June 14, 1940. Why the Russians should apologies?

June 15, 2008 at 12:16 am 13 comments

67 years ago, in June 14 1940 the Soviets began the massive Deportations of Lithuanians to Siberia.  In one week 17. 730 (a size of an average Lithuanian town) were deported to Altay, Krasnoyarsk, Kirov, Novosibirsk, Omsk and Koma.

The deportations started in one time between 3 and 4 am.  The chosen were the intellectuals and academics, political activists, businessman and successful farmers, medics, lawyers, military, teachers, religious leaders.  One third of them were children up to 16 years.  One household in one hour could gather 100 kg of belongings and were escorted to the train stations.  In 57 stations across the country 1202 cattle train carriages were used to transport them to Siberia.  Most affected areas were those of Vilnius and Kaunas cities, and that the Šiauliai county.

The Kremlin planned to deport around 50% of the Lithuanian population but the Nazis obstructed those plans for 4 years.  No wander that the Lithuanians greeted the Nazi solders as the saviours.

However, the deportations resumed after the Nazi occupation was replaces by the Soviet occupation in 1944.  1948 saw the largest amount of deportations to Siberia.  40.002 were deported just in one year, 11.066 out of those were children.  Just to compare Marijampolė, the 7th largest Lithuanian city has 47.000 dwellers.  However, to achieve the objective of deporting 50% of the Lithuania’s population prevented Stalin’s death in 1953.

It is calculated that every third Lithuanian was physically affected by the Soviet repressions between 1940 to 1953.  Just in 13 years Lithuania lost almost a one third of its population (around 800.000 out of 3.5 million) through deportations, partisan war, emigration and holocaust.  In comparison the Lithuanian capital Vilnius has over 550.000 of dwellers and the second largest Kaunas has about 370.000.  Hence, we are talking about a population of the two largest country cities vanishing in 13 years.

As the first deportation week in June 1941 indicated the Soviets decided to break the nation’s spine by deporting the best of the best.  The cream of the nation was lost irreplaceably.

Those are only statistics, but the human tragedies behind it are heart breaking.  I had a chance to participate in an expedition to Siberia, the Irkutsk region back in 1989 and see it with my one eyes were the Lithuanian deportees perished.  Even meeting some of them still there, who due to many circumstances never managed to return to Lithuania.  Only one question was asked ‘WHY?’

I would like to ask another question.  What is the difference between the Soviet and the Nazi atrocities?  What is the difference between a Frenchmen or an Norwegian victim who fallen from the Nazi bullet and between a Lithuanian or a Latvian who fallen from the Soviet bullet or frozen to death in Siberia?  Does that mean that the Nazi victims are ‘privileged’ to be classified as the real victims but not the Soviet victims?  Especially those from the Soviet occupied countries.  I would be arrested if I would wear the swastika on my T-shirt in Vienna, however none would even raise an eyebrow if I would wear a T-Shirt with Stalin’s portrait, the KGB letters and the hummer and sickle!

Why Germany had to acknowledge its atrocities and compensate to the victims and the USSR’s successor Russia doesn’t?  Would post Nazi Germany remained a danger to Europe if it did not understood its history and made appropriate conclusions?  Yes, it would.  Is Russia, which is refusing to repay and say apologies to its victims, who is revising its history, which has brought the Soviet National anthem and made it to the Russian one, which is constantly harassing its Baltic neighbours is a potential danger to the region’s stability?

The Western historians constantly reminding us that it is essential to study the atrocities of the Nazism, since we must remember it.  ‘Never again!’ they correctly notice.  Some Westerners and the Russian politicians are calling the Lithuanians and the other victims of Communism to forget their past and live for future.  Having lived through the Soviet occupation recently and observing the latest political trends in Russia we are saying: we must remember what happened to us, it is our duty, so we can also say ‘Never again!’.  That is for Russia’s sake and ours.         

Entry filed under: Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Politics, Russia, Totalitarian regimes. Tags: .

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. So?  |  June 15, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Russia will apologise to Lithuania, when Lithuania defeats and occupies Russia.

    Reply
  • 2. Veiko Spolītis  |  June 15, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    We must keep this historic injustice in mind and hope that generation of “bolshevik superhuman race” will die in Russia. After all how could you explain humane relations between nations to the representative of the mob who believes that with the raw willpower it is not only make other nations to abide by its brute force, but also to turn the Siberian river currents around….:)

    Why Germany had to acknowledge its atrocities and compensate to the victims and the USSR’s successor Russia doesn’t?

    BECAUSE Russia as a sucessor state of the USSR considers itelf as a victor of the WW2:) Forget about human suffering, it does not count to the apologetics of the Kremlin power and it is a cornerstone of the official Soviet & Russian modern state building (following the methodology of Robert Cooper):)

    SOLUTION is to keep the memory of Baltic successive generations vivid with providing them best education possible, thus not giving Russian non-democrats legitimacy to accuse BALTICS for our own possible misdeeds:)

    Reply
  • 3. bieksia  |  June 16, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Lithuania will never recieve an apology from Russia because it is the ‘Empire of Arrogance”. They have no desire to show signs of ‘weakness’ such as an apology. In current times it is often very popular to condemn America and it’s Allies and to blame them for every concievable problem that exists.Perhaps the world should open it’s eyes an have a good look at Russia. Historically Russia has brought nothing but Death, Destruction and Suffering on a massive scale to every country it has visited. I challenge anyone to name anything good that Russia has done for another country other than for it’s own cowardly allies. Even then their contributions have selfish intentions.
    I wonder if the people of the ‘Empire of Arrogance are aware of how much they are despised by their fellow Slavic nations!
    How many people did they starve to death in the UKRAINE?
    Esitmates are in excess of eight Million! Perhaps the common Russian citizen is not aware or does not believe such things have occurred. Perhaps they too don’t care! Russians have no concept of freedom and democracy. They prefer to be told what to do and what is good for them by the hand full of criminals who are their leaders. I wonder if Russia’s leaders still make Vodka more affordable and available to it’s citizens during times of civic unrest. That was a beautiful ploy…keep them drunk and they will forget that they are being manipulated.
    My apologies to those rare Russian individuals who continue to raise awareness amongst their moderate fellow countrymen. Perhaps some day Russians will wake up and join other civilized nations in a peaceful and non threatening capacity.
    Perhaps some day Russia will use it’s stregnth and resources to do something good for humanity.Until such a time comes, All
    citizens of nations who suffered under Russian agression and expansionist intrusions must keep the memory of such atrocities alive and learn to act in unison, a single powerful voice to remind Russia that we hold thier actions and thier attitudes to be intollerable and dishonorable.

    Mykolas

    http://bieksia.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  • [...] writes about the 67th anniversary of the mass deportations of Lithuanians to Siberia. Posted by Veronica [...]

    Reply
  • [...] Lituanica ecco alcune notizie sul sessantasettesimo anniversario delle deportazioni di massa di lituani in [...]

    Reply
  • 6. So?  |  June 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I challenge anyone to name anything good that Russia has done for another country other than for it’s own cowardly allies. Even then their contributions have selfish intentions.

    So how did Vilno become Vilnius then? What has Lithuania done for the world?

    Reply
  • 7. bieksia  |  June 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Vilnius was founded by Lithuanians on long time Lithuanian soil.
    It did not belong to Poland and was not for Poland to take. It did not belong to Russia for Russia to give away.

    What Lithuania has or hasn’t done for the world is not relevant.
    We can walk this earth with dignity and pride, knowing That we haven’t destroyed the lives of countless millions of people for selfish gains. Russians will walk the same path with their heads held low in shame (or noses held high in arrogance).

    Reply
  • 8. So?  |  June 22, 2008 at 3:27 am

    Most of the carnage ocurred in 1917-1953, when the Russians themselves were the main meat in the Soviet grinder. Your parochialism is universal. No-one hangs their head in shame.

    Reply
  • 9. bieksia  |  June 22, 2008 at 6:04 am

    >>>No-one hangs their head in shame.<<<

    Yes, A society which has also turned on itself, it’s very own flesh and blood. On a scale urivaled in modern times. And neighboring Balts and Slavs and others continue to be amazed by the unquencable desire and readiness to inflict suffering and horrible death. As well as the myriad of ‘justifications’ for such actions that only sit well in the minds of those who were left unscathed in return for their loyal obedience to Stalin and his executioners and torturers. As well as those who learned to prosper for the tragic losses of countless others (yes, some Lithuanian criminals included!). What is the favorite choice of reasoning and justification for such cruelty? “It was for the good of the people!”
    Certainly for some….but not for the victims. If such behavior is acceptable in Russian society and culture it would not surprize me if one would have to search far and wide to find someone who would in fact have any compassion for those who were beaten,tortured,starved and murdered. One positive outlook for such a society is Putin and his puppets. He has already made great progress in silencing free speach and information. Not slow to beat back those who would protest a return to such behavior and idealogy. Soon he will rewrite history (What is left to be rewritten) so that future generations will never know of such atrocities and continue to live with clear conscious.

    I hold the memories of those Russians who died at the hands of their brothers close to heart. Included in their ranks were many of the best and brightest of Russian Society. What a tremendous loss for current and future generations. Are there any monuments in Russia which are dedicated to their memory?

    Reply
  • 10. Martin Standage  |  June 23, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Putin no doubt represents all that is evil about the other face of Russia and its dark-side,but equally guilty are those who pander to him because they need his oil and gas supplies.That includes so-called statesmen and dignitaries such as Schroeder of Germany with his slippery Gasprom deals etc!
    If Russia invaded Tallinn,Riga or Vilnius again tomorrow, would the west,including America even really care let alone try to stop them??

    Reply
  • 11. bieksia  |  June 24, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    The future shall aways remain uncertain for every country and every individual life. Too many variables and unforeseen events
    for anyone to make preditctions. It all remains to be seen.
    I’ve read many articles in the past that have mentioned that the people of the Baltic states, especially Lithuania had expected the West, the U.S.A. in particular, to assist them in their struggle against Russian agression. Many felt abandoned.

    Perhaps they realize now that ‘NATO’ membership will not provide
    absolute deterence and protection from future hostile acts by the ‘Empire of Arrogance’. And will concentrate more on mutual assistance amongst themselves and other countries which have
    been subject to Russia’s thirst for domination and devestation.

    Reply
  • 12. voutsi1377  |  January 3, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Just for the record,Germany refuses to compensate Greece and the families of the victims of attrocities perpetrated during WWII
    And also to pay back the “loan” the Greek State was forced to give to Germany during WWII

    Reply
  • 13. Barry  |  April 19, 2013 at 4:00 am

    After reading this article I raised some questions. I would appreciate response from knowledgeable and objective persons:
    1. Who created and spread Communism in Russia and in the entire world?
    2. Who were the most active Soviet Communists Russians or others?
    3. Who directed the deportations in the Baltic States?
    4. Where are all these people (about whom I asked) and their followers?

    Reply

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