Several commemorative events to take place in Riga next Monday in memory of victims of Communist genocide

  • 2024-03-20
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Several commemorative events will be held in Riga on Monday, March 25 in memory the victims of the March 25, 1949 deportations, Riga City Council's External Communications Department informed LETA.

At 10 a.m., a performance by youth choir Balsis at Skirotava Station will be attended by students and youth guards from Oskars Kalpaks Riga Folk Art Elementary School, representatives of the Association of the Politically Persecuted and Riga City Council representatives.

At 1 p.m., the Foreign Ministry and the Association of Politically Persecuted will organize a ceremony in memory and honor of the victims of Communist genocide at the Historical Tactile memorial at the Latvian Riflemen Square.

After this, a procession will proceed to the Freedom Monument where a flower-laying ceremony will take place.

At 7 p.m., a concert in memory of the victims of communist Genocide will take place in Riga Cathedral, featuring Orchestra Riga, Ave Sol chamber choir, Riga Cathedral Choir School's mixed choir, conductor Jurgis Cabulis, soloists Jolanta Strikaite-Lapina, Ilze Grevele-Skaraine, Martins Zvigulis and Rihards Macanovskis.

Historians call the 1949 deportations to Siberia one of the most tragic days in the modern history of Latvia.

From March 25 to March 29, over 43,000 innocent people were deported to Siberia, including some 10,000 children, as well as young people, mothers with infants, old and sick, even dying people.

Many of the deportees died on their way to the exile destination, others spent long and difficult years in the northern regions of Russia, fighting for their and their children's survival in inhumane conditions.

Those, who managed to return back home after years of exile, had strongly suffered morally and physically and had lost their property. Furthermore, the Soviet regime treated them with suspicion, making it difficult to obtain a relevant education and even to choose profession and place of residence.

The March 25, 1949 deportations concerned around 2.28 percent of all residents of Latvia. Altogether, 9,000 families were included in the list of deportees, which was drawn up on March 17, 1949.