In spite of hot July, some activities in the field of nationalism took place in Latvia.
On a 6th and 7th of July Latvians commemorated the innocent citizens shot dead by the communists in 1941. The talented Latvian historian Inese Dreimane in her recent research has identified these people, who became victims of the blood-thirsty regime at the end of the first Soviet occupation year in Latvia (June 1940 – June 1941), which was called by the people as „the terrible year” because of all the bloodshed, cruelty and horror brought to Latvia by communists. The reason, why identities of one part of these people were unknown until now, is the fact, that the bodies were buried in mass grave, which was found after German forces entered Latvia in the beginning of July 1941. After finding this grave and allowing people to look for their relatives, who went missing during the terrible year, victims were reburied in common graveyard and the White cross was erected, which was later brutally destroyed by the soviets. Nowadays, it is restored and commemorational events took place there every year. Due to the approaching German forces, the soviet institutions had to “work” in a hurry to get rid of these people. Such hurry, that, for instance, a man with the same surname was unintentionally shot dead instead of the “guilty” one. Some people were arrested and murdered for such insane reasons as smoking on balcony or drying washed bed sheets, which was interpreted by mad communists as signaling to Nazis. The best known list of the people destined to be killed – so called Shustin list – was signed with Mr. Shustin’s resolution: “Due to the social danger, shoot them all!” No court, no accusation, no lawyers. The exhibition with pictures and information about lives of these murdered people was opened in so called Corner house (former KGB – Soviet secret service – house in Rīga).
Very pro-Ukrainian event “Ukraine – Latvia from heart to heart” took place in Rīga in the evening of July 14th to express Latvian – Ukrainian friendship and look back to the cooperation of both nations in fight against communism and the “childhood” of Intermarium idea. More about it here: https://thenewnationalism.com/2016/07/15/ukraine_latvia/
On 15th of July Latvian government confirmed the guidelines of patriotic education. This was successful conclusion of 4 years’ work. With this document state has given a clear hint, what kind of values should be promoted in educational process. As well, this document will be legal instrument to fight bad examples in education process, like using books released in Russia and teaching Kremlin way „history” (big problem in so called Russian schools) or popularizing anti-family values. The document defines values, which must be shown in education: Latvian country, Latvian language, life, family, marriage, nature, work. It demands to orient the students toward family, marriage, the unity of generations, universal and Christian values, Latvian cultural heritage and traditions, national identity and patriotism. It also defines the using of national symbols in schools: national flag, coat of arms and anthem as obligatory, national and Latvian traditional celebrations in schools, promoting the knowledge of Latvian history and national pride.
Some liberal organizations have already expressed their concerns, that guidelines demand to raise the law obedient citizens (!).
Recently the Jean Raspail oracular book, ‘Camp of The Saints’ has been translated into the Latvian language. Raspail could be compared to George Orwell because of his futurologist talent. This anti-utopian novel was published in 1973 and foresaw nowadays imigration crisis in details: welcommer activities, mass media reaction, behaviour of “refugees”. Available in English here.
On 23rd of July, the annual get-together of Latvian legionaries and national partisans took place near Džūkste town, where house „Rumbas” was located during WWII and so called Kurzeme’s fortress was held in severe battles against overwhelming superiority of Red army on Christmas 1944. As usually, politicians of National Alliance took part in this event. Two recent years legionaries and partisans are greeted by the Parliament speaker Ināra Mūrniece in this event and also commemorational event in Lestene’s Brethren cemetery on 16th of March. Also she is a member of National Alliance. Every year, less and less of the old warriors gather in this event, but the spirit still remain the same, and it seems, that their belief and fortitude hasn’t changed over the years.
Just a week later in 30th of July the greeting of all alive national partisans took place in restored partisan bunker in Melturi. Great thanks to NA member, expert on a KGB and the former employee of a Center for the Documentation of the Consequences of Totalitarianism Voldemārs Kārlis Markuss. He is one of the activists, who identified the remained forest brothers and – in contrast to the actual situation in 1940s and 1950s – even more, forest girls. These people were the ones, who left everything and gave up “normal” life under Soviet occupation and went to live in forest underground bunkers to continue guerilla fight against communist regime. In spite of unimaginably hard situation, freezing weather, lack of food and brutal pressure on a KGB side, the active fight continued for 12 years after the end of WWII. More information about this fight is shown in the recent documentary of Latvian MP Edvīns Šnore, “The Unknown War: Baltic Resistance”
The national partisans, who are alive today, are these, who entered so called “ the gate of life” – or with another words, these people who were caught by the KGB in the short period of time, when the death penalty in USSR has been suspended (1947-1950), so they were “only” sentenced usually for 25 years of hard labor in GULAG camps.
In spite of efforts of activists in gathering the names of forest brothers, the news about other living national partisans still coming in. After all of these names will be gathered then all of them will be recommended for Order of Viesturs in order finally to give the well-deserved honor from the State to our freedom fighters.