and Tomsk districts.  The first period of the deportations was particularly terrible for them.  World War II continued, and many women and children died as the result of heavy labour and disease.

A Russian song suggests that World War II was a holy war.  Mendacious propaganda ensured that the deportees were called Fascists, and that is how they were treated, too.  There is a place called Agapitova on the lower reaches of the Yenisei River.  It is known as “Death Island”, because in the autumn of 1942, 700 people, including Latvian mothers and children, were put ashore there.  By the spring of 1943, only 70 remained alive.  Among them were six Latvian children who were interviewed for this book.

In 1946 and 1947, thanks to the dedication and efforts of employees of the Orphanage Division of the Soviet Latvian Ministry of Education, more than 1,000 children who had been deported on June 14, 1941, were brought back to Latvia.  Most were children who had lost one or both parents.  They were sent to the homes of relatives or to orphanages.  Alas, this did not bring their torments to an end.  Many were sent back to Siberia in subsequent stages of deportations, and those who survived could return to Latvia only in the mid-1950s.  The children and grandchildren of the 1941 deportees can still be found in Siberia today.

We have travelled thousands of kilometres over the course of six years.  Children who were sent to the Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk, Yeniseisk and other districts are now elderly people, often disabled.  It was not just their Motherland and their relatives who were taken away from them.  The Soviet Union’s policy of Russification also robbed them of their language, and many speak no Latvian at all.  Some of these people never lost hope that they could spend their old age back in Latvia, even if that meant living in a poorhouse, but this dream is just a dream.  Today they are separated from their Motherland by a boundary that is not easily crossed.  When we returned to Latvia from each trip to Siberia, we were full of impressions about the natural beauty of that land.  We had video recordings and interviews, but we always brought along deeply personal emotions, as well.  We felt sorrow and an endless feeling of guilt.  Those who returned were happy to return to their Motherland, but there can be no compensation for loneliness, suffering, hunger and the loss of one’s loved ones.  This has had consequences across many generations.  Each story offers evidence and commemoration of brothers and sisters who remained in the eternally frozen Siberian wasteland.

In terms of sheer numbers, Jews were the second largest group of deportees in June 1941.  Those who survived returned to Latvia to find that their relatives had lost their lives during World War II.  In the 1970s, most of these people were allowed to emigrate to Israel.  We found children of Siberia there, as well.

We have interviewed 670 people in Latvia, Russia, Israel and America.  We have received much light, love and confirmation of hopes for Latvia’s future.  We wish to present these to future generations.

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Buy Volume 1 A-K, and Volume 2 L-Z

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:39 pm
Jul 302010

“Agapitova and the Recsued”


Movie about returning to the north in the past.

Question remains, why it happened and why there is nobody to blame?

Maybe this endless return is search for time taken away?

North deported generation turns into frozen land of ice and water. Those remaining disappears day by day.

I am still desperately trying to stop time.

In the hope that my words will not leave with me. –

In fact, I did not forget. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:39 pm
Jul 292010

On June 14th, 1941, atotal of 15,425 people from Latvia (ethnic Latvians, Jews, Russians and Poles) were deported to Siberia, among them 3, 751 children aged 16 or younger. During the deportations men were separted from their families and sent to the camps of Gulag, where many of them were put to death. Others were locked up in prison camps. Woman and children were mostly sent to villages in the Krasnoyarsk and Tomsk regions. While World War II continued, these woman and children suffered terrible deprivations. Forced labor and disease cost many of them their lives.

In 1946, thanks to the efforts of the education Ministry of the Latvian SSR, more than 1, 000 of the children who had been deported on June 14, 1941, most of them having lost one or both parents, were brought back to Latvia where they were turned over to relatives or placed in children’s homes. Sadly this was not the end of their torturous route. Many of them were sent back to Siberia by those who were in power, and then they could return to Latvia only in the mid-1950s. Many died, many assimilated into Siberian life.

This project continues in two portions – continuing the interviews of people who were deported as children in 1941, and then correlating the materials into a series of films and then a book. I have already interviewed 270 of 400 survivors, finding them in Latvia, Siberia, Isreal, the United States of America and Germany.

The film „Children of Siberia” has gained much publicity in Latvia, it has been shown in 10 major cities in the United States. The film has been translated into English, French and German. It has been shown at many film festivals and at an Amnesty International forum. I have also continued my work on „The Siberian Diaries” . The first two parts of these series were shown on Latvian Television on June 14, 2002, while the later two were shown on June 14, 2003. On June 14, 2004 Latvian Television showed my new film „Greetings from Siberia”.

My contract with Latvian Television states that it is inportant to show such films each year, and so it is important to continue my work on the interviews – some 120 people remain to be surveyed. Each interview would be available on DVD and VHS so that the materials can be used by schools and libraries. We intend to correlate the materials into a book, telling the destinies of these people over the course of time. The book will be translated into English German an French so that people all over the world can understand it.

In 2005 we would like to revisit Omsk, Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk to find and interview those depotees of year 1941 who are still alive but have not returned to Latvia for one reason or another.


The public fund „children of Siberia” offers informational and material aid to those who are still in Siberia, helping them return to Latvia. This is the segment of our population which has suffered the most. We must help these people. 

 Posted by at 8:39 pm
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