13 декабря 2019  |  
10:11 PM  August 11, 2019

Latvians become guests of Tomsk Forum of special settlers descendants

© РИА Томск. Михаил ГолубевLatvians become guests of Tomsk Forum of special settlers descendants

TOMSK, Aug 11 – RIA Tomsk. More than 30 people became participants of the first Forum of descendants of special settlers, which was held on Sunday at the Tomsk Regional Museum of Local Lore; in addition to Tomsk citizens, the event, was attended by residents of Latvia who survived the mass deportation of 1940, the RIA Tomsk correspondent who visited the forum said.

Earlier it was reported that the descendants of special settlers, historians and social activists will gather on August 11 at the Tomsk Regional Museum of Local Lore for a forum dedicated to preserving the memory of the victims of Soviet collectivization. The initiators of the event were two residents of the village of Palochka, Verkhneketsky district, who intend to create in their village the first in Russia memorial to dispossessed peasants.

"More than 30 people gathered at the first Forum of descendants of special settlers in the museum. In addition, residents of Biysk of Altai Krai, whose ancestors were sent to the Narym Territory in the early 1930s, participated at the Forum via Skype. Among the unplanned participants were guests from Latvia who arrived to Tomsk for the sake of shooting a film about deportation in 1940", – tells the correspondent of RIA Tomsk.

One of Latvians – Imant Berzins – told at the forum that he was exiled with his family in 1949 to Kolpashevsky district when he was six years old. He emphasized that the fates of those exiled to Siberia are similar in many respects, despite national differences, and very many names and surnames of the victims are forgotten.

© РИА Томск. Таисия Воронцова
"Before that, the Russians were exiled to the village, we were lucky that they got used to it somehow. The hunger was continuous. We survived thanks to the fact that Russians gave us food quietly. They were forbidden to do that, but they managed to: some of them gave groats, someone gave potatoes. We had nothing to eat. This does not mean that I am complaining: you see, I have survived and will still live", – he said.

According to one of the organizers of the event, Irina Yanchenko, the next forum is planned to be held in Tomsk in the fall. The forum will present a list of people dispossessed and sent to Palochka, whose names have so far been restored from archival documents. The list already includes thousands of names and continues to grow.

"We will provide it to everyone for review ... Recently it turned out that the Biysk merchants were also sent to us. I would like to find their descendants too", – Yanchenko said.

Earlier it was reported that the village of Palochka of the Verkhneketsky district of the Tomsk region arose in the early 1930s as a result of the forcible resettlement of dispossessed peasants from Biysk uyezd, thousands of whom then died of starvation and disease. Two residents of the village – Irina Yanchenko and Gulnara Koryagina – won a presidential grant to search for mass graves and restore the names of thousands of victims.

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