Jurgis Dirvonskis

Born 1926 in Lithuania, 1946 deported to Russia, spent many years in camps in Mordovia and Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Came back to Lithuania in 1959.

Jurgis Dirvonskis was born in Lazdininkai village in 1926. While he was studying in Palanga gymnasium, Lithuanian partisans waged guerrilla warfare against the Soviet Union. Jurgis Dirvonskis’ uncle was also a partisan, so Jurgis was trying to help him by secretly giving the food and giving important information. It was the main reason why Jurgis became a political prisoner.

The deportation story started in 1946 when Jurgis Dirvonskis' neighbour told NKVD officers that he was helping Lithuanian partisans. Jurgis Dirvonskis was detained and the court announced that he was acting illegally. Jurgis Dirvonskis was accused as “the enemy of the homeland” and deported to Russia, Republic of Karelia. He lived in Lespromcha camp which was located in Tuksa village. The camp was built by Jurgis Dirvonskis and other prisoners because the village was pretty empty and prisoners had no place to live. Prisoners were working hard in forests and not everyone was capable to handle the regime. Because of the exhausting work and many diseases, Jurgis Dirvonskis got sick and stayed in the hospital unconscious for a few weeks. After Jurgis Dirvonskis got better he stayed in the hospital and worked as a sanitarian. Jurgis Dirvonskis was lucky because he was able to drink fish oil which helped him to get back to his normal condition.

After a year Jurgis Dirvonskis was sent to Tiemlag camp in Mordovia. Jurgis Dirvosnkis spent a year in that place and was building corps for radio mechanisms.

After that, he was forced to go to Kazakhstan, Karaganda region and spent there quite many years working with electricity. Jurgis Dirvonskis could leave Karlag in 1954 but he did not leave Kazakhstan because his future wife Danutė Dirvonskienė still had to stay in a gulag for five years.

A couple got married when they became free and gave birth to two girls. Unluckily, one of their daughters Nijolė Dirvonskytė did not survive dysentery and died when she was only 8 months old. She was buried in Karaganda, Malinovka cemetery.

Jurgis Dirvonskis with his family came back to Lithuania in 1959. There he continued working in the electrification sphere. Today Jurgis Dirvonskis is retired and lives in his wife‘s hometown – Kalvarija.

Since 2006 Lithuanian project “Mission Siberia” has been organizing expeditions to places where Lithuanians were deported and imprisoned. Expeditions meet with local Lithuanians, build memorial symbols and preserve Lithuanian cemeteries. In 2019 “Mission Siberia” found the grave of Jurgis Dirvonskis‘ daughter Nijolė Dirvonskytė and took care of it. It was one of the last Jurgis Dirvonskis’ wishes.

The story was processed by the Lithuanian organization Mission Siberia


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