PSRS komunistiskā genocīda upuru piemiņas pasākums Berlīnē
Photo: Embassy of Latvia in Germany

On 26 March 2024, the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the Federal Republic of Germany hosted an event in Berlin to commemorate the victims of the Communist genocide in the USSR. Ambassador Alda Vanaga delivered a presentation on the mass deportations of Latvian residents, which was followed by the screening of a film by Dzintra Geka, “Greetings from Siberia”.

Deportations take a special place in the history of Latvia. They were part of the political repression during the Soviet occupation, and they have remained particularly vivid in people’s minds, having influenced the collective memory of the nation, the system of values in society, and national identity.

In two waves of deportations – in 1941 and 1949 – more than 60 000 people were arrested and sent from Latvia to Siberia and other remote regions, where they were placed in extreme conditions both in so-called corrective labour camps and special settlements. Many did not return.

The invading regime deliberately destroyed Latvia’s intellectual and economic elite to break resistance to the Soviet occupation regime.

“The main enemy of the Communist regime was a self-confident person who did not blindly obey orders, even if they came from above. Anyone – an artist, a writer, an educator, a clerk, a worker or a farmer – could be found guilty and deported,” Ambassador Alda Vanaga said.

She also underlined that we should prevent history from repeating itself, and the Russian political elite, because of its personal power drive, from succeeding in an illegal occupation of other sovereign nations, thereby repeatedly inflicting meaningless suffering on innocent people.

The Embassy would like to express its gratitude to Dzintra Geka and the Siberian Children Foundation as well as the Kino Krokodil movie theatre for their collaboration.

The project has been implemented as part of the public diplomacy programme in support of the lobby campaign of Latvia’s candidacy for the UN Security Council.