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



Aldona  OKRUG

Aldona Okrug was born to a farming family in Lithuania before World War II. She lived through the violence of war, the extermination of the Jews, the fighting between Soviet partisans, Germans, and Lithuanian partisans against the Soviets.
When she was 13, at 4 in the morning of 25 March 1949, the soldiers arrived. The family was deported because they owned land and a few cattle. For five days they lived in fear, because many others had already suffered this fate. They had an hour and a half to get their belongings together and then spent a month on trains to Siberia, a place near Lake Baikal. When they got off the train, forestry bosses came to select the families they took off to work on their plantations. None of them wanted anyone dubious or old. She and her mother were taken to a Siberian village where there were a lot of Lithuanian deportees. The schoolteacher took care to see they learnt Russian properly.
Once a month, her mother reported to the “commandant”. She became a farmer and had various jobs in the village.
She kept her memories of Lithuania, the language, and subscribed to Lithuanian periodicals. But when she and her husband had the opportunity to return in the mid-1950s, they preferred to stay. They had built their life in Siberia.
Aldona Okrug was interviewed in 2010 by Alain Blum, Emilia Koustova and Larisa Salakhova.


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