The journey to resettlment


From arrest to resettlment, the deported prisoners’ journeys took a surprisingly similar shape. They would be arrested in a village and often taken by cart to the nearest railway halt, where others would be waiting; nearly all the stories begin like that. The long train was made up of cattle trucks, not always with bedframes; sometimes people had to sit or lie on the floor. All ages and sexes were crammed together. And then the journey was long, very long with no place of the destination given at the start.
Arrival was sudden, unexpected. The railway halt was usually small, in the middle of nowhere, but that was not the end of the journey. The deported prisoners then had to continue by carriage or lorry to the final destination, or wait a while in sheds until they were fetched. Dozens of kilometres before they reached the first stopping point of deportation.