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Liongina Zazaitė–Polikaitienė (1940) - Biography

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In exile in Siberia everybody stood for the others like for themselves

Liongina Zazaitė – Polikaitienė was born on the 25th May in 1940 in Buivyškiai, Pasvalys district, Lithuania. Her parents Jurgis and Liongina Zazai were farmers. Jurgis Zazas had been in WW1, worked as a teacher; later was a famer, he owner 21 ha of land. There were 5 children in the family. In 1949 Liongina’s parents joined the kolkhoz, her father became a stableman. On the 31st October in 1951 some Soviet functionaries (one of them was a leader of pioneer organisation) came to their place and informed that their family is going to be replaced (exiled). Liongina’s parents were suggested to squeal on the other family and they would be left alone. Liongina’s parents refused to do so. They were given several hours for the preparation. Some neighbours helped them with the preparations. It took a month to get to Siberia.(two weeks by train and two weeks by barge). They were brought to Kujanovskij district, Tomsk area (Russia). Her mother worked as a farmhand, her father started working in a boiler house, and the children went to school. Liongina had finished 5 grades in Lithuania. In Siberia she finished two more grades and at the age of 16 started working. At the beginning she worked at the railway, later - in the forestry- she had been pruning tree branches. Local Russians (Siberians) helped and supported family very much. Liongina’s father had continually been writing letters to the relatives in Lithuania and asking to appeal for their family reinstatement. But the relatives were too afraid to appeal. Her father had been sending letters to Vilnius and to Moscow and asking for family reinstatement. After Stalin’s death the family were allowed to return to Lithuania, but they had no means for the trip. Liongina came to Lithuania in 1959, after 8 years of exile, her parents returned two years later. Liongina was given a shelter by her uncle in Gudžiūnai, in two years her parents stayed there as well. The people round about the village called the Zazai “The gooks”. Liongina whole her life worked on a farm. Presently she is a pensioner. At the age of 50 Liongina started writing poetry about the exile and her family experience.

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