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Latvia: Year of Horror


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Persuasion at home

January 12, 1941 was a day when Latvians were compelled to do what they did not want to -- to vote for the deputies of the U.S.S.R. Higher Council (the Soviet "parliament" where, of course, there would be only one name, a communist, on the ballot). In addition to existing methods of driving out the voters, the Bolsheviks invented a new one, so-called "persuasion at home."

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View of one election meeting for the U.S.S.R. Higher Council

Bolshevik agents visited individual flats and apartments, then ordered in all residents to assemble in order to convince and explain to them the significance of the elections. When this method was not suitable, it was replaced by meetings in factories and at work, where the only visitors often were housewives and children.

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Elections generally, under communism, one of the most underhanded and falsified methods of gauging the people's will and conviction, on this occasion were engineered especially carefully. Everyone had to verify in advance that his name was on the register of the electorate. It was obligatory to vote. If one lacked the stamp in one's identity documents indicating that one had voted, one was liable to the risk of being classified as a "saboteur".

On January 8th, 1941, the newspaper Cima wrote: "Who wishes the Latvian nation (!) the fortune of peaceful life, the joy of labour and new creation, the conviction of safety for self and family, and welfare for the nation, shall vote for the Bolshevik Party, for the candidate of the communistic and independent bloc." But there were no other candidates.! It was not possible to abstain. The inevitable results were clear!

What was not clear was to what extent this farce would ensure the safety of the Latvian nation and its families.

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One of the "volunteers" votes.

A few months passed and the mask of hypocrisy began to drop. The malignant, bloodthirsty cynical face of Bolshevism was revealed. There was no longer any need to hide. All the harm that could be inflicted on the live flesh of the nation had been done. The nation was disarmed, morally degraded, and blindly subjugated. Now could begin the preparations for annihilation. The will of the nation was again falsified. The workers "demanded death" for the so-called "murderers", those police officers who, while on duty during the Soviet invasion of June 17, 1940, had mainained order in the streets against the Bolshevik mobs.

These "workers' resolutions" occurred in the followinf manner. When workers announced that their desire to do certain assignments at the rate of "shock tempo" or when they "unanimously demanded the highest degree of punishment for the bloodthirsty [police] hounds", the procedure was always the same. A representative from the Party or the Union arrived at the factory with a prepared resolution, read it aloud at a meeting of workers and asked if anyone opposed it. People who had seen relatives and friends arrested on the slimmest of suspicion, grimly stayed silent. This meant the resolutrion was "passed unanimously!"

It is tyrannical to murder, but at worse is it to press a knife in the hand of one nation against its will for the purpose of killing its own countrymen. That was how the Bolsheviks acted. Their sadism took a form and there is not one more despicable: their method of falsifying a nation's will revealed a degree of callousness that few will want to forgive or forget.


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