* war and social upheaval: World War II Latvia

World War II: Latvia

Figure 1.--World War II is generally presented as a war launched by Hitler when he ordered the invasion of Poland (September 1939). Actually the War was a joint entrprise with his ally, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin who ordered the invasion of Poland from the east. And Stalin allied with Hitler also launched invasion of other neighoring countries as part of the partition of Europe between the two totalitarian powers. One of those targets was tiny Latvia which had achieved its independence after World War I. Here we see a Latvian school class group after the Soviet invasion and annexation. This is apropaganda photograph. In addition to all the props, including hammars, cycles, and whaet sheafs, the children have all been given new clothes for the photograph. It does not seem to have been taken in a school--notice the parquet floor, piano, and candelabra. The photograph is not dated, but woild have been taken during the winter of 1940-41. One boy has a 'M' armband.We are not sure what that meant, presumably some kind of class monitor.

Latvia liked the other Baltic Republics had the misfortune of being caught between two vicious totalitarian regimes. The country achieved its independence from Russia as a result of World War I and the Russian Revolution. A democratic republic was estanlished in the early 1920s. The parliament was known as the Saeima. Prime Minister Kārlis Ulmanis over threw the democractic government with a military coup (1934). As a result of the NAZI-Soviet Pact and the NAZI and Soviet invasion of Poland (1939), the two countries proceeeded to divide up Eastern Europe. Latvia was in the Soviet zone. The Soviet Union first demanded bases and then occupied Latvia. Finally the Soviets annex the country (June 17, 1940). Soviet authorities began arresting Latvians associated with the old regime. There were executions and deportments. Other Latvians were recruited into the Red Army. The situation changed dramatically with the NAZI invasion of the Soviet Union (June 1941). German panzers after crossing the border reached Latvia within days. Because of the brutal albeit brief Soviet occupation, many Latvians looked on the NAZIs as liberators and cooperated with the invaders. Many Latvians assisted the Germans in rouding up Jews. The Germans recruited Latvians for a "border patrol". They also formed a legion in the Waffen SS. The Germans made Latvia a part of the Reichskommissariat Ostland. Latvia was liberated by the Soviets (1944), although many Latvians saw it as just a different occupation. Latvia was one of the Soviet Union's constituent republics. There were more deportments during the Stalinist era. Large numbers of Russians moved into Larvia. Latvia finally regained its independence (August 21,1991) as the Soviet Union began to disintegrate.

World War I (1914-18)

Latvia at the time of World War I was a part of the Russian Empire. The initial fighting was in East Prussia and Poland, but after Hindenberg and Ludendorf snashed Russian armies at Tannenburg and other battles (1914), the Germans moved into Poland and the Baltics (1915). Terrible Russian losses caused theRussian Army to mutiny and the Tsar to abdicate. This was followed by the Nolshecick Revolution (October 1917). Latvian nationalists were anti-Communist abd formed the Latvian National Ccouncil (LNC) (October 29, 1917). German occupation forces did not allow the KNC to organize an independent government or recruit an army. The Germans were intentent on organising Latvia as a Baltic duchy. The Soviets and Germans finally signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 3, 1918). The Treaty obliged the Bolsheviks to accept the loss of Latvia and the other Baltic states. The Allied offensive in the West broke the German Army and an Armistice was signed ending the War (November 11, 1918). The German defeat in the West changed the situation in the East. The Germans were required to abrogated the Treaty of Brest-Litosk. This meant that the status of the Baltic states was unclear. The Latvians established a People's Council which proclaimed an independent republic. Karlis Ulmanis was the first prime minister (November 17). The next day The Council declared Latvian independence. The Latvians, however, had to fight the Bolshevicks to secure their independence. Russian Civil War (1917-21)

Independent Latvia (1918-40)

The ndependent Latvia that emerged from Russian control was a parlimentary democracy. That democracy was unvle to survive the strains of the Great Depression. Prime Minister Karlis Ulmanis seized control of the country a year after Hitler's rize to power (1934). He ruled as a dictator and dissolved the Saeima (parliament). There were political arrestts, including Communists and Fascists. Ulmanis censorsed the press. One consequence of this was that many Latvians were poorly informed of the growing danger from both the Soviets and Germans. Economic policies included Latvianization, mening largely the break up of large German-owned estates. Ulmanis was not, however, a Fasist or NAZI sympthizer. He supressed the Baltischer Brudebund, a political group that achieved some influence among ethnic Germans in Latvia. This was a NSI-affliated organization which demanded that Latvia be incorpated into the Reich. Ulmanis became president (1936). He persued economic policies that brought the country out of the Depression. Ulmanis did not, however, give any major attention to military modernizaion leaving the country virtually undefended. Ulmanis and other Latvian leaders were unable to decided on whether it was the NAZIs or Soviet Unin that most threatened Latvan indendence making it difficult to persue a coherent defense strategy. [Lumans] There were also Communists in Latvia. Peteris Kuzeris lead a batallion of volunteers fighting with he Republic in Spain (1936). Stalin honored his service with the Order of Lenin (1937). Only a few months later the NKVD arrested him in Moscow durng the Great Terror. He was tried as a spy, sentenced, and shot. As Europe moved toward war, Latvia desired nothing more than to be 'left alone to follow its own destiny'. [Lumans] Wedged between Germany and the Soviet Union, however, Latvia as an accident of geography was caught in the middle of the most destructive war in history. The people of Latvia would pay a heavy price.

NAZI-Soviet Pact (August 1939)

NAZI Germany and the Soviet Union shocked the world by signing an alliance Pact (August 23, 1939). This essentially gave Hitler a free hand to invade Poland, thus launching World War II (September 1). Stalin had an even freer hand because there were no signoficant molitatry porrs in the East to oppose him and the massive Red Army. The NAZI-Soviet Pact carved up Eastern Europe, prtitioning Europe between the two totalitarian giants. Latvia like the othr Baltic Republics were to be in the Soviet sphere of influence, although the the NAZIs and Soviets soon began squabbling over the spoils.

NAZI Invasion of Poland (September 1, 1939)

The NAZIs launched their invasion of Poland (September 1). Britain and France demanded that the Germans withdeaw and when they refused, declared war (September 3). The Germans more than any other military, correctly assessed the lessons of World War II. The War in Europe began in 1939 when the German blitzkrieg smashed Poland in only a few weeks. The invasion was made possible the preceeding week when Stalin signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler. The Panzers crossed the Polish frontier on September 1 along with a devestating strike by the Luftwaffe. The Polish Army and Air Force was shattered. Over 1 million German soldiers surged into Poland. Hitler emerged from the Reich Chancellery in a new grey uniform with his World War I Iron Cross. In a speech at the Reichstag before cheering NAZIs he declared, "I myself am today, and will be from now on, nothing but the soldier of the German Reich." Whithin 6 days Cracow, the center of Polish nationhood, fell. Pincer movements began on September 9 to encirle the major remaining Polish forces. Once certain of Polish defeat, Stalin ordered the Red Army to attack from the East. German and Russian forces met at Brest-Litovsk on September 18. Warsaw fell a few days later after a ruthless bombing assault. The Blitzkrieg tactics that were to prove so devestaing in the West during 1940 were all on display in 1939. Neither the British or French showed much attention, abscribing Polish defeat to military incompetance. The French had promissed the Poles an offensive in the West. It never came. [Fest, pp. 602-603.]

NAZI-Soviet Diplomacy

Latvians attempted to remai neutral after the NAZIs and Soviets attacked Poland. As part of the Secret Codicil off the NAZI-Soviet Pact, Latvia fell into the ic==vierbzone of Eastern Europe. After the successful invasion of Poland, NAZI and Soviet diplomats in Moscow hammered out a more detailed agreement over Eastern Europe and economic cooperation (September 27). Further NAZI-Soviet negotiations also shifted Lithuania to the Spviet sphere. Here Hitler was willing to acede to Stalin, because he was already conceiving an invasion of the Soviet Union in the not all to distant future. Stalin targeted the Baltics because as a former part of the Russian Empire, he wanted to make it a part of the Soviet Union. Before the Soviets could seize control, Hitler ordered the ethnic Germans in Latvia and the other Baltic states 'Home to the Reich'. Latvia also signed a repatriation treaty with the NAZIs covering the return of 60,000 Baltic Germans.

Soviet Annexation of Latvia (June 1940)

After the outbreak of World War II (September 1939) Latvia was in an impossible position. The NAZI defeat of Poland destroyed the only buffer in the region. Unbeknownst at the time, the NAZI-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact had assigned Latvia and the other Baltic Republics to the Soviets. The Soviets immediatelt began making demands on the Latvian Government. Latvia was forced to sign a 10-year mutual assistance treaty leasing Latvian bases to the Soviet Union (October 5, 1939). The treaty allowed the Soviets to garison Latvia with 30,000 troops. After Hitler called the Baltic Germans home to the Reich, Latvia also signed a repatriation treaty with the NAZIs covering the return of 60,000 Baltic Germans. After two decades of independence, Lativia was invaded first by the Soviet Union. The fall of France appears to have been the immediate cause of Soviet action. The Soviets accused the Latvians of colluding with the Estonians to form an anti-Soviet alliance. The Soviets demanded the establishment of a pro-Soviet Givernment and permission to garrison additional Soviet military forces in the country. Before the Latvian Government could react, the Soviet Union occupied the country (June 17, 1940). The Soviets then staged a closely supervised election which resulted in a Cimmunist Government. The new Goverment proceeded to Sovitize the Latvian Government and military. The newly elected parliament petition the Soviet Goverment for admitance to the Soviet Union (July 21) which was granted (August 5). Many Latvians were arrested. Quite a nunber were executed. Others were received sentences of 10 and 25 years under under Article 58 Section 2 of the Soviet criminal code. [Solzhenitsyn, p. 62.] Few in 1940 were involved in armed rebellion.

Barbarossa (June 1941)

The Battle of Britain in many ways changed the course of the War. An invasion of Britain was impossible without air superiority. Hitler, fearing a cross-Channel invasion, decided that the only way to force the British to seek terms was to destroy the Soviet Union. He began shifting the Wehrmacht eastward to face the enemy that he had longed to fight from the onset--Soviet Russia. The nature of the War changed decisevely in the second half of 1941. The Germans invaded the Soviet Union, launching the most sweeping military campaign in history (June 1941). It is estimated that on the eve of battle, 6.25 million men faced each other in the East. The Soviets were surprised and devestated. Stalin ignored warnings from the British who as a result of Ultra had details on the German preparations. Stalin was convinced that they were trying to draw him into the War and until the actual attack could not believe that Hitle would attack him. The attack was an enormous tactical success. The Soviets were surprised and devestated. The Soviet Air Force was destoyed, largely on the ground. The Germans captured 3.8 million Soviet soldiers in the first few months of the campaign. No not knowing the true size of the Red Army, they thought they had essentally won the War. German columns seized the major cities of western Russia and drove toward Leningrad and Moscow. But here the Soviets held. The Japanese decission to strike America, allowed the Sovierts to shift Siberian reserves and in December 1941 launch a winter offensive stopping the Whermacht at the gates of Moscow--inflicting irreplaceable losses. The army that invaded the Soviet Union had by January 1942 lost a quarter of its strength. Hitler on December 11 declared war on America--the only country he ever formally declared war on. In an impassioned speech, he complained of a long list of violations of neutality and actual acts of war. [Domarus, pp. 1804-08.] The list was actually fairly accurate. His conclusion, however, that actual American entry into the War would make little difference proved to a diasterous miscalculation. The Germans who months before had faced only a battered, but unbowed Britain now was locked into mortal combat with the two most powerful nations of the world. The British now had the allies that made a German and Japanese victory virtually impossible. After the Russian offensive of December 1941 and apauling German losses--skeptics began to appear and were give the derisory term " Gröfaz ".

NAZI Occupation of Latvia (June-July 1941)

The Wehrmscht's Army Group North (AGN) was part of Barbrossa's three prong assault on the Soviet Union. AGN drove into Lithuania at the onset of Barbarossa. Its orders were to drive through the former Baltic Republics and the major cities of Russian SFSR (Pskov and Novgorod). Lenningrad was the ultimate objective. AGN was composed of the 16th and 18th Armies and 4th Panzer Group. AGN penetrated Lithuania in only a fews days and was soon in Riga. The Germans reached Riga (July 1). The battle soon passed to the east where the front line became stabilized around Lenningrad. Many Latvians because of repessive Soviet rule greeted the Germans as liberators. Latvians hoped that they would be able to reinstitute an independent republic, but the NAZIs planned to allow no such thing. Latvia became part of the NAZI Reichskommissariat Ostland. The NAZIs made Riga the capital of Ostland. The Holocaust began almost immediately after the Germans seized control, although Latvia had a smaller Jewish pooukatiin than Lithuania and Poland. The NAZI also planned to murder the Latvian people as part of Generalplan Ost, but held back until the Red Army was destroyed.

Public Reaction

The Latvians as in the other Baltic countries traditionally viewed the Germans and Russians as occupiers although these sentiments only crystalized with thedevelooment of Lstvian nationalist sentiment in the 19th century. While Tsarist Russia ruled Latvia in the 19th century, a German nobility controlled many of the landed estates which were worked by Latvian peasants. The Germans occupied Latvia during World War I, but German plans for the Baltics were shjort circuited by the Allied victory in the West. Resentment toward the Germans declined after the fornmationn of an indepenbdent Latvian state and a land reform program. On the other hanhd, resentment toward the Soviets grew. The Latvians had to fight the Bolsheviks for their independence. And NKVD actions during the Soviet occupation (1940-41) decided turned the Latvian people against the Soviet Union. As a result, with the onset of Barbarossa (June 1941), the arrival of Germans forces was accompanied with great joy. It is difficult to quantify this, but there is no doubt that the overwealming number of Latvians at first saw the Germans as liberators. One observer writes, " Such real sympathies as the Germans met in the Baltic countries immediately after their conquest had certainly not come their way since Hitler's assumption of power. No one could mistake the spontaneity of these heartfelt feelings." That is not entirely true, the sanme occurred in the Saarland, Rhineland, and Austria, but these were German peoples. The Balts were non-Germans who enthusiastically welcomed the advancing German Army--not understnading what the Germans planned for them.. Some historians use figures like 95 percent of the population. This same reaction was also seen in Lithuania and Estonia. And further north the Finns joined the Germans as co-beligerants.

Generalplan Ost

The Latvians and other Balts received the Germans as liberators when they first arrived. This was a reaction to the brutality of the Soviet NKVD, the arrests, executions, and transports of many Latvians (1940-41). Many Latvians assumed that the Germans wewr going to restore their independence. This of course was not to be. The Germans began killing Jews immediately, and not secreeyl\y in isolated campso\ps, but openly in full view oif the Latvian people. Some Latts even participated, not giving any thought that they might be the next victims. The Germans did not begin arresting other Latvians in any number--except a few political leaders who tried to restablish an independent government. Totally unknown to the Balts was that that the Germans were no only going to rule their countries, but were going to murder half of the population, many more people that the Soviets had targeted. The Soviet actioins in Latvia were bad enough, what the Germans planned was an atrocity beyond human comprehension. And it is all documented in Genealplan Ost. The German planned to eliminate (essentially kill) 50 percent of the Latvian population. This was because they assessed the Latvians to have sunstantial valuable geneticv mateial. They planned to eliminate 85 percnt of the Lithuanian population. The Germans wee unable to execute Generalplan Ost except for some preliminary steps because the Soviet Red Army did not collapse as anticipated. They not only held before Moscow, but staged a massive winter counter-offensive. As a result, rather than having a free hand to kill people in the tens of millions, the Gernas had to recruit people that they planned to kill to help fight the Red Army.

Latvian Soldiers

The Soviets disbanned the Latvian Army (June 1940). Many officers were arrested and deported. With the German invasion, Latvian soldiers fought both with the Red Army and with various German formations. The major combat formation fighting with the Germans was the Latvian Legion, a Waffen-SS unit.

The Holocaust (July-December 1941)

The holocaust in Latvia began with the NAZI invasion of the Soviet Union. Within days the Wehrmacht swept through Lithiania and reached Latvia. Both Germans and Latvians participated in the murder of Jews. Many of the The Latvian Jews were killed before the NAZI death camps in Poland were opened. Jews at Rumbula were killed November 30, 1941. The Jews in Riga were killed December 8, 1941. The SS Einsatzgruppen entered Latvia with clear orders to kill as many Jews as possible. Einsatzgruppe A commanded by Brigadefuhrer Walther Stahlecker entered Latvia. In Latvia the Einheimische (locals) playeda major role in the killing. Heydrich ordered Stahlecker to instigate local pogroms, this desguised the NAZI holocaust as local actions against Jews and Bolsheviks. After the pogrom policy failed to produce the desired results, the NAZIs took more direct measures. The Arajs SD Commando was organized by Brigadefuhrer Stahlecker to kill Jews. Numerous other Latvian auxiliary police units also played a role. Most of the Latvian Jews were killed by the Arajs unit. Not all NAZI government agncies had identical plans for the Jews of the Soviet Union. Reichskommissar of the Ostland, Hinrich Lohse ordered Jews to be concentrated and used for slav labor. Stahlecker and the Einsatzgruppen began killing Jews in lage numbers as soon as they entered the Soviet Union whivch included the Soviet occupied Baltics.

Fighting in Latvia (1944-45)

The NAZI conquest of Lithuania and Latvia was accomplished within little more than a week (June 1941). . After a year of Soviet repressipn, many latvians welcomed the Latvians as liberators. TGhe fighting very quickly moved east and war damage was limited. The Red Army in Latvia was more interested in retreating east than fighting the Germans. Thus very little fighting occurred in Latvia for over 3 years. Fighting in 1943 was mostly in the south (the Ukraine). With the destruction of Army Group South, the Red Army could focus on Army Group North (AGN) and Army Group Center (AGC). AGS was the strongest German formation. The Soviets finally lifted the NAZI siege of Leningrad. This opened of the drive west in the north. This mean the reconquest of Belarus and the Baktics. The Red Army began to enter the Baltics (summer 1944). Large numbers of Germnans were cut off in the Courkand Pockedt. Large numbers of Latvians, something like 0.2 million, stramed west as refuf=gees toward the Reich. Most departed by ship along with any German civilians and wounded POWs. And this time the fighting would not quickly pass through.

Battle of Narva (April 1944)

The Soviets sought to divide AGN and AGC. AGN was locked in the Battle of Narva as the Red Army fovused on Estonia. The Soviet Narva Offensive (July 1944) led to the capture of the city., German forces retreated to their prepared Tannenberg Defence Line in the Sinimäed Hills, 16 kilometres from Narva. The River Narwa proved a formidable defensive position. The Germans held steady in the Battle of Tannenberg Line. The main Soviet strategic goals at this point was seizing Estonia which would be a useful base for air and sea attackson Finland and an invasion of East Prussia. They were notbsucessful. The Germans stoped the penetration ibyo the Balrics for several months. The Soviet advance threatened to cut off AGN in the Kurland pocket which would have succeeded in separaring AGN and AGC. The Germans commited the Panzers of Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz to defend Riga. They stopped the Russian advance in a fierce battle (April 1944). It proved, hpwever, to be only a temporary respite.

Operation Bragation (June-July 1944)

The principal Soviet offensive during 1944 was Operation Bagration and it was aimed at AGC (June-July 1944). It was timed to ensure that Wehrmcht OKW could not transfer forces west to deal with the Allied Normany landings. Army Group Center (AGC) was the largest formation in the Whermacht. Army Group South had been shattered by Soviet offences (1943-44). AGC braced for a Red Army offensive, but had no idea of the powerful forces that the Soviets had mustered or their level of mobility. American Lend Lease had provided the Red Army enormous quantities of Studabaker trucks. This gave them vastly increased mobility and a degree of mobility that the Wehrmacht never had even at the height of its power. Thus AGC was not prepared for the Soviet blow when it came. The Red Army shattered AGC and with the Allied landings in France and subsquent offensive, the Wehrmacht was no longer capable of defending the Reich. Bragation not only opened Poland to the Red Army, but also Latvia and Lithuania. Strachwitz had been needed elsewhere, by the hard-pressed Germans and was soon back to acting as a fire brigade. As the Soviet Bragation offensive pressed west, Strachwitz's Panzerverband was divided (late-July). The Soviets next resumed their effort to divide AGN from what was left of AGC.

Battle of Kurland

The Soviets launched a massive offensive, completely penrtrating the weakened German lines. This finally separated AGN from AGC. The Germans would never again have a unifoed Eastern Front. AGN was thus trapped in the Kurland pocket. Kurland is essentially yhe Latvian Peninsula. Strachwitz was left outside the pocket and Panzerverband von Strachwitz was reformed, reinforced from elements of the 101st Panzer Brigade of panzer-ace Oberst Meinrad von Lauchert and the newly formed SS Panzer Brigade Gross under SS-Sturmbannführer Gross. StuG IIIs of the Hermann von Salza was trapped within the pocket. The remaining Jähde's Tigers were formed into another Kampfgruppe to restablish contact with German lines. The Germans nmmed this effort Doppelkopf (Operation Doppelkopf) and launched the attack (August 19). The Germans briught in the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen to support the attack with its 380mm guns. (Prinz Eugen was the ship which had accompanied Bismarck.) The heavy guns managed to 48 T-34 tanks which were assembling in the square at Tukums for an attack. Strachwitz and the Nordland remnants managed to make contact (August 21).

Kurland pocket

Operation Doppelkopf was never conceived as a breakout, but only to restablish contact with German lines. Commanders attempted to convince Hitler to evacuate Kurland, but he adamently refused. Rather 101.Panzerbrigade was assigned to Armee-Abt Narwa, which increased the Kurland defenders armored strength. The Wehrmact did not, however, have the strength to maintain that contact. About 0.2 million German soldiers were eventually trapped in the Kurland pocket. They were cut off from the Reich with their backs to the Baltic. It was a senseless act on Hitler's part. These men could have been valuably deployed in the defense of the Reich. Famed Panzer commander, Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, who Hitler had brought back from retirement to head the German General Staff argued that the men in the Kurland pocket should be evacuated by sea and deployed in the defense of the Reich. Hitler rejected all such advise. He ordered the Courland pocket to hold out. He somehow believed it necessary at this late point in the war to protect German submarine bases along the Baltic coast. Isolated in Kurland without oil and other supplies they could exert little pressure on the Soviets. He did allow the evacuation of some civilians (mostly women and children) by sea. Among the evacuees were a small number of Jewish survivors from the Holocaust. The Soviets focused thier strength on the drive west into East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania, and finally Berlin. And because of Hitler's decessions, the Wehrmacht no longer had the strenhth to defend Berlin. Instead it had to rely on the Volksstrum. OKW formed Heeresgruppe Kurland (Army Group Courland for the final defense of the Kurland pocket (January 15, 1945). Colonel-General Dr. Lothar Rendulic commanded the defenders. Army Group Courland (including divisions such as the Latvian Freiwiliger SS Legion) defended Kurland until the end of the War. Colonel-General Carl Hilpert, Army Group Courland's last commander surrendered to Marshal Leonid Govorov (May 8, 1945). He surrendered 31 divisions, nost badly weakened. More than 0.2 million men began moving into Soviet prison camps (May 9). Shockingly few would ever return to Germsny.


The Soviet drive into the Baltics led to a mass of Latvians turned into refugees and fled West. There is no exact accounting, but probably some 0.2 million fled west toward the Reich. That was about 10 percent of the pre-War population of aboutb2 millionnpeople. The population was also reduced by NAZI killing programs and Soviet arrests and deportations. Having experienced Soviet occupation once (1940-41), Latvians had a good idea what would happen when the Red Arny returned. A lot of the refugees were educated middle-class people. But there were also Latvian peasants, many of whom pwbed land that left. The NKVD not only targeted groups like middle-class and land owners, but had orders to furthr reduce the Latvian ethnic population. Latvians were afraid of were afraid of further repressions. They had no reason to think that Soviet begaviir had changed for the better. There were Latvians that cooperated with the Germans, but it was not all a matter of having worked with the NAZIs that drive the refugees to the Reich. The problem as there was no where else to go. Most of the refugees fled by sea. The German ships landed the refugess and wpinded German civilians in Danzig. Thus after the War, many Latvians were located in the displaced person (DP) camps. This included Lativians the nNAZIs had rounded up for war work. Most did not want to return to a Communist Latvia. As it turned out, the NKVD looked susoiously at any who dis returrn, The Soviets did not trust the Latvians and other Balts so during the Sovier era, Russian emigratiin was encouraged. The Soviets were especially distrustful of Latvians who had fled to Western countries. They were seen as anti-Communists hich was basically true. As a result, there were strict limitations and contacts with relatives in the West were closely monitored.

Forest Brothers Resistance

Some of the German soldiers manage to avoid Soviet imprisonment and joined the Forest Brothers Resistance to wage guerilla warfare against the Siviets.

Yalta and Potsdam

The Soviets treated Lithuania as an integral part of the Soviet Union. The United States and Britain, however, did not recognize this, although they were powerless to prevent the Soviet annexation. The Allies primary concern was Poland with had first confronted the NAZI menace. It was the Red Army that hadctorn the heart out of the NAZI- war machine on the Eastern Friont. And with the Red Army occupying Poland there was little the Allies could do, but extract and unengorcea ble plege from Stalin to nhold frmocratic elections. Failing to save Poland from Soviet dictatorship. America and Britain had little chance of effectively aiding Latvia. Stalin resumed represion of the Baltics and Poland after the War, but not nearly as brutally as what he had ordered earrlier (1939-41). Thevreason for this is not known.


Fest, Joachum. Hitler (Vintage: New York, 1974), 844p.

Lumans, Valdis O. Latvia in World War II.

Solzhenitsyn. Gulag Archipelago.


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Created: 8:04 PM 9/12/2008
Last updated: 3:03 AM 11/27/2019