We Remember. June 14 1941.
80 years ago, over several nights in June 1941, tens of thousands of women, men, children and seniors, from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, were forced into cattle cars, at gun point in the middle of the night and deported to Stalin’s GULAG prison camps. Thousands died along the way from starvation, illness and mistreatment. Many faced execution at their final destinations.
The flame of Baltic independence was violently extinguished by Soviet occupation in 1940, after Hitler and Stalin signed a 1939 pact to coordinate the start of WWII. Celebrated historian Timothy Snyder writes that Josef Stalin rejoiced in his alliance with Hitler’s Germany, which after the coordinated Soviet-Nazi 1939 invasion of Poland, was “cemented in blood”.
The efforts to assimilate the Baltic nations by the Soviet colonial powers were violent, swift and merciless. Cultural and religious minorities were silenced and teachers, police, elected officials and business leaderswere arrested, tortured and killed.
Among the 45,000 deported between June 14-18 1941, many were elderly and nearly a quarter were children.
On June 14th, we remember the victims of the Soviet June Deportations and all of the victims of Nazi and Soviet terror.
The Baltic Federation in Canada
The Embassy of Estonia
The Embassy of Latvia
The Embassy of Lithuania
Photo: Unidentified children arrested and deported by Soviet authorities.
Source: Documentary Film "Soviet Story"