1949: The Route from Ķekava to the Omsk District
The 1949 deportations were one of the most tragic aspects of contemporary Latvian history. 43,000 people were deported to Siberia for life, with 10,000 infants and children, elderly people, and even people raised from their deathbed among them. 4,941 persons perished. Every fourth deportee was a child. Every sixth deportee was 60 or older.
The deportations of 1941 were an attempt to chop off the head of Latvia’s intelligentsia. The 1949 deportations were aimed at destroying agriculture. The most active and hard-working farmers were the ones who most terrified the totalitarian regime, because they had been the pillar of support for the independent Latvian state. We know of three families which lived in and around Ķekava in advance of the Soviet occupation.
Among the deportees was forest ranger Kārlis Gaņģis, his wife, Arvīda Gaņģe, 11-year- old son Kārlis, nine-year-old daughter Elza, and little brother Didzis, who was just four. Most of the family survived the process and returned to Latvia in 1959. In the summer of 2011, Didzis Gaņģis set off for the Omsk District in Siberia – the villages of Drobishev and Moiseyevk. He hoped to meet his childhood friends and to visit his father’s grave.
Also deported in 1949 were 21-year-old Gunārs Vilde, his 18-year-old sister Ilma, his 42- year-old mother Emīlija, and her mother, Anna Tikums. Anna was paralysed after a stroke. While in Siberia, Gunārs Vilde married another deportee, Mirdza Kreicberga from the Jelgava District. They had their first son, Guntars, in 1955. The deportees returned to Rīga in 1956.
Biruta Veisa was deported to the Omsk District in Siberia in 1949. In 1960, she married Pēteris Sēja, and they had five children – Vilnis, Māris, Tālivaldis, Jānis, Sēja, and Ināra. The only one to live at the Kuģi homestead today is Biruta Sēja, the only eyewitness in her family to the deportation.
Screenplay: Ēriks Lanss
Producer: Dzintra Geka
Camera: Aivars Lubānietis
Video editing: Valdis Zeļonka, Jānis Kazulis
The producers of this film are thankful for the support of:
Doles Saviesīgā biedrība
Ķekavas novada dome
Valsts Kultūrkapitāla fonds
Ķekavas novada pašvaldības Kultūras aģentūra
Ķekavas novadpētniecības muzejs
Ķekavas nami SIA
Biedrība „Turies, Ķekava!”
SIA „Ķekavas sadzīves servisa centrs”
© Studio SB