LATVIA'S HISTORY: EDUCATION, REMEMBRANCE, RESEARCH
14 June, 2001 (13)
- International Conference "Deportation of 14 June 1941: Crimes against Humanity" Gathers Researchers from Nine Countries
- Collection of Documents "The Deported. 14 June 1941" – Monument for the Deported People of Latvia
- Foreign Ministry Unveils Exhibition Dedicated to the Deported and Repressed Latvian Foreign Service Personnel after 1940
- Exhibition on the Deportation of 14 June 1941 on Display in the Occupation Museum of Latvia
- CD–ROM Comprising Documentary Materials on Crimes against Humanity and the People of Latvia Presented
International Conference "Deportation of 14 June 1941: Crimes against Humanity" Gathers Researchers from Nine Countries
On 12 – 13 June an international conference "The Deportation of 14 June 1941: Crimes against Humanity" was organised in Riga by the History Commission of Latvia, the State Archives of Latvia, the History Institute of the University of Latvia and the University of Latvia.
Twenty-nine presenters – historians, lawyers and other scholars, as well as eyewitnesses to the events from Latvia and nine other countries (Estonia, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Moldova, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine and USA) delivered papers at the conference. They analysed various aspects of the 14 June 1941 mass deportation in Latvia, as well as similar deportations from other Baltic and East European countries occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union. The papers concentrated on the preparation and implementation of the deportations as well as their consequences. The main emphasis was placed on legal, social, ethnic, demographic and geographic aspects of the deportations, as well as on source studies and new research areas. Many new facts and opinions regarding the tenor of the deportation as well as its evaluation in the international and juridical view were revealed owing to the data of the State Archives of Latvia.
The President of Latvia Dr Vaira Vike-Freiberga in her opening speech at the conference expressed gratitude to the History Commission, its members, as well as all the researchers and reporters who partook in the research work and the conference. "We in Latvia highly appreciate the co-operation with foreign specialists. In order to reach entire truth, we cannot do anything but join our efforts and co-operate over borders both close and far." The President thanked for what has been carried out in the research work and admitted that much is still to be done.
Conclusions and Resolutions of the International Conference "Deportation of 14 June 1941: Crimes against Humanity": http://www.am.gov.lv/en/?id=4663
Latvia's History Commission
Chairman: Professor Andris Caune
c/o History Institute of Latvia
Akademijas lauk. 1, Riga,
LV 1050, Latvia
Fax: (+371) 7 225 044
Tel.: (+371) 7 225 948
Adviser to the President of State on the History Commission Issues
Dr. habil. hist. Assoc. Prof. Antonijs Zunda
Chancery of the President,
Pils lauk. 3, Riga,
LV 1900, Latvia
Fax: (+371) 7 325 800
Tel.: (+371) 7 092 109
Collection of Documents "The Deported. 14 June 1941" – Monument for the Deported People of Latvia
On 11 June the opening ceremony of a collection of documents "The Deported. 14 June 1941" comprising documentary evidences on the exact scale of the deported persons from Latvia to Siberia was held. The collection of documents specifies the place of birth and death of the deportees or the date of returning from exile to Latvia, as well as the economic, social and demographic aspects and preparation of the unlawful actions taken by the Soviet authorities in the territory of Latvia on 14 June 1941.
The collection consists of lists of the deported persons, documents, verdicts, maps, and tables. The former estimations showed that some 14,000 people were deported from Latvia on 14 June 1941 whereas the research has revealed that the number of the deported amounts to 15,424.
In the foreword of the collection, the Director of the State Archives of Latvia Ms Daina Klavina writes: "60 years have passed by since one of the most terrifying tragedies of our nation – first mass deportation of Latvia's inhabitants happened. (..) This book will give a better understanding on the events of 14 June 1941 both for Latvia's and the international society. The authors of the book tried to trace the fate of people by specifying and completing the lists of the deported, as well as keeping alive the remembrance of those people whose life ended in the exile and expressing respect to those who survived and returned to the homeland without losing hope to see Latvia independent again."
"On that night deep and grievous wounds were inflicted on our nation with long-lasting consequences, close or far they have affected every inhabitant of Latvia," the President of Latvia Dr Vaira Vike-Freiberga said at the presentation of the book. "Everyone could have been among the deported and affected by those events. It is a simple coincidence that some people of Latvia were deported and others stayed at home. That insane the Communist power was." Dr Vike-Freiberga pointed out that for many of the deported persons "their names recorded in the book will be the only monument in remembrance of them".
The collection of documents is available in Latvian, Russian, and English, in edition of 1,000 copies that are distributed to the deported persons and libraries of Latvia. Both the Government of Latvia and individual donors provided financial support for the publication of "The Deported".
The State Archives of Latvia
Bezdeligu 1, Riga,
LV 1007, Latvia
Tel.: (+371) 2 462 317
Foreign Ministry Unveils Exhibition Dedicated to the Deported and Repressed Latvian Foreign Service Personnel after 1940
On 14 June in the premises of the Riga City Council, former building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an exhibition "Political Persecution of Latvian Foreign Service Personnel in the Wake of the Soviet Occupation of Latvia" organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Indulis Berzins, as well as the Deputy Head of the City Council Ms Inese Vaidere and the Head of the History Commission Mr Andris Caune.
The exhibition is dedicated to Latvia's diplomats who after 17 June 1940 on the basis of USSR legislative acts were arrested, deported and shot. They were among the Latvians destined to bear the brunt of the Soviet campaign to psychologically dominate and physically subjugate Latvia. The Archives of the Ministry documented the fate of the repressed diplomats altogether 51 by revealing their biography till the arrest or deportation and accordingly the substantiations for their arrests prepared by the USSR repressive institutions, as well as indictments, decisions of special meetings, death certificates and other documents.
Exhibition "Political Persecution of Latvian Foreign Service Personnel in the Wake of the Soviet Occupation of Latvia": http://www.am.gov.lv/en/?id=4300
Exhibition on the Deportation of 14 June 1941 on Display in the Occupation Museum of Latvia
On June 14 a memorial event to commemorate the thousands of Latvia's inhabitants who were deported to Siberia on 14 June 1941 was held and a special exhibition "Deportacija. 14.VI 1941. Deportation." was opened at the Occupation Museum of Latvia.
The exhibition depicts the two contrasting worlds in which Soviet society lived: one is the world visible to all, but unreal, full of propaganda and satiated with deceitful optimism; the other is the real world, that was concealed. The exhibits are placed in coarse wooden boxes that recall the boxcars and the barracks to which the deportees were taken.
Occupation Museum of Latvia
Strelnieku laukums 1, Riga,
LV 1050, Latvia
Tel.: (+371) 7 212 715
Fax: (+371) 7 229 255
CD–ROM Comprising Documentary Materials on Crimes against Humanity and the People of Latvia Presented
On 6 June the first interactive reference book in CD format "Crimes against Humanity in Latvia" on the crimes against humanity, the Latvian people, the state and nation, devoted to the 60th anniversary of the mass deportations that were carried out on 14 June 1941, was presented at the Occupation Museum of Latvia.
The eight-and-a-half hours recorded material (5 hours video and 3.5 hours audio) comprises the eyewitnesses' accounts of the Gulag camps and exile as well as 400 various articles and documents. The CD is a pilot project within a larger project that is intended to provide accessibility to the stories of labour and death camp survivors by placing interviews in contemporary information holders - compact discs and the Internet.
The CD will be distributed to schools, libraries and other educational institutions. The educational merit of the project is complemented by various information both in texts, pictures, audio and video recordings which provide documentary information and an emotional experience.
The author of the project a historian Mr Ingvars Leitis has been gathering materials on crimes against humanity since 1975, illegally visiting numerous Latvian villages in Siberia. He has taken part in several research expeditions to the Gulag camps and deportation areas behind the Arctic Circle where he has shot several films.