The deportations to Siberia during and immediately after World War II are part of a phenomenon of forced migration. The deportees experienced a sense of loss which was coupled with the feeling that their home (and hence their normality) had been stolen from them. In this context, one of the consequences of deportations, then, is the loss of human dignity when everything you have, including your ability to determine your own life, is taken away from you. This paper engages various ways by which the deportees attempted to recreate a space of normality in the midst of an absurd reality. These “ways” can be organized in two categories: artistic expression and reconnection with artifacts coming from home.


Keywords: deportation; Siberia; Gulag; music in prison; human dignity.