Museum exhibit /G. Martynaitis. “Exiled Lithuanians in a barrack-block on Trofimovsk Island.”
Gintautas Martynaitis. “Exiled Lithuanians in a barrack-block on Trofimovsk Island”. Drawing. 1990s. A series of drawings (30 items) by Gintautas Martynaitis (1935-1999) is devoted to memories of a childhood spent on the shores of the Laptev Sea. In 1941 he was deported to Siberia along with his family, and in 1942 he was sent with his mother and his brother to Trofimovsk Island (Yakutia ASSR). There is a copy of the drawing in the “Exile” Memorial Exhibition in the Museum of the Everyday Life of the Lithuanian People (Rumshishkes, Lithuanian Republic) (Photograph 2005). 
 
 
 
 
Detailed annotationGintautas Martynaitis. “Lithuanian Exiles in a Barrack Block on Trofimovsk Island". Drawing. 1990s. Copy. A caption to the drawing reads: “In the hastily constructed barrack-blocks they froze through to the bone with the cold that penetrated the walls, the ceilings and the floors. There was some warmth only next to the iron stove when they lit a fire. But often people had no strength left to prepare firewood, and so there rarely crackled a fire in the oven. Dirty, exhausted, overcome with scurvy and typhus, many froze to death. Blizzards covered the doors of the barrack-huts with snow, so that for days on end the living, the half-dead and the dead would be lying together on the bunks”.

Gintautas Martynaitis (1935-1999) was born in Mariampol (Lithuania) into a family of office-workers. On 14.06.1941 he was deported to Siberia along with his family. His father was separated from the family and died in Reshota Camp (Krasnoyarsk Region). From 1942 onwards his mother found herself in exile on Trofimovsk Island (Yakutia ASSR) with her two small children. Gintautas returned to Lithuania in 1959, where he lived in Mariampol. In 1966 he completed a course at the Leningrad Polytechnic and worked in a radio-components factory in Vilnius. A pensioner after 1991, he started to put together a series of drawings called “Memories of an Arctic Childhood”. The drawings (30 items) and detailed explanatory notes on them constitute an authentic document describing the life and the hard labour done by the Lithuanians in the severe Arctic conditions in what to them was an alien environment. G. Martynaitis was not an artist by profession (he was trained as an electrical engineer) and the images that he remembered from his childhood were drawn by him for his friends. The drawings were initially published in 1966 by the Vilnius Academy of Arts Publishing House. Copies of the drawings are on display in the “Exile” Memorial Exhibition in the Museum of the Daily Life of the Lithuanian People (Rumshishkes). The originals are in the Lithuanian National Museum (Vilnius).
 
PersonsMartynaitis Gintautas, author
 
Web page?Yes
 
 
Museum exhibit /G. Martynaitis. “Exiled Lithuanians in a barrack-block on Trofimovsk Island.”