On March 25, 1949, the mass deportation of citizens of the Baltic Republics to Siberia began. The operation named "Priboy" (Russian for "the surf") took place in accordance with the decision of the Soviet Union Council of Ministers and the Communist Party. It was obligated to exile those who were thought to be connected to the "Forest Brothers," a force organized to support the Nazi Germans against the Soviet Union.
During the four-day operation, tens of thousands of people were taken from their homes, some of them together with their families, and gathered onto trains to be sent to various parts of Siberia. Some historians believe that when people who were on the lists of the accused were not found, random people off the street were taken to replace them.
This was the second wave of mass deportations. The first began in 1941. It is believed that altogether in the period of 1941-1949 more than a hundred thousand people from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were deported, as part of a program to eliminate the supporters of the "Forest Brothers" and fulfill Stalin's plan of collectivization of rural households.
Unquestionably the measures taken by the government were extremely severe and many innocent people suffered because of their tough actions. Some have returned home after Stalin's death, but many of them lost their lives in the prison camps. Many other people in the USSR including Russians suffered from deportation, and the total number of people who were sent away is still not known and is disputed by many historians.