"Latvia"
50 Years of Terror Tyranny and Oppression 1940–1991
Home      13-14 June 1941 Stalins Soviet NKVD Mass Deportation of Latvian
 
   
 
13-14 June 1941, Stalin's Soviet Union NKVD Mass Deportation of Latvian Citizens 
 
       
                                                             Railway Transports Carriages used for the Mass Deportation of Latvian people in the night between the 13th and 14th of June 1941
 
The Soviet occupation culminated on 14 June 1941 when a mass deportation of civilians from Latvia to distant areas of the Soviet Union took place. A total of "15,424 persons, according to latest figures, were arrested and sent away in boxcars unsuited for human transportation". Among those deported were "minor children and babies, most of them died on the way or from cold or malnutrition in their settlement areas in Siberia".
 
Instructions on how to carry out mass deportations were prepared in the autumn of 1939 for the newly-annexed regions of western Ukraine by the head of the Ukrainian SSR NKVD “later known as KGB”, General Ivan Serov. They were approved in Moscow and later used in the Baltic States as well.  As the USSR Commissar for State Security, Serov signed the orders on 21 January 1941.
 
In the night between 13th and 14th of June 1941, about 15,500 Latvian residents, among them 2400 children younger than ten were arrested without a court order to be deported to distant regions in the Soviet Union. Targeted were mainly families who had members in leading positions in state and local governments, economy and culture.
 
People to be deported were awakened in the night and given less than one hour to prepare for the journey. They were allowed to take with them only what they could carry, and everything left behind was confiscated by the state. The unfortunate were herded into already prepared cattle or freight railroad cars, in which they spent weeks and months. Many died on the way, especially infants, the sick, and the elderly. Men, totaling some 8250, were separated from their families, arrested, and sent to GULAG hard labor camps. Women and children were taken to so-called "administrative settlements" as family members of "enemies of the people".
 
No word of these events was mentioned in Latvia's Soviet-censored newspapers. Loved ones had no way of knowing what had become of those deported. None of the institutions including the militia provided information or help. Scattered along the railroad tracks were farewell notes written by the deported to their families few of them ever reached their intended recipients. 
 
Conditions in the hard labor camps were inhumane. The inmates lost their identities, and were terrorized by the guards and criminal prisoners. Food rations were meager, and did not replace the calories expended through work. People grew weak, and were crippled by diarrhea, scurvy, and other illnesses. Winters were marked by unbearable cold, and many did not survive the first one. Only a small part of those deported in 1941 later returned to Latvia. Some of those who were allowed to return were later rearrested and again re-deported to force labor camps. The families in forced settlement had to fend for themselves in harsh conditions; the death rate among the very young and the elderly was likewise high. 
 
When the Soviets executed the first round of mass Baltic deportations, on the night of the 13th and 14th of June 1941, where thousands of Latvians and Latvian Jewish people were deported. Of all the ethnic groups so deported, Jewish people suffered proportionately more than any other, and were deported to especially harsh conditions, many to camps at Solikamsk, Vyatka, and Vorkuta.Some estimate the Soviets deported from 5,000 to 6,000 Jews during the first occupation. These deportations of Jewish Civic Leaders, Rabbis, Members of Parliament, the Professional and Merchant Classes, left the Jewish community ill-prepared to organize in the face of the subsequent Nazi invasion of Latvia and its terror and horrors to follow.
 
Finally, on the 26th of June, four days after France sued for an armistice with the Third Reich, the Soviet Union issued an ultimatum demanding Bessarabia and, unexpectedly, Northern Bukovina from Romania. Two days later, the Romanians caved to the Soviet demands and the Soviets occupied the territory. The Hertza region was initially not requested by the USSR but was later occupied by force after the Romanians agreed to the initial soviet demands.
 
It is estimated that of the 1,900,000 Jewish people who came under Soviet control as a result of Hitler's and Stalin's pact dividing Eastern Europe, about 400,000 were deported to Siberia and central Asia. 
 
There is an unknown and unpublished fact that the Soviet NKVD before the Nazi Army invaded the Soviet Union was responsible for handing over to the Nazi Gestapo, SS and SD Tens of thousands of Jewish people that had fled to the Soviet Union in the wake of the advancing Nazi Army. This was before the Nazi Army had invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. Even the tens of thousands of Soviet Union Jewish people were not safe from being turned over to the Nazi Gestapo to be taken to Nazi Concentration Camps or just outright murdered. As for the exact number of Jewish people that the Soviet NKVD had turned over to the Nazi Gestapo is unknown today for the Soviet Union has had over 60 years to hide this information. Just in recent years, some of this information is just now coming to the surface! The Soviet Union unlike Nazi Germany keep what they did secret and did not publish it unlike Nazis Germany did. 
 
Liepāja 14 June 1941 Stalin's Soviet Union NKVD Mass Deportations –
 
On the night of 14 June 1941 "527" Latvian people were deported from the City of Liepaja. Located in the Liepaja Under the Regimes of Occupation "Liepāja okupāciju režīmos" Museum and located in the main hallway is a Wall of Remembrance dedicated to those who were deported from Liepaja and the province around Liepaja. These lists are by provinces located around Liepaja with a total number deported from each province. The first section shows those deported on 14 June 1941 the names, date of birth, address lived at, the gulag or forced labor camp sent to and when they died.
 
14 June 1941 Deportation List of Saldus, Latvia Parish "District" Area 
 
These are lists of people and families that were Deported Exiled to the far regions Forced Labor Camps "Gulags" of the Soviet Union, located in Siberia, or Asia by Stalin's NKVD and later Stalin's KGB. These lists are no by complete and were taken as is from the Latvian Archives. These digital lists were obtained through the Janis Rozentāls History and Art Museum of Saldus. 
 
Latvian Memorial to the "Mass Deportations of 13-14 June 1941" 
 
      
                                                        Latvian Monument to those Deported on the 13th and 14th of June 1941 from the Torņakalns Railway Station
 
13-14 June 1941 Riga Mass Deportations from Torņakalns Railway Station.
 
Located next to the Torņakalns Railway Station is a simple memorial, with only the date “1941”, stands by a railway goods wagon similar to those in which 35,000 Latvian men, women and children were deported to distance Soviet Union “GULAG” hard labor camps located in the far parts of Siberia. It is an expressive and emotional monument to Soviet genocide.
 
Instructions on how to carry out mass deportations were prepared in the autumn of 1939 for the newly-annexed regions of western Ukraine by the head of the Ukrainian SSR NKVD “later known as KGB”, General Ivan Serov. They were approved in Moscow and later used in the Baltic States as well.  As the USSR Commissar for State Security, Serov signed the orders on 21 January 1941. 
 
       
                                                                                                                  Torņakalns Railway Station sight of the 13th 14th of June 1941 and the 25th of March 1949
 
In the night between the 13th and 14th of June, about 15,500 Latvian residents among them 2400 children younger than ten were arrested without a court order to be deported to distant regions in the Soviet Union. Targeted were mainly families who had members in leading positions in state and local governments, economy and culture.
 
People to be deported were awakened in the night and given less than one hour to prepare for the journey. They were allowed to take with them only what they could carry, and everything left behind was confiscated by the state. The unfortunate were herded into already prepared cattle or freight railroad cars, in which they spent weeks and months. Many died on the way, especially infants, the sick, and the elderly. Men, totaling some 8250, were separated from their families, arrested, and sent to GULAG hard labor camps. Women and children were taken to so-called “administrative settlements” as family members of “enemies of the people”. 
 
       
                                                                                                        Šķirotava Railway Station sight of the 13th 14th of June 1941 and the 25th of March 1949
 
No word of these events was mentioned in Latvia’s Soviet-censored newspapers. Loved ones had no way of knowing what had become of those deported. None of the institutions which including the militia provided information or help. Scattered along the railroad tracks were farewell notes written by the deported to their families few of them ever reached their intended recipients.
 
Conditions in the hard labor camps were inhumane. The inmates lost their identities, and were terrorized by the guards and criminal prisoners. Food rations were meager, and did not replace the calories expended through work. People grew weak, and were crippled by diarrhea, scurvy, and other illnesses. Winters were marked by unbearable cold, and many did not survive the first one. Only a small part of those deported in 1941 later returned to Latvia. The families in forced settlement had to fend for themselves in harsh conditions; the death rate among the very young and the elderly was likewise high.
 
Latvian Monument to the Victims of the Communist Terror 
 
25 March 1949 Riga Mass Deportations 
 
       
                                                                                                  Latvian Monument to the Victims of the Communist Terror from the Torņakalns Railway Station
 
Located in a grassy island area leading to the Torņakalns Railway Station is a monument made of five granite stones named “In the Snowstorm” symbolizing three generations of those who were so brutally arrested and deported during Stalin's Terror is dedicated to those Latvian people who were deported between the night of the 24th and between the 25th of March and the 28th of March 1949. 
 
       
                                                                                   Latvian Monument to those Deported on the 14th of June 1941 and the 25th of March 1949 from the Šķirotava Railway Station
 
This deportation of more than 42,000 people was carried out to end the resistance to collectivization of the farms and at the same time to get rid of the supporters of national partisans. This deportation was mainly directed against the farming population and entire families were sent to forced settlement areas for life. After Stalin’s death, many were eventually allowed to return, but they could not resume their previous lives and were treated as unreliable.
 
Skrunda, Latvia Monument to those Deported on the 13th 14th of June 1941 and the 25th of March 1949 from the Skrunda Railway Station. 
 
       
                                                                                        Railway Freight Cartage used to deport Latvian citizens to "GULAG" Force Hard Labor Camps in the far Regions of Siberia
 
      
                                                    Skrunda Railway Station 
 
       
                                                                                                                                                         Exhibits inside Railway Freight Cartage