New Cheka exhibit on display at 'Corner House' in Rīga

On April 18, a new exhibition dedicated to the resistance movement "National Guard/Nacionālā sardze" and its leader Jūlijs Bračs will open at the Occupation museum's branch in the former KGB building ('Corner House'), Latvian Radio reports.

The organization "Nacionālā sardze" was founded at the end of 1941. It was mainly made up of patriotic young people who, after the retreat of the Red Army, collected and studied documents hastily left behind in the Cheka headquarters. They collected evidence of repression and crimes committed by the Cheka.

With the second Soviet occupation, members of the organization went into exile, taking some of the documents with them. After Latvia regained its independence, the documents were placed in the collection of the Latvian Museum of Occupation. A small part of them will be on display at the exhibition in the Corner House.

The exhibition dedicated to the "National Guard" is the second one at the Corner House by Viktorija Piven, a historian from Kharkiv, Ukraine.

"It is symbolic that we are opening the exhibition in this very place, where the organization had its origins. The exhibition starts with the story of the leader of the organization, Jūlijs Bračs. We see photographs, publications, and letters that reflect his activities in Latvia and in exile."

The exhibition then presents the activities of the "Nacionālā sardze". Documents show that they studied a wide range of Cheka materials, interrogation protocols, and files on people who had been abducted and murdered. They also collected testimonies from people living near the Cheka building about what they had observed and documented writings left on the walls by prisoners in the Cheka cellars. The documents are in several languages. 

Anti-Soviet materials and posters are also seen, as well as photos of the KGB building during Soviet times.

The exhibition is open at the Corner House branch of the Occupation museum, Brīvības Street 61, 10:30 – 17:30 every day.


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