JUNE 1940 DEPORTATIONS TO SIBERIA

Posted December 8, 2017 by George in SaintGeorgeParish

The month of June is regarded as the saddest month on the Lithuanian calendar. It is often called
baisusis birzelis or “Terrible June”. The origin of this term dates back to June 14-18, 1940, when nearly
17,000 innocent Lithuanians –men, women and children were arrested by Russian Soviet security forces, crammed into cattle cars and deported to Siberia. Forty percent of the deportees were children under 16 years of age and more than half died quickly.


This was the beginning of mass deportations that continued through 1953 and from which very few
survived or returned to Lithuania. Thousands were deported to Siberia.
The great crimes of Soviet Communism are embedded deeply in the hearts and souls of the Lithuanian
people. The present Russian government ignores this period of inhumanity and there is no talk of
reparations. Lithuanians regard this Soviet terror as genocide. Most of those deported were doomed – a
third of them to a speedy death, and the rest to a life of misery in the wilderness of Siberia.
Virtually every Lithuanian family was affected in some way. Masses and prayers in the month of June are dedicated to those who suffered under Soviet oppression.