2023 On March 21, the director Dzintra Geka-Vaskas and the composer Pēteris Vasks met шт the Riga Ēbelmuiža elementary school students to tell about March 25, 1949 – the day of remembrance of the victims of the Communist genocide. Hearing-impaired children study at Ebeluiža elementary school. Dzintra Geka-Vaska regularly visits Ēbelmuiža elementary school and this time she presented the book “Mothers in Siberia”, which was donated to the school library.
On March 11 of this year, Dzintra Geka-Vaska received the Rose Award and the Letter of Appreciation from the Zonta Club. The Rose Day, which took place in Valmiera for the 17th time, is organized by the Valmiera Zonta club. During it, an outstanding woman receives a certificate of appreciation for her significant contribution to society.
“It is a great honor. During the last year, we have all been associated with thoughts about the war in Ukraine, about the fragile situation in the world, about the abnormal aggressor country Russia. In 1949, my mother hid in a bunker with three small children. There she became close to my father. I’m a bunker kid. I think about strong women, about my mother and many other mothers who gave birth to children in Siberia. It is unimaginable what they went through, so this book is a tribute to mothers, a memory. Thank you for the honor of receiving the award,” said Dzintra Geka-Vaska.
“We give the award, which is dedicated to a strong woman, both as a reminder of a woman’s strength and multi-layered importance in the world, and also to strengthen other women. Ever since last February, when Russia invaded Ukraine, it’s hard to be completely happy about anything. We thank Dzintra Gekai-Vaska for her strength and stories, her tireless care to keep this unimaginably difficult topic in the public eye. But by telling stories of strength, we become stronger,” said Daiga Rokpelne, head of the Valmiera library
Exhibition “Children of Siberia” in Jurmala Museum. Interview with Dzintra Geka and the exiled Parsla Bischof, who was taken to Russia at the age of 5.
The film “The distant land of Siberia.” Why March 25, 1949?” and the exhibition “Children of Siberia” was viewed by 426 Ventspils school studentsю
Deportation victims’ memorial concert “For the Deported”
The “Children of Siberia” foundation invites you to the “Deportees” commemoration concert of the deportation victims of March 25, 1949. The concert will take place in Riga St. St. John’s Church, on March 25 at 16.00
The outstanding mixed choir of the Latvian Academy of Culture “Sõla“, artistic director Kaspars Ādamsons, conductors Artūrs Oskars Mitrevics and Jurģis Rāts, and soloists Annija Kristiāna Ādamsone (soprano), Artūrs Oskars Mitrevics (piano), Ilze Reine (organ) will take part in the concert.
The concert program includes works by Latvian composers Lūcijas Garūtas, Emīlas Dārziņš, Pēteras Vaskas, Pēteras Plakids, Alfrēdas Kalniņas, Jānis Mediņas, Raimonds Tigula, Ārik Ešenvald, etc. compositions.
The mixed choir of the Latvian Academy of Culture “Sōla” was founded in 1998. The choir’s creative biography includes not only solo concerts with programs of various eras and styles, but also cooperation with other collectives in large-scale musical (including dance) projects and participation in charity concerts. “Sōla” regularly participates in choir competitions and festivals organized in Latvia and elsewhere in the world, both in Europe and America, thus popularizing the traditions of Riga and Latvian choirs and choral music outside the borders of Latvia. The choir has recorded four volumes of music.
Annija Kristiāna Ādamsone is the winner of the Pēteras Plakiža Chamber Music Prize and the scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), as well as the laureate of the competition “Ineses Galantes talanti 2021”, she graduated from the JVLMA’s vocal department Antra Jankava’s class and is currently studying her second year of master’s studies at the Opera School, Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts with professor Ulrike Sontags. Performs in various concert forms, manifesting in the genre of opera, oratorio, early music, chamber music and contemporary music.
Ilze Reine is not only St. St. John’s Church organist, choir conductor and leader of musical life since 1996, but also a regular concert musician and organ teacher. She taught improvisation and liturgical organ playing at the Luther Academy of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Jāzeps Vītolas Music Academy of Latvia, currently at the Ventspils Music High School. In addition to organ solo programs, he cooperates with various collectives in Latvia.
Artūrs Oskars Mitrevics graduated in 2022 from the Jāzeps Vītolas Latvian Academy of Music in the symphony orchestra conducting class of professor Andras Vecumnieks. Part of Artur’s creative activity is also dedicated to playing the piano. Artūrs has previously participated and received recognition in various competitions in Latvia and abroad. Artūrs is also actively involved in the life of the General Piano Department of the Academy of Music. Currently, as a pianist-concertmaster, Artūrs collaborates with the young conductors at the Riga Cathedral Choir School and the JVLMA, as well as creates collaborations with the brightest singers of his generation, Katrīnas Paula Felsberg, Daniil Kuzmina and Daina Kalnača.
Entrance to the concert is free.
March 25 is coming. We are remembering March 25, 1949, when 42,125 of inhabitants were deported from Latvia. 10,987 of them were children under the age of 16. In 2022, the foundation published the book “Children of Siberia 1949”, which contains the life stories of 165 people who were taken to Siberia as children on March 25, 1949. The book contains maps of the areas, descriptions and photographs from personal archives attached to each interview. The Book can be purchased by ordering on the foundation’s website https://sibirijasberni.lv/
The book “Mothers in Siberia” has become popular in a short time, there is no doubt that it will soon become a bibliographic rarity, just like “School in Siberia”. History repeats itself – the war in Ukraine, the forced flow of refugees and the violent deportation of people to the outskirts of Russia turn out to be a modern reality. Thanks to everyone who promotes and buys a book, promoting the work of the foundation. On Monday, January 10, an interview with Dzintra Geka “Morning Panorama” is expected on LTV1.
On December 22, 2022, the Siberian Children’s Christmas and opening of the book “Mothers in Siberia” was held at the Latvian Society House. About 60 people had arrived. Dzintra Geka performed, Jānis Lūriņš read excerpts from the book and Pastor Gunārs Kalme gave a speech. Musicians Raimonds Tiguls – henga, Magdalēna Geka – violin and Jānis Lūmanis – accordion performed. Continue reading “Siberian Children’s Christmas”
Foundation “The Children of Siberia” has published a new book “Mothers in Siberia”. The book contains interviews with mothers and their children deported on June 14, 1941, fragments of interviews from the memories of children deported on June 14, 1941. In 1941, the children taken to Siberia asked me to publish a book about Mothers. Latvian women, who from a prosperous life, from a prosperous home, ended up in the filth, filth, narrowness, hunger, and cold of Siberia. In chiffon dresses, mothers went to cut trees in the taiga, returning to their huts in the evening with worn-out clothes. Mothers gave the meager ration of bread to their children and starved to death. On June 14, 1941, 15,424 Latvian residents were deported from Latvia. Deportation greatly affected women – being separated from their husbands, taking all care of children, parents. They had to fight for physical survival with all possible means, far away from the usual environment, raise children, be able to create a sense of family, survive many physical and moral hardships. suffering – loss of husband, also children. Research by psychologists shows that the traumas caused by deportation leave
traces and are passed on to the next generation.
In 1946, when orphaned children were allowed to be sent to Latvia, some mothers committed suicide so that the children could return to their homeland. In 2000, when we started looking for and interviewing Siberian children, we still met some mothers, this book contains their memories. What surprised me the most was the suffering, the pain that had been experienced and was able to remember it without bitterness and malice.
More than 80 years have passed, memories are fading, time is running and there are calls to forget it sooner. Then suddenly war in Ukraine. History repeats itself, fathers have been killed, families destroyed, children deported again. That is why this book is needed. Lest we ever forget…
Eternal memory for Latvian Mothers.”
Māra Eidukas (quote from the book) “Mum was working in the forest, she left this food for us, but it happened that other children ate our food. I got sick… For a month, on my way to work, my mother waited in terror to see if I would be alive when she came home from work. Mom said – it’s better if misfortune comes without knowing, because it’s terrible to go through it. I’m sick from hunger”
Hélène Lacone (quote from the book): “I was 34 years old when I was deported. I work in a collective farm, digging a cellar. There were older wives. I dug up a lot of earth, on the third day I only worked in the corner with a shovel, I was sick. I wanted to earn. We were given a ration of bread. There was a hospital nearby, I went in for treatment. I was investigated. I was all messed up. I wasn’t allowed to do hard work anymore”
Margrieta Silenieks(Otaņķe) (quote from the book): “We believed that we would be together with our husbands. We saw that there were no husbands when we left… We asked, of course , but the communists had their own answer – they didn’t know where our men were.”
The book is published by “Children of Siberia Foundation”, it can be purchased by ordering on the website https://sibirijasberni.lv/shop/product/mates-sibirija/ or by phone 28647939, we also send by mail and to your home. The book can also be purchased on site at the studio in Zaķusala, LTV building, tel. 28647939 or 29273016.
The film “Road to Siberia, 1941” is an emotional and sad message. It tells about people who return to the places of deportation in Siberia, Yeniseysk, Karaula, Ustjport, Biriliyus, Suhanoy, Penkov. How does it look now? How are these people welcomed and what do the local people in Siberia think? “Don’t forget, don’t betray, don’t forgive in our name,” – so say the children of Siberia.
(c) StudioSB. Latvia, 2021.
Director: Dzintra Geka.
Text author: Valdis Lūriņš.
Cinematographer: Aivars Lubanietis.
Composer: Pēteris Vasks.