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Latvia: Year of Horror


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Subjected to Bolshevism by force, the Latvians were coerced to take upon themselves "the fulfillment of proud duty to the motherland -- the Soviet Union." Latvian youths were doomed to be recruited into the Red Army. A sign at the registration office proclaimed: "We stand for peace, but we are able to respond to the blows of warmongers."

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At a colourfully decorated Red Army recruitment office Communist agents lectured recruits on how dangerous to the Soviet Union was the "capitalist siege". [below] At one time, even the Baltic States [with a combined population of fewer than 5-million!] "threatened" the borders of the USSR. It was no secret that the Soviet Union, while professing peace, was secretly preparing for war. The Baltic States offered a favourable base for an attack on Germany, and now -- in an irony of fate -- it came the turn of Baltic youths to hand over their lives to the hated Bolshevik occupiers.

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Political instruction lecture to recruits.

Youth entertainment in Pioneer House hall

Special attention was paid to Latvian youth. They had to become "true Bolsheviks". Pioneer -- young communist -- units were formed. MOPRA, a Red assistance organization was legalized. The Komsomol (Young Communist League) was organized, with the goal of preparing future candidates for the Communist Party.

Tensions existed in classrooms. If any of the the pupils did not join the Pioneers, the communist educators considered their parents to be enemies of the socialist state. To be an "enemy of the state" was to put oneself in grave danger.

With clenched teeth, many parents suppressed their opinions and silently observed their children joining the bearers of "New Culture".

The historical Riga Castle was renamed the Pioneer Castle. While children in their innocent naivete enjoyed their youthful pleasures, their fathers disappeared from their homes, from their places of employment often without a trace. For silent were the corridors of the CHEKA (the NKVD or Soviet Security Police). There was silence behind the closed doors of the prison cells. Silent were the employees of the CHEKA and the guards, and silent too were the few who, by a miracle, were able to return from the CHEKA prisons to civilian life.

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A corridor of the CHEKA prison.

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The communists focussed all the skill and ability of their propaganda machine on unending demonstrations, complete with blaring signs and chanted slogans. The motley colours, exaggerated sizes of signs, and the artificial and blaring volume and noise on the one hand sought to drown out the deep indignation, anger, despair and hatred hidden yet smouldering in the nation' and, on the other hand, sought to cover the misdeeds and outrages flowing from the commands and orders of the new conquerors.. In this respect, the May Day celebrations in Riga reached a pinnacle.

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1941, May Day rabble in Riga

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People, tired from endless marches, grew indifferent. Worn out from continual social competitions and long working hours, people grew indifferent to the outside world. The communists sought to demoralize the spirit of the Latvian nation and strangle it.

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