Deportations from Lithuania (including the districts that belonged to Poland)

Deportations from Lithuania (including the districts that belonged to Poland)

We presume that there were three big and a series of less extensive deportations from the territories of the Republic of Lithuania, which were carried out annually until 1953. It has to be taken into consideration that many Polish citizens who lived in the Lithuanian areas of the voivodship of Vilensk, were hit by these deportations.

The first and most barbaric deportation of Lithuanian citizens is traditionally connected to the date of June 14, 1941. Since that day the 14th of June is recognized as the day of national mourning in all three Baltic countries.In fact, the mass deportations had started earlier, on June 12 or 13, and they did not stop before June 20, 1941. The majority of the exiles was taken to the Altay region and the district of Tomsk. But some transports of exiles were also taken to our region. Concrete information is only available to us about one such transport from Lithuania, from Pasvalis and Birzhay in the northern part of the country. The train was unloaded in Krasnoyarsk.

Among the exiles were not only ethnic Lithuanians. Latvians made up a considerable part, for many farmers of Latvian nationality lived in the northern frontier districts of Lithuania. There were also Jews among the exiles, mainly townspeople.

From Krasnoyarsk the exiles (maybe not all of them) were taken up the Yenissey to the south, to the district of Novosyolovo. We know of some information that in the autumn of 1941 a few hundred Lithuanians were transported to Nizhneshadrino (a little upstream from Yartsevo) and from there up the Kas River. We do not know whether they were taken there directly from Krasnoyarsk or only later from the district of Novosyolovo.

In the summer of the year 1942 they forced some of the exiled Lithuanian citizens from the Novosyolovo district to the north, for "fishing," to the small settlements (near the river) of the districts of Igarka and Turukhansk. Some were even transferred to Karaul and Ust'-Port, far beyond the Polar Circle, north of Dudinka. However, many exiles from Lithuania remained in the Novosyolvo district until they were finally released. 

In addition, exiles from this stream happened to get to the taiga districts east and north of Kansk. Apparently, they also unloaded exiles in Kansk.

Less significant deportations (in terms of figures) of Lithuanian citizens were carried out in the years 1945-1947, including to our region; however, we do not have any concrete details on that.

The deportation of May 22, 1948, the largest mass-scale deportation of all, at the same time represented the most extensive one from Lithuania to our region. As in the case of the first deportation, May 22 is an assumed date of relative nature; in fact, the roundup and the dispatch of trains crammed with exiles covered a period of several days. As for its ethnic structure this stream mainly consisted of Lithuanians, but among the exiles were also many Poles, including Polish citizens from the voivodship of Vilensk (i.e. from the south-eastern districts of Lithuania), as well as Russian families from the significant Russian farmers' diaspora in Lithuania. Since they also transported exiles from the northern parts of Lithuania to our region, there were probably also ethnic Latvians among the deportees.

As for its social structure this stream mainly consisted of farmers.

A considerable number of trains with exiles from different Lithuanian areas (west, east, south and central parts) were unloaded at Kamarchaga station in the Mana district. The exiles were taken via the settlement of Oreshnoye (some of them stayed there) to the Mana River to Narva, Maly and Bol'shoy Ungut, etc. Many of them were dropped off at the Upper Mana: Mina Khabaydak, the участок of Vilisty, Kiyay and Vyezhy Log.

Another train (from the northern parts of Lithuania) was unloaded at Magansk station, from which the exiles were scattered on the kolkhozes of the Soviet district (today district of Beryozovka).

The exiles from the central areas of Lithuania were dropped off in Krasnoyarsk and from there taken to the south, to the Sayan mountains, to the mountain rivers (Sissim and Ubey) in the districts of Dauria and Novosyolovo. Many Lithuanian citizens went into exile in districts further to the south, around Minusinsk, up to the mountain districts in the south of the region, as well as to Khakassia.

From Krasnoyarsk many exiles were taken to the north, mainly to Igarka. A great number of deportees from the central parts of Lithuania ended up there. Others were dropped off in the districts of Kazachinskoye, Yenisseysk and Yartsevo.

Some exiles from the western parts of Lithuania were transported beyond Kansk. They were partly dropped off in Ilansk, partly at Tinskaya station in the district of Nizhneingash. The exiles from this stream got to the Biryussa and Angara rivers, but also to the districts south of Kansk.

The deportation of March 25, 1949, also increased the number of exiles in our region, but on a smaller scale than in 1948. As far as these trains of exiles are concerned, we only know of some concrete information about those coming from the northwestern parts of Lithuania, which were unloaded in Bogotol and Achinsk. The exiles from these transports, two or more, were scattered on the kolkhozes in the districts of Achinsk, Bol'sheuluy, Birilyussy and Tyukhtet. Besides, exiles from this stream were taken to Igarka, Khakassia, the districts near Krasnoyarsk. The ethnic and social structure of this stream was similar to the one of the year 1948.

The last great deportation from Lithuania started in the autumn of 1951 and dragged on until January of the succeeding year. Many exiles from this stream ended up in the districts around Krasnoyarsk. Among them were Polish citizens - Poles from the voivodship of Vilensk. Some of the exiles were taken to the district of Novosyolovo, others to Kansk, Ilansk and Nizhniy Ingash or to areas south of Achinsk. The last exiles from Lithuania were deported to our region in the summer of 1953, several months after Stalin had already died. However, they were released shortly after.

Those exiles, who had been hit by the 1941 deportation and were Polish citizens were released earlier than all the others. Some of them were lucky enough to be set free immediately, within two or three months, and those who could not be evacuated with the Polish army were repatriated to Poland in the spring of 1946 (s. section 5.2).

Those exiles from the first stream, who had still been under age in 1941, were released in 1947, but late in the 1940s almost all of them were arrested again and sent back into exile.

They started releasing the exiled Lithuanian citizens already in 1954; however, their true mass release only commenced in 1956. Considerable numbers of the deportees were set free in 1957 or 1958. But many of them remained under military command (having to appear for registration and periodic checks) until 1959 and even 1960, among them exiles from the first stream. The reasons for this phenomenon are not known to us.

The Polish citizens, who had been deported from Lithuania, were returned to Poland in an organized manner in 1956-1957 (as in 1946).

Not all of the released Lithuanian citizens, even those who were ethnic Lithuanians, were able to return to their homeland. The Soviet regime caused them a variety of problems and impediments.

Of course, all the above.mentioned does not mean that there were no more Lithuanian citizens in our region in 1961. But they belonged to a different category of exiles, mainly such people, who had originally been sentenced to 25 years and whose remaining terms of confinement in the camp had then been changed into terms of exile. They were released in the middle of the 1960s (also s. section 9).