International Exhibition NO HOME TO GO TO. The Story of Baltic Displaced Persons. 1944-1952
June 19 @ 17:00 - July 31 @ 18:00
International Exhibition NO HOME TO GO TO
The Story of Baltic Displaced Persons, 1944-1952
“In the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered some fourteen million people. The place where all of the victims died, the bloodlands, extends from central Poland to western Russia, through Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic States. During the consolidation of National Socialism and Stalinism (1933-1938), the joint German-Soviet occupation of Poland (1939-1941), and then the Germa – Soviet war (1941-1945), mass violence of a sort never before seen in history was visited upon this region.”
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, Timothy Snyder, Basic Books, 2010
The story of the Baltic displaced persons takes place against this brutal and violent backdrop. The individual stories which this exhibition presents are shaped by the events, individuals, agreements, changing loyalties and priorities, killings, deportations, and secret deals that made up the reality that Baltic peoples – and other nationalities caught between Hitler and Stalin – faced. By 1944, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians had lived through a one year Soviet occupation which culminated in mass deportations in June, 1941 and three years of German occupation and its attendant arrests, restrictions, and deaths. The news in mid-1944 that the Soviet armies were approaching from the East meant one thing to many Baltic individuals: staying was impossible because death or deportation was certain.
“No Home To Go To” focuses on individual and family experiences. Though everything in the exhibition exists because of the larger events and threatening circumstances, this is not an exhibition on the complex and volatile history of those years. The exhibition is also not fully representative of all those who lived through the experience. Hitler’s and Stalin’s bloodlands included most of Europe’s Jewish population. Yet there are no Baltic Jewish families in this iteration of “No Home To Go To”. But it is the hope of the organizers that this exhibit, which tells the neglected story of non-Jewish DPs can be the bridge to a future, more inclusive, story and presentation.