Commemorative events on June 14, 2023

This year marks 82 years since the deportation of June 14, 1941, as a result of which 15,425 Latvian residents (Latvians, Jews, Russians, Poles) suffered, including 3,751 children under the age of 16. For more than twenty years, the “Children of Siberia” foundation has been inviting people to gather together, commemorating the people deported to Siberia. It is important that we mention Siberia, our attitude towards what happened is important.

The June 14, 1941 deportations, as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, are examples of how an authoritarian regime can use violence and repression to control the population and fight for power. The situation in Ukraine has increased public interest in similar historical events in Latvia. Both events show how important it is to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future.
President Egils Levits and Dzintra Geka examine the works of the participants of the winter competition. Photo author: Ilmārs Znotiņš.
State President Egils Levits and Dzintra Geka examine the works of the participants of the winter competition. Photo author: Ilmārs Znotiņš.

At 10:00 a.m., a meeting of the repressed with the State President Egils Levits took place in the Riga Palace. Several hundreds of the repressed and their children and grandchildren had arrived. The exiles and those born in Siberia shared their memories. The winners of the drawing and composition competition were awarded. Musicians performed Continue reading “Commemorative events on June 14, 2023”

The jury’s thoughts on the 2023 essay competition

About the 2023 schoolchildren’s essay competition, which once again, so that the facts do not disappear from the memories of Latvian history, is organized by the “Children of Siberia” foundation.

      This year, unlike the essays of previous years, a new breeze can be felt. If earlier, when writing about the dark years of exile, people’s suffering, their strength to overcome it and to do everything to save those who cannot stand on their own, figured in the main place, then new features appear in these works. It could be said that they show warning signs that, according to the ancient folk saying that the wolf sheds a feather, but does not change; virtue, there is concern that the violence of the cruel, treacherous neighbor may escalate again. Today, this is confirmed by the invasion of the great Russia into the peaceful Ukraine. About what? Why? It is good that our young people have not remained on the sidelines as indifferent spectators. It’s good if they also have thoughts about what a “friendly” neighbor we have in the east. Is it really possible to find a logical explanation for all that is happening? Can’t and shouldn’t. It is commendable that many of the essays contain harsh thoughts about the need to do everything to end this horror.
                                                                                                              Kaspars Pūce


Thank you to everyone who participated in the creative contest. Thank your teachers for informing and encouraging you. But the teachers could talk and talk, if you weren’t interested in yourself, nothing meaningful could come of it. As in every competition, there are more successful and less successful works. Addressed by those where you are truly yourself, so if in the future this topic does not seem interesting to anyone, write! This will be your personal opinion. Your thoughts will have supporters and doubters, but you will be genuine and touch the subject from the heart. Nowhere is there a law that says – you don’t need to write it! Many of your works are memorable. They are mostly based on your family stories. And the feeling is that you yourself have been present at these terrible events. What were people deported for? Because they loved the land of their fathers, worked for it. Believed in the idea of a free state of Latvia. Didn’t give it away!
Do we also believe in Latvia? No need to answer with a loud: yes! The main thing is to build it. May you all have a bright path as you open the door to the future.
                                                                                                                             Valdis Lūriņš


A look back at the drawing competition

The drawing competition organized by the “Children of Siberia” foundation has again resulted in a considerable number of works. The jury lays out the paintings and graphics next to each other in a long carpet on the floor of the television corridor and notices how one or the other work stands out – with its message and artistic language. In a way, the pages continue each other – endlessly long trains travel through them and countless people overwhelmed by ignorance and turmoil, unjustly oppressed. The cruel context – the war in Ukraine, which continues so closely even today, makes a thinking person aware every day of the fragility and vulnerability of our usual peaceful reality. This cannot be a natural way to live. It also makes you tired and in a way dull at times. However, one must be able to awaken the humanity in oneself again and again. Ask a question – what is it. Educators of young people are of considerable importance here, whose ability to explain history and devote time to a serious conversation can give impetus to a personal journey into the roots of the family and Latvia. To enable the revelation of human unity in the past and present. Painting and drawing is that unusual way of being that places the author in other times, places and situations – when you have a brush, pencil, charcoal or chalk in your hands, the one who looks through a barred window, freezes in an endless winter or experiences the death of a loved one, that moment is you himself. That moment of creation becomes the most real truth, which continues to form the thoughts, ideas and beliefs of the personality in the depths. Therefore, returning to Siberian stories is a value – a journey in consciousness that enriches everyone who allows their heart to be touched.
Ieva Jurjāne

Works of laureates. The youngest group

Works of laureates. Medium group

Works of laureates. The oldest group.

Traveling exhibition “Children of Siberia” in schools and museums

In March and April of this year, the traveling exhibition of the “Children of Siberia” Foundation visited several schools and museums in Latvia.
From March 22 to April 2 in Jūrmala museum, Liveta Sprūde-Kalme met with school students, deportees, interested parties, told about the history of her family, expeditions to Siberia and gave lectures to students about deportations.
March 11 at 13:00 – meeting in Valmiera library with Dzintra Geka-Vaska, discussion about the book “Mothers in Siberia”
March 14 to March 28 – traveling exhibition 1949 in the Bauska cultural center
March 20 to March 28 – traveling exhibition 1949 at Olaine 2nd Secondary School
March 21 to March 26 – 429 students visited the exhibition “Children of Siberia” in the Ventspils Museum, Livonian Order Palace. Pupils watched the film “Siberia, a distant land. Why March 25, 1949?”
On March 21, director Dzintra Geka-Vaska and composer Pēteris Vasks visited Ēbelmuiža elementary school.
On the evening of March 21, director Dzintra Geka-Vaska and cameraman Aivars Lubānietis showed the film “The distant land of Siberia. Why did we drive?” in the women’s prison in Iļguciems.
March 23 at 8:00 – Liveta Sprūde-Kalme and pastor Guntis Kalme gave a lecture on the deportation of 1949 at the Bauska State Gymnasium.
March 24 at 17:00 – a meeting of the film crew at the Ventspils museum with school students and the management of the city council, the film “The distant land of Siberia. Why did we drive?”
April 3 at 12:45-13:25 – Liveta Sprūde-Kalme gave a lecture on deportation in 1949 in Jūrmala, Pumpuri High School.
Photo – Liveta Sprūde-Kalme and Guntis Kalme perform at the Bauska State Gymnasium.

Zīmējumu konkurss skolēniem līdz 2023. gada 17. maijam

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Zīmējumu konkurss skolēniem



Lai pievērstu sabiedrības uzmanību Latvijas vēsturei, 1941. gada 14. jūnija un 1949. gada 25. marta vardarbīgajām un nelikumīgajām piespiedu izsūtīšanām uz Sibīriju.

Konkursa organizētājs

Komunistiskā terora upuru atbalsta un palīdzības fonds “Sibīrijas bērni”, Reģ. Nr. 4000805769, Graudu 41a, Rīga, LV–1058.

Konkursa izsludināšanas kārtība

Konkursu izsludina, nosūtot nolikumu uz Latvijas vispārizglītojošo, mākslas un diasporas skolu e–pastiem.

Konkursa tēma

Konkursa kopējā tēma ir Latvijas vēsture – 1941. un 1949. gada deportācijas.

Konkursa mērķi

Neļaut aizmirst Latvijas vēsturē svarīgus un traģiskus notikumus.
Bērnos un jauniešos veicināt un uzturēt interesi par Latvijas un tās tautu vēsturi komunistiskā padomju režīma okupācijas laikā, pievērst uzmanību Latvijas iedzīvotāju likteņiem Sibīrijas izsūtījumā un mudināt interesēties arī par šobrīd Sibīrijā dzīvojošo bijušo Latvijas iedzīvotāju un latviešu likteņiem. Ļaut bērniem iedziļināties vēstures likumsakarībās un mudināt būt aktīvai sabiedrības daļai. Attīstīt un novērtēt audzēkņu prasmes.

Krievijas iebrukums Ukrainā pagājušā gada februārī un melos pamatotā kara darbība skaudri liek apjaust, ka ir neapšaubāmi svarīgi zināt un izprast savas valsts vēsturi, lai mums blakus augtu un dzīvotu domājoši un patstāvīgi jaunieši. Zināt savas ģimenes un valsts vēsturi, nozīmē spēt redzēt likumsakarības, spēt nepakļauties maldīgai informācijai un būt lepnam par savu valsti un tās brīvību. Continue reading “Zīmējumu konkurss skolēniem līdz 2023. gada 17. maijam”

Meeting with the students of Ebelmuiža elementary school

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.

Traveling exhibition “Children of Siberia” in Jurmala Museum

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” in Ventspils in the Livonian Order Palace

The film “The distant land of Siberia.” Why March 25, 1949?” and the exhibition “Children of Siberia” was viewed by 426 Ventspils school studentsю


Memorial concert for the “Taken Away” St. St. John’s Church, March 25 at 4:00 p.m

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.

Siberian Children’s Christmas

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”

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