Three Baltic States Commemorate Dark Hour of Post-War Deportations

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The March, 25, 1949 deportations saw people seized from their homes without warning and transported, literally like cattle, to the frozen ends of the earth, marking one of the lowest points even by the standards of the Soviet Union's oppressive history.

In a short period of time, around 100,000 Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians were sent to Siberia in cattle trucks to scratch a living from the permafrost in labor camps. Some died on the way, some died as the years passed - and a few made it home.

Among those was Juozas, an elderly Lithuanian in Riga who was urging passers-by to visit a new photography exhibition at the Latvian Photography Museum titled "Siberia 1949-1989" which traces the lives and deaths of deported Balts.

"People should come to see what life was like. It is important that we remember these things so that they do not happen again," he told the DPA news agency.

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