June deportations to be marked with new documentary film

To mark the tragic events of June 14, 1941, when more than 15,000 people were deported from occupied Latvia by order of the Soviet leadership, Latvian Television will premiere director Dzintra Geka's latest documentary "Road to Siberia, 1941".

It will form part of a special program of events on Latvian public media.

On June 14, at 09:45 LTV1 and LSM.lv will offer a special presentation, "80 years since the June 14 deportations". It will be hosted by journalist Jānis Geste and Kārlis Būmeisters, the host of the LTV show “Dzimtaskoks”, and will feature musical performances and memories from his family. 

At 10.50, an address of the President of Latvia, Egils Levits is expected, and immediately afterwards a memorial memorial event will read the names of the deported at dozens of locations across Latvia and beyond.

The afternoon will feature various musical and other performances and at 19.15 on LTV1, a documentary short film “Lydija” made by director Andrejs Verhoustinsks will be shown.

Then at 21.05 LTV1 and REPLAY.lv will premiere director Dzintra Geka's latest documentary "The Road to Siberia, 1941" - an emotional account about those deportees who grew up in Siberia, far from their homeland.

On June 14, 1941, 15,424 Latvians were deported, including about 4,000 infants, children and adolescents. Many of the youngest died on the way, others died later from starvation, disease and over work in the Soviet camps. Some of the deported children survived and returned to Latvia, others remained in Siberia for their whole lives.

At the end of the day, at 22:00 on LTV1, the acclaimed Latvian film drama “The Chronicles of Melanie” will be shown. The film by director Viesturs Kairišs is based on Melānija Vanaga's powerful memoirs of life in the brutal and cruel Soviet camp system.

A second wave of deportations on an even larger scale, involving some 42,000 men, women and children took place on 25 March, 1949.

You can read more facts about the deportations HERE. Another good resource is this interactive map showing where people were deported from.

An excellent multilingual online virtual museum about the experiences of children deported to Siberia is HERE.

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