|In 1944 a Cold War began, a war that was brutal, inhumane. A war that has now been almost forgotten. The Western powers continued to consider the occupation of the Baltic and Eastern Countries by the Stalinist powers to be illegal despite the post-war conferences that had recognised the borders of the USSR. Hidden behind the Iron Curtain, the occupation of the Soviet block continued for 50 years and destroyed the lives of millions.It is estimated that there were at least 20 million deaths. Many believe that the real figure is closer to 60 million.
Despite not receiving any backing from the West, the partisans’ resistance fought against the Soviet regime. These partisans had to abandon both their families and homes and seek sanctuary in the forests. In numerous villages and towns, domestic dwellings were attained by KGB officers for use as control centres, interrogation, imprisonment and torture. These homely spaces were converted into places of terror. As a result, the forest not only became the place of refuge but also of mass graves.
The most active and forceful resistance came from the Lithuanian ‘Forest Brothers’, which lasted for 10 years.