Sibīrijas bilance, 2011

Sibirijas bilance featured

2013. gadā filmai piešķirta balva “Gada labākā dokumentālā filma”

In 2011 we marked the 70thanniversary of the deportations of June 14, 1941, when 15,425 residents of Latvia (Latvians, Jews, Russians, Poles) were deported to Siberia.  Among them there were 3,751 children aged up to 16.

During the process, men were separated from their families and sent to gulags, where many of them were sentenced to death, while others were imprisoned in labour camps.  The facts of history and dry and few, but many of the victims and their children and grandchildren are still among us.

The deportations of June 14 were organised in a great hurry, with no thought given to what would happen to the deportees.  The main thing was to send “undesirables” away from their homes.

In 1946, at the request of relatives of deportees who remained in Latvia, orphans and semi-orphans were brought back from Siberia.  More than 1,500 children were sent to family members or orphanages in Latvia.  In later years, however, many of these children were rearrested and shipped back to Siberia.

During the summer of 2010, people who were deported to Siberia in 1941 as children joined their own children and a video production crew to travel to the far North of Russia – Norilsk, Dudinka, Karaula and Ust-port.

“We were brought to Karaula, which is beyond Dudinka.  A small ship was used to transport us to Tolstiy Nos.  There was a barrel making facility there, along with a store – six buildings in all.  We lived in the attic.  The people who arrived later lived in tents.  Then they brought us wood and bricks so that we could put up new buildings.”  Anna Kauliņa

“There were great guys in our brigade.  They wanted to keep us in Dixon, but the KGB said no, and we were taken to Ust-port.  We arrived there on October 3, and on the next night it was -20 degrees outside.  We had a tent and a barrel in the middle where we could light a fire.  We stole coal so that we would not freeze to death.”  Juris Andrēns

More than 500,000 people of various nationalities passed through the punitive camps of Norilsk.  A local hill seems so threatening that even birds avoid flying over it.

“All of the Latvians in Norilsk were deportees.  Many were set ashore on the banks of the river at unpopulated locations to go fishing.  The son of Rīga Mayor Andrejs Frīdenbergs, Varis, arrived there with his mother and two sisters.  People had to live in tents or dugouts, but there is permafrost there!”  Laimonis Krūmiņš

In 1942, 42 Baltic military officers were executed on the shores of Lake Lama.

“The winter of 1941 and 1942 was terribly difficult for people in Lama.  There was not enough food.  People not just in Norilsk, but also in Lama suffered from scurvy, and then there was also a wave of dysentery.  Most people got sick, and we buried 14 people during the winter.  All of them were from the Baltic States.  Some very sick people were sent to Norilsk by plane or other form of transport.”  Ivans Sidorovs

The victims of the deportations and their children still live in the Krasnoyarsk region.  We put up a memorial plaque for mothers and children who fell victim to deportations between 1941 and 1949.


Director and producer:  Dzintra Geka

Camera:  Aivars Lubānietis

Editing:  Armands Zvirbulis

Video engineer:  Jānis Kazulis

Score:  Pēteris Vasks

Sound editing:  Normunds Deinats

Assistant to the director:  Baiba Ārenta

The producers are thankful for the assistance of the “Ziedot” Fund and the State Cultural Capital Fund

©  Studio SB

©  Dzintra Geka


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