I was seven or eight months old when our family was deported. We lived in Antonijas Street in Riga. Russian soldiers came in the night and told my parents to bring warm clothing. No one understood what was happening. My parents took two or three suitcases. I don’t know how we ended up in Siberia. I remember that I was always hungry. Later my mama told me that my father, mother, grandfather and I were all in the same train wagon. 'Ihere’s a book published in Sweden which says that a train of 83 wagons passed through Kirov, where men were split apart from their families. We were all together until Kirov, but there my grandfather was taken away. He was arrested, and after a trial he was sent to Vyatlag.
My grandfather was an attorney. He studied in Moscow and worked as a tutor. He travelled to Europe together with the children of the family for which he worked. He learned several languages, including French. He attended the Latvian Association’s events and was a fraternity member. When Latvia’s independence battles began, he became involved in them. He worked for the Foreign Ministry for awhile.
I only saw my grandmother once. It was in 1953 or 1954 in Jelgava. I was surprised at how well she spoke Russian. I was told that she was a graduate of the Sorbonne, one of the first 10 Latvian women to complete a higher education.
In 1993, the Prosecutor-General’s Office allowed me to read my grandfather’s case materials. During the interrogation, it was determined that he was a spy for England. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he did not survive. He starved to death on February 7, 1942.
My mother’s parents were railroad workers. She was born in Moscow, and later her family came to Latvia. My mother had not completed her university education when we
were deported. My father was a student at the Riga Technical University and liked to work with radio sets.
From Kirov we were transported to Novosibirsk, and then we were put on barges and sent to Vasyugan. My father died a year later, on January 13 and just 70 kilometres from the place where we were living. My mother wanted to attend his funeral and covered those 70 kilometres on foot, but the grave was already closed. Later I was given a document in which someone claimed that Albats was refusing to work and so should be punished. My father did not reject work, he had pneumonia. I tried to find the snitch, I was prepared to kill him. I didn’t find him, however. He had already frozen to death while drunk.
I saw little of my mother, because she had to work very hard and every day. She did forest work, broke up stumps, worked in a lime-kiln, did farm work. She picked berries and mushrooms for our own needs. I helped, and I remember that mama and I had to flee a bear once. I also remember that in 1947, in Kargasovk, mama announced that we had to escape. She packed up our possessions, and we fled - she was in a boat with holes in it, and I ran along the shore. Later we were on a barge. I never asked my mother why we did that or whether we succeeded. When she was hired as supervisor of an oil facility, our lives improved.
While my mother was at work, I lived on the street, and that was my real education. I’m surprised that I preserved the Latvian language. I remember that in the early 1950s I announced to mama that I would not speak Latvian anymore, because that was not the right language.
Others made fun of me, I could get beat up. My mother taught me, however, that I should never fight. I resolved the problem quite late, in the 5th grade. I obeyed my mother and did not hit anyone, so the other boys beat me up. Once I started to
fight back, everything changed. I didn’t say anything to mama, though. I didn’t want her to worry.
In 1953, we children were stricken from the records, but that didn’t change anything. I remember a day when there was nothing to eat, there was no money, and the child felt that his mother was to blame for everything. I had read a Russian book about a boy who ran away from home, and my neighbour Vitya and I decided that we would do the same. We found some skis and some dry biscuits, and off we went. We covered 60 kilometres on our skis, but we rubbed the skin right off our feet. We had to stay at a village until we recovered. Five or six days later, a militiaman arrived in a horse-drawn sleigh and ordered me: “Come on, let’s go. His father will come to collect him.” Vitya burst into tears.
While in Siberia, my mother corresponded with her brother, who lived in Jelgava. When permission was given for me to return to Latvia, she convinced me to go and live with him. She got me to agree by telling me that her brother had a sheepdog, which was my dream. So I came back to Latvia. My uncle was divorced, and we lived in a dormitory for railroad workers. After awhile we moved into a train car which had been converted as a residence. There was another family there, too. I went to a Russian school. I could not find my way into the Latvian community, and no one perceived me as a Latvian. Jelgava seemed like an alien town to me. My uncle told me what to write to my mama, he wouldn’t let me write anything that would upset her. I wrote to say that all was well. One day my uncle gave me two roubles (“Buy some fish!”) Instead I bought cigarettes and something to eat. My uncle disappeared for a month, though. I had nothing to eat, I stole things from the store.
I left school and started to spend the night at the train station. Once I was caught at the store. I broke free, but they caught me anyway. In the evening I was taken to militia headquarters and left there until the morning. I begged them to give back the bread that I stole, and they did. The next morning I was told that I would live with the cleaning lady at the Russian school. I finished 6th grade.
When my uncle showed up, I refused to live with him anymore. I got papers to show that I had completed the sixth grade and went to see my mother. I had 150 roubles, I don’t know where I got them. I got to Moscow, where I fell asleep and was robbed. I don’t remember the rest of the trip, but I did return to the place to which I was accustomed.
I entered a technical school in Tomsk, but I did not graduate. I entered a second technical school with the same result. I roomed with three Mongolians. We didn’t
get along and started to fight. This resulted in the summoning of the Mongolian consul. I had to flee, or I would have ended up in prison. I went to Kargasok, where I did not register myself for a long time.
In 1959,1 started to attend night school. I was graduated there, and then I got into another fight. I spent a year in prison. I don’t think that it was a fair punishment. The prison was close to Tomsk. At one point, a Latvian performing group was performing in Tomsk - singers, ballet dancers. I got permission to attend the concert outside the prison.
Right after I was set free the next year, I entered the Institute of People’s Medicine. In the spring, I found myself in hospital with an ulcer, and I spent more than a month there. I took a sabbatical from the institute. The next year I went back to school, but I failed the spring exam in organic chemistry. I passed the other three exams, though.
I had few good memories bout Jelgava, and so I didn’t want to return to Latvia at all. I chose my own path, but in 1970 my brother and I decided to ride to Latvia on a motorcycle (he lives in Kamchatka and doesn’t speak Latvian). First we travelled to Moscow, bought a motorcycle and a tent, and off we went. My first impression on the Latvian-Belarusian border was that it was a warm and quiet summer.
My nursemaid was still alive, we found her in Kok-nese. My brother and I went to Jurmala, where we put up our tent. We lived there for two months. It was all good, except the militia kept hassling us because the motorcycle did not have a license plate. I started to think about finding a flat in Latvia, but it was impossible. I returned to Kamchatka, but after the trip I had more of an interest in my Motherland. I read Literature and Art, and Latvia became more attractive to me.
I have been married three times, and my second wife gave birth to a daughter, who lives in Gomel. We don’t have much contact, she doesn’t like it here. My younger daughter, though, is more Latvian than I am. She attended a Latvian school, she understands Latvia’s history. She was a student at the European Integration Institute.
In 1957, my mother was allowed to return to Latvia, but she stayed in Siberia. In the 1980s, she presented me with an ultimatum: “I want to die in Latvia, and you have to help me!” In 1986, we came back to Latvia and bought a house in Skriveri. I registered for a flat in Riga. My mama died, but I never did get that flat. She died in 1994. After that I thought a lot about her destiny. I admired her strength. She was a very bright woman, she did not break down. I understand how much I hurt her. I know that she wanted me to be different.
Албатс Андрейс родился в 1940 году.
Albats Andreys was born in 1940.
I was 7 or 8 months old when our family was sent.
We lived in Riga, on Antoniyas Street.
At night the Russian soldiers came.
Told that we took with ourselves warm clothes.
Nobody understood anything.
Took 2-3 suitcases.
As we appeared in Siberia, I do not know.
I remember only constant feeling of hunger.
Later mother told that all of us are a father, mother and the grandfather and I - were in one car.
In some book published in Sweden it is said that in one structure there were 83 cars, went to Kirov,
and there men were separated from families.
To Kirov and we went all together.
And there the grandfather was brought out of the car, arrested, and after prison sent to Vyatlag.
My grandfather was a lawyer.
Мне было 7 или 8 месяцев когда нашу семью выслали.
Жили мы в Риге, на улице Антонияс.
Ночью пришли русские солдаты.
Сказали, чтобы мы взяли с собой тёплые вещи.
Никто ничего не понял.
Взяли 2-3 чемодана.
Как мы оказались в Сибири, не знаю.
Помню только постоянное чувство голода.
Позже мама рассказывала, что все мы -отец, мать и дедушка и я - были в одном вагоне.
В какой-то изданной в Швеции книге говорится, что в одном составе было 83 вагона, ехали до Кирова,
и там мужчин разлучили с семьями.
До Кирова и мы ехали все вместе.
А там дедушку вывели из вагона, арестовали, а после тюрьмы отправили в Вятлаг.
Дед мой был юристом.
lieta Nr. 17114,
izs. adr. Rīgas apr., Rīga, Antonijas iela 4-8 ,
nometin. vieta Novosibirskas apg., Kargasokas raj.,
atbrīvoš. dat. 1957.02.21
Дети Сибири ( том 1 , страница 32 ):
мы должны были об этом рассказать... :
воспоминания детей, вывезенных из Латвии в Сибирь в 1941 году :
724 детей Сибири Дзинтра Гека и Айварс Лубаниетис интервьюировали в период с 2000 по 2007 год /
[обобщила Дзинтра Гека ; интервью: Дзинтра Гека, Айварс Лубаниетис ;
интервью расшифровали и правили: Юта Брауна, Леа Лиепиня, Айя Озолиня ... [и др.] ;
перевод на русский язык, редактор Жанна Эзите ;
предисловие дала президент Латвии Вайра Вике-Фрейберга, Дзинтра Гека ;
художник Индулис Мартинсонс ;
обложка Линда Лусе]. Т. 1. А-Л.
Точный год издания не указан (примерно в 2015 году)
Место издания не известно и тираж не опубликован.
- Oriģ. nos.: Sibīrijas bērni.
The Occupation of Latvia [videoieraksts] = Оккупация Латвии :
(1917-1940 годы) : видеофильм / реж. Дзинтра Гека ; авт. Андрис Колбергс.
Точный год издания не указан
[Диск включает 3 части: 1 ч.: 1917-1940 годы ; 2 ч.: 1941-1945 годы. ; 3 ч.: 1946-1953 годы]На обложке ошибочно указан исторический период: (1917-1940 годы), относящийся только к первой части.
Весь рассматриваемый период: 1917-1953 годы