BIRCH BARK LETTERS
This interactive exposition focuses on the birch bark letters that serve as historical testimony to life in Siberia.
The exposition includes birch bark letters from Siberia and information about the authors and recipients thereof, who were deemed undesirable by the soviet rule due to their public activity, civil standing or resistance and consequently arrested and punished after World War II or exiled to Siberia on 14 June 1941 or 25 March 1949. The exhibition reflects the lives of the authors and recipients of these letters and proves their ability to survive, persist and preserve their dignity and sense of belonging to their nation.
A total of 45 letters were collected from nine museums: Aizkraukle History and Art Museum, Daugava Museum, Jēkabpils History Museum, Madona Local History and Art Museum, Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, National History Museum of Latvia, Literature and Music Museum, Talsi Municipality Museum and Tukums Museum.
The birch bark letters written in Siberia were included in the Latvian National Register of UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme in 2009. The register was supplemented in 2013 and 2017. Since then, these letters have turned from a mere collection of physical objects into evidence that is crucial to the history of Latvia and has secured a deep and symbolic meaning.
The exposition was created within the project “Letters for the Future” (2010–2011) financed by the EU’s Europe for Citizens programme, Action 4 – European Active Remembrance.