We are preparing a film and a book about deportation to Siberia in 1949

In the Foundation “The Children of Siberia” we are preparing a film for Latvian television about the deportation on March 25, 1949. The film “Far Land Siberia. March 25, 1949” will be aired on LTV1 on March 25. In the film, we will tell in detail how the exits took place, where the families got to, how the children went to school, how they worked, how they hoped to return, how their relatives died. We have interviewed 280 people who were deported to Siberia as children. Excerpts from interviews, photo material and footage in Siberia will form the film’s drama.

Brigita Raševica(Insone)
Brigita Raševica (Insone)

We are also preparing a book “The Children of Siberia. 1949” about places in Siberia, where families were taken in 1949. Tomsk, Omsk regions and the Far East were routes. We hope that the book will be published in April, the work is very big.

Pēteris Simsons
Pēteris Simsons

The deportation of 1949 is one of the most tragic points in the history of Latvia’s modern times. 43,000 people were deported to life in Siberia, including 10,000 children and infants, the elderly and even those raised from the deathbed. Many of the deportees died, others spent long and distressing years in the northern areas of Siberia, in inhumane conditions, fighting for their own lives and the lives of their children. Those who managed to return had lost their health, lost property, lost their roofs over their heads, and had morally and physically destroyed people. Even after the so-called release, the regime treated them with suspicion, did not give them the opportunity to get an education, did not give them the opportunity to build a career or choose a place to live. And it could be seen as a continuation of the genocide. Long before the deportation date itself, lists of deported Latvian families were carefully prepared. With Moscow instructions and local service activities. This will be seen in this film. The property of the deportees was hijacked and distributed to collective farms and state farms, but part of the property was appropriated by those who carried out the deportations. This will also be seen in this film. 75 perpetrators of the Red Flag were awarded to the perpetrators of the 1949 genocide for carrying out deportations in general and for committing inhumane crimes. Of those deported in 1949, 52% were farmers, children and the elderly 18%, and students 16%. Of those deported in 1949, 12% or 4,941 died. The deportations of 1949 were, in a sense, even more brutal than the deportations of 1941. Because, every fourth person deported for life was a child. One in six was over 60 years old. The deportations of 1941 were an attempt to behead the Latvian intelligentsia. The deportations of 1949 were to destroy agriculture and the most active and diligent Latvian farmers, from whom the totalitarian regime feared the most, because the free state of Latvia was based on them.

Film “We remember”

New Dzintra Geka film “We remember”  will be on air at June 14, at 14:15  Latvian TV1.

We are offering to see fragments

Birznieks at Siberian village Ustjport.

Guntis Ulmanis. Conference.

Dancers and Dzidra


Konference “Vēsturiskā atmiņa” 2019. gada 14. jūnijā

14. jūnijā Rīgā, pieminot 78. gadadienu, kad uz Sibīriju tika aizvesti gandrīz četri tūkstoši Latvijas bērni, fonds “Sibīrijas bērni” rīkoja konferenci “Vēsturiskā atmiņa

Izsūtīšana uz Sibīriju 1941. gadā

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.