|Abstract: ||Straipsnyje aptariama Lietuvos gyventojų, priklausiusių etninėms mažumoms, priverstinių migracijų problema sovietinio režimo metais, ieškoma atsakymų į klausimus, kas lėmė tokias migracijas, kokios buvo jų kryptys ir rezultatai Lietuvai ir etninėms bendruomenėms.|
The article analyzes the features of forced migrations (deportations, imprisonments, displacements) that took place during the Soviet period, discusses the condition of ethnic minorities that participated in such migrations, and elucidates the consequences of such migrations. Their most intense phase was during the period of Joseph Stalin’s rule (1940–1941, 1944–1953).
All the inhabitants of Lithuania, including every ethnic group, were subjected to forced migrations and to mistreatment and injustice due to their political, religious, ethnic, or social status.
Three directions of forced migration are singled out in the article. The first was to the East, a direction motivated by the Soviet policy for Lithuania whose aim was to carry out, as quickly and smoothly as possible, the country’s Sovietization together with the removal of obstacles to that Sovietization. Therefore, those inhabitants of Lithuania who were opposed to Sovietization faced immediate repression. During the periods from 1940 to 1941 and from 1944 to 1953, about 260 000 individuals not only of Lithuanian but also of Polish, Jewish, German, Russian, Belarus, Tartar, Karaite, or other descent or nationality were deported or imprisoned. The second direction was to the West. This migration encompassed three flows: (a) trying to save themselves from the approaching Red Army, about 100 000 individuals fled Lithuania to the West in 1944; (b) when the USSR started implementing its plan of homogenization of occupied West Ukraine, West Belarus, and Lithuania, about 180 000 individuals left Lithuania for Poland from 1944 to 1947, the absolute majority of them being Polish; and (c) in 1951, about 350 000 Germans were displaced to the part of Germany that was under Soviet control. The third direction consisted of planned displacements carried out on the territory of Lithuania itself in the wake of the mass collectivization of agriculture and the destruction of the system of homesteads, all of which provoked very intense migration processes amounting to a massive flight of the rural population to the cities. Representatives of all ethnic groups of Lithuania took part in these processes.