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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

Saturday, March 7 • 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Broken Lives and Living Memories: Trauma Among Female Lithuanian Survivors of Soviet Political Deportations

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The proposed poster presentation will focus on the women survivors of Soviet period genocide by exploring the lived experiences of these individuals through phenomenological interviews. The 1939 annexation of the Lithuania brought profound political, economic, and cultural changes, including political repressions, due to Soviet efforts to rapidly transform the country into a communist republic (Kuodyte, 2005). Because of the Soviet government measures against individuals accused of anti-Soviet and anti-communist actions, nearly 120,000 Lithuanians were deported to labor and concentration camps between1940 and 1953. The camps were spread out throughout vast territories of Russia reaching as far as the far north of Siberia and Kazakhstan (Courtois et al., 1999; Kuodyte, 2005). Separation of families, chronic starvation, harsh and inhumane labor and concentration camp conditions were common experiences of individuals acquitted of anti-communist activities (Kuodyte, 2005). A few existing research studies on Soviet political repressions of Lithuanians focused on psychological effects of Soviet and Nazi repression (Gailiene & Kazlauskas, 2005), communication patterns among Lithuanian survivors and their children (Vaskeliene, Kazlauskas, Gailiene, & Domanskaite-Gota, 2011), and quantitative assessment of long term psychological effects of Soviet repression in Lithuania (Kazlauskas & Gailiene, 2005). However, studies on trauma associated with Soviet repressions are still lacking, partially due to existing denial and ambivalence associated with the crimes of communism (Gailiene & Kazlauskas, 2005). Considering the paucity of scholarly studies on the experiences of Lithuanian survivors of Soviet labor and concentration camps, the present qualitative study sought to contribute to the literature addressing psychological effects of Soviet penal system and increase awareness into psychological impact of collective trauma. Additionally, the study highlighted the survivors’ perception and lived experience of collective trauma of political repressions. This poster presentation will present the results of an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of survivors of Soviet political repressions with a special focus on female survivors. Six participants were interviewed out of which four were females, and data was analyzed following the guidelines set forth by IPA methodology (Smith & Osborn, 2008). The results of the study highlight the lived experiences of individuals who survived Soviet political repressions and the meaning they attach to the experience of their collective trauma. This poster will present unique experiences of female survivors and their role in the resistance of the political oppression. Unlike Holocaust, the impact of Soviet political repressions and associated collective trauma has only recently become the focus of scholarly research (Gailiene & Kazlauskas, 2005). Thus, viewers of this poster will not only be informed of the collective trauma implications from survivors’ perspectives but also gain greater awareness into psychological effects of political repressions on females and the ways they negotiated their identities amidst political repression.


Saturday March 7, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Redwood