Solidarité Ukraine
INED Éditions. Sound Archives, European Memories of the Gulag

Antanas Seikalis recalls the day of Stalin’s death

“The day of Stalin’s funeral, we were not taken out to work. They brought us all together on the central square in the camp and at noon on the dot they ordered us to take off our hats. The weather was still cold.

And among us there were some Poles. They were hidden by other prisoners. They took off their hats and started throwing them into the air.

But they didn’t know there was a KGB captain watching everyone from the watchtower. He saw what happened but didn’t know who had done it.

For a long time no one was punished, but a fortnight later they interrogated us one by one. No one told on the Poles. Anyway we had a good laugh when they started to throw their hats into the air to celebrate the event. I’ll always remember Stalin’s funeral. In the end, these are good memories.”