June 14 in Russian history

1856: Famous Russian mathematicians, Andrei Markov, was born. His best known discovery, Markov chains, are ubiquitous in modern science. They are used in physics to model stochastic processes, in computerized music composition, in statistics, in linguistics, artificial intelligence, robotics. It is most probable that you, dear reader, use Markov chains every day. Markov chains are the basis of Google's ranking algorithm. They are also used in the Bayesian algorithms which filter spam from your e-mail.

1862: Dimitri Pisarev, writer and political extremist, is arrested and put to the jail of the fortress of St. Peter and Paul in St.Petersburg. He had written a political proclamation "On the brochure of Schedo-Ferroti", where he had called to the rebellion against monarcy. He spent more than 4 years in jail. He was not only political, but also literature radical. He fought against "outdated" esthetics, refused to acknowledge the importance of Pushkin's poetry. Lenin's wife, Krupskaya, said later that Lenin grew under Pisarev's influence.

1941: The Soviet Union begins mass deportations in the occupied Baltic countries. Deportations took place before, but not on such large scale. On one day, June 14, the NKVD troops and local Communist party activists enter the homes of former politicians, army officers, judges, state officials, policemen, jounalists, farmer union leaders, businessmen, land owners, ship owners, labour union members, criminals, prostitutes, anti-communist activists and give them one or two hours to gather their clothes and food for one month. About 30%-40% of the deportees were children under 16. People were taken to railway stations and transported to Urals and Siberia. About 30,000 people were deported from Lithuania, more than 15,000 from Latvia and 9,000 from Estonia. Not all of them were ethnic Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians. There were also Poles who fled from occupied Poland, Jews (the first victims, as usual), Russians, etc. About 40% of deportees died in the exile. Some starved to death, some were killed, some simply disappeared. The date is the Day of Mourning and Hope in Lithuania and the official mourning day in Latvia. A group of Estonians has prepared an interesting exhibition: No people, no problem (quotation from Stalin). Highly recommended. Two more interesting links are: Materials of the international conference "Deportation of 14 June 1941: Crimes against Humanity" and the database Exile and Imprisonment Locations of the Residents of Lithuania.

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