Seimas speaker calls deportations a shadow trailing behind every Lithuanian family
Deportations and repressions are a shadow of history that trails behind every Lithuanian family, the speaker of the Seimas said on Thursday as the nation remembers the victims of Stalin's deportations.
We remember tens of thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of broken hopes, broken lives and fates. This is a shadow of history that has severely affected every family," Viktoras Pranckietis said during a special parliamentary sitting marking the Day of Mourning and Hope.
The speaker also noted that "over 20,000 Forest Brothers" had started an underground resistance movement against the Soviets.
Lithuania commemorates the victims of Soviet occupation and mass deportations as it marks the Day of Mourning and Hope on Thursday and the Day of Occupation and Genocide on Friday.
The Soviet Union occupied Lithuania on June 15, 1940. Soviet repressive structures at 3 a.m. on June 14, 1941 started mass deportations of the Lithuanian population to remote northern areas of the Soviet Union.
According to the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania, around 18,000 people were packed into cattle wagons and transported away from their homeland within a matter of several days.
Some 280,000 Lithuanian citizens were imprisoned or deported during the Soviet occupation period.