The dead

The dead
In the GULAG camps and at forced resettlement sites people lived under prolonged life-threatening conditions. This was due to severe climate, starvation, heavy labour, lack of any rights, and moral and physical degradation. The resulting diseases took many lives.

Some deportees, mostly infants, died en route in the deportation wagons from starvation and disease. In prisons people died from extreme interrogation practices, where the cause of death was commonly listed as cardiac arrest. In the GULAG camps the incarcerated died of starvation and of diseases resulting from malnutrition, e.g. scurvy, pellagras, tuberculosis, pneumonia and frostbite. Bodies of the dead were often thrown into deserted mines, or buried in mass graves. Only infrequently were individual burial sites marked with the number of the deceased prisoner.

Of those deported in 1941, a total of 6,081 individuals perished – 700 were executed and 3,441 died while incarcerated; 1,940 died in forced resettlement. Of those deported in 1949 the number who died was 5,231.

The total number of residents of Latvia who were executed in prisons in Latvia and the USSR, and who perished in forced labour camps, is not known. Also, there is no accounting of those who died of starvation, froze to death, or who simply „disappeared".