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1956-1978 Exile in Yekaterinburg [ Stories from Siberia continued]

1956- 1978 Exile in Svedlovsk /Yekaterinburg [ Stories from Siberia continued]

Translated from Lithuanian from the memoirs of Irena K

In 1956, Kruschev who was the new leader of the USSR, issued an amnesty to many political prisoners and we hoped that we would be able to return to Lithuania and live in our home again.
That year, the Yakutsk MVD officials gave our mother Jadze permission to visit Kaunas, our hometown in Lithuania, from which our family was deported on that terrible day in June 1941. When she got there, her relatives were too terrified to help her or take her in, as there were KGB agents everywhere. The only thing in our favour, was that our relatives knew we were alive. Our mother asked if they would write to our relatives who had fled to America and Australia. Three Russian families were living in our house in Kaunas. Other exiles were faced with the same dilemma. Those who were given permission to return to Lithuania found that being an exile in a Siberian labour camp carried a terrible stigma and they weren’t allowed to go to university or work in government jobs. People treated them like criminals, because that’s what the Russian propaganda had told them.
Sadly, in our case, the Russian MVD would not give our family permission to return to Lithuania but they allowed us to move to Svedlosk [Yekaterinburg] where we knew some other Lithuanian exiles had settled. During World War II, many government technical institutions and whole plants were evacuated to Yekaterinburg from the war-affected areas (mostly Moscow) and many remained in Yekaterinburg after the war was over. Huge concrete multi-storey apartments were also built here and elsewhere in the USSR.
In 1957, I met a nice man called Naumas who was a member of the Svedlovsk/ Yekaterinburg Dramatic Society. After we got married, we were able to rent a 2 roomed flat. Our mother Jadze lived with us. Unfortunately we were unable to have any children. My sister Victoria, her husband and their son Victor lived in a one room flat on the ninth floor. We lived in Yekaterinburg until my husband died in 1978. Victoria’s husband had died earlier. Now we were three widows.




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