1949 deportations remembered in Latvia

On Monday, March 25, Latvia remembers the victims of the 1949 deportations and communist genocide.

42,000 Latvian residents of all ages were loaded into cattle trains and taken to Siberia on that day. The number included more than 13,000 families, more than 10,000 minors and more than 200 babies.

To mark the event and remember the victims, various events are being organized around the country, including in Rīga.

One of the most obvious manifestations of the commemoration is the flying of the Latvian flag with a black ribbon attached.

Estonia and Lithuania suffered in the same manner at the hands of the Soviet Union and are holding similar commemorative events – a fact noted by President Edgars Rinkēvčs.

According to the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia: "The representatives of the power institutions in Moscow decided to perform a mass deportation, mainly from Latvian villages. The aim was to break the resistance against collectivisation of farming. Moreover, the purpose was to create the physical infrastructure for kolkhozes and to get rid of supporters of the national partisans.

"By deporting the most successful and productive part of the rural population, the occupation regime destroyed not only agricultural production in Latvia, but the long traditions of the Latvian rural community and its structure."



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