the deportees

anonymous asked:

Are there any good books out there about the Soviet deportations or any good websites?

Wiki has pretty good article about March 1949 Deportations, very detailed and informative. It’s a good place to start. 

I also suggest you read Jaan Kross’s two volumes of “Dear Co-travellers”. He was actually nominated for Nobel prize in Literature for those books.

There are a lot of books in all three languages of the Baltic states, as a lot of deportees have written down their memories.

Latvian photographer Gunārs Janaitis was just 14 years old when he secretly took this photo of train leaving for Siberia labour camps on 25th of March, 1949. The animal wagons carried people captured by Russian authorities. The deportations were based on allegations for being either: 1) a nationalist; 2) a kulak (Soviet term for a relatively wealthy farmer). On this day in 1949, 42 125 people were deported from Latvia: 13 248 families, 11 316 men, 19 822 women, 10 987 children. Almost all of the deportees (95%) were Latvians.


drawing the Armenian Genocide: April 6, 1916

14,000 Armenians are massacred in Ras-el-Ain (Ras ul-Ain). 24,000 deportees are reported still living in Ras-el-Ain (Ras ul-Ain).

(one mark for all 14,000 killed)

The first echelon with 992 Estonian deportees aboard left from Tapa railway station on 26th March 1949 at 12.13 and last echelon with 1064 persons aboard left from Võru railway station on 29th March at 21.10.

The train cars were mostly standard 20-ton freight cars with no amenities. The cars, on average, fit 35 people (however the officials put around 40 to 44 people into the train cars) and their baggage which means about 0.5 square metres of space per person.

Not only the stations, but also the railways were patrolled.The patrols, among other things, picked up letters thrown out the train window by the deportees. The letters would usually inform about the deportation, send farewells to relatives and homeland, complain about conditions on the train, and express anti-Soviet feelings.

On average, the train ride lasted about two weeks, but could take almost a month. For example, a train left Võru on March 29 and arrived in Svirsk on April 22.
South Asian migrants say they were put in 'body bags' for deportation from US

According to detainees who witnessed the bags being used, to place a detainee in a so-called body bag, a group of ICE officers would first pin them to the ground, sometimes face-down. The detainee’s body would then be tightly wrapped in the security blanket and fastened with a series of Velcro belts. Limbs restrained, the deportee could then be carried on to the plane.

In a phone interview, 29-year-old Suhel Ahmed, described witnessing his fellow detainees being forcefully placed in the body bags.

“That’s something that made us really afraid,” said Ahmed. “And me and a lot of fellow detainees started crying and begging [the ICE officers] not to do the same thing to us – we told them, ‘we’ll walk, ‘we’ll walk’ [on to the plane].”


Before I duck and roll out, though, that scene where that PSICOM officers tells deportees that their personal belongings would be returned upon arrival is just burned into my brain. The game released around the time I was taking a course in high school about the Holocaust and I just remember the shiver that went up my spine when I heard that line because my teacher had very specifically emphasized that lie.

There’s really no comparing the train scene in XIII to the one in VII because contextually they’re so very different. The train in VII just happens to be their mode of transportation. In XIII, it’s a very important part of the overarching narrative.


Vank Cathedral (Isfahan, Iran)

Vank Cathedral (also known as the Holy Savior Cathedral) is located in the city of Isfahan, in Iran. The church was established when hundreds of thousands of Christian deportees found a safe haven in Iran and settled there in the 17th century. In one corner of the courtyard there is a memorial to the 1915 Armenian Genocide in Turkey. Armenian-Iranians, the Vank Cathedral, and the other churches in Iran, stand as a major part of our Iranian history and culture.

Pictures’ Source

“Jewish deportees in the Drancy transit camp near Paris, France, in 1942, on their last stop before the German concentration camps. Some 13,152 Jews (including 4,115 children) were rounded up by French police forces, taken from their homes to the "Vel d'Hiv”, or winter cycling stadium in southwestern Paris, in July of 1942. They were later taken to a rail terminal at Drancy, northeast of the French capital, and then deported to the east. Only a handful ever returned.“


The proliferation of call centers in Latin America is part of a growing trend of outsourcing labor to cheaper locations. Under global capitalism, the ‘race to the bottom’ means companies can search around the globe for the most exploitable labor.

Deportees serve as ideal laborers for transnational call centers, an outgrowth of global capitalism. As bilingual, bicultural people with few options for survival, these stigmatized subjects make capable, compliant workers. Call centers in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic are heavily staffed with deportees. Call centers are places were US customers call the toll-free numbers on the back of their credit cards. Instead of having people in New York or Atlanta answer the phone, many of these operations have been offshored. Deportees who have lived several years in the United States are ideal employees. They speak English and are familiar with the 'American’ way of doing things. The US-based callers have no idea that the call-center workers are deportees, often earning less than $100 a week.

—  Golash-Boza, T (2015) Deported: Policing Immigrants, Disposable Labor and Global Capitalism. NYU Press

aching memories

Mary’s apartment, Alexandroupoli, Greece, May 2005

You said you’re running out of breath, you’re tired of being brave

The speed of light, the speed of light won’t bend  | You’re born too late, you’re born too late my friend  |  Reminded how whenever I hear this song  |  I’ll miss you when, I’ll miss you when you’re gone


The Deportees feat. Lykke Li - A New Name To Go By

The road to Siberia was horrendous. The people were packed into overcrowded animal wagons, with no mercy for even those who were pregnant or elderly. In most cases, the train carts that left Estonia with 60+ people arrived at their destination with less than ten people in the wagon. 

Men were separated from their wives and kids. In most cases, children never saw their father again as men were sent to GULAGs while women and children were re-located into faraway villages.

In some cases, mothers were also separated from their children. For some, this meant entire train ride was accompanied by non-stop screaming from mother who was separated from her children.

There was little to drink and little to no food. People on the train carts licked the condensed water off metal to get just a sip of water. The people who died were thrown off wagons - even infants and small children.

About first year a lot of deportees say they remember endless row of funerals and caskets. A lot of them saw their parents die because their parents gave their last food crumbs to their children.

So never say “it’s just a joke” about deportation related things. It wasn’t, it isn’t and it never will be.