'Nyet nyet Soviet' exhibit opens in Rīga

“Nyet nyet Soviet!” was one of the most popular slogans used once by exiled Latvians in protest against the occupation of the Baltic States. On the day of the restoration of Latvia's independence, May 4, an exhibition of the same name has been opened at the Railway History Museum, Rīga.

The exhibition is the story of how the exiled Latvians kept alive the idea of independence and freedom of Latvia throughout the occupation years.

“Gathering, going to demonstrations and protests. And constantly recalling these 46 years that Latvia is illegally occupied and that the Baltic States are incorporated into the Soviet Union. We have to talk about this, we have to remind of this, because Latvia needs to be free,” said Ieva Vītola, curator of the exhibition “Nyet, nyet, Soviet!”.

The exhibition shows the experience of Latvian exile demonstrations, as well as provide practical advice on how to prepare and behave during the protests.

A Chrysler Valiant car now at the museum belonged to an American Latvian, the main hero of the film Valiant! A Trip to a Free Latvia, Juris Bļodnieks. In the 1980s, he and other young people used it in various protests against the occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union.

"I repainted it yellow and then painted it with anti-Soviet slogans, because it was very important at the time to show America, show elsewhere about Latvia, and about the problem of Latvia, namely the Soviet occupation. We had a sickle and a hammer, here crossed out in red. In the front was Gorbachev's head, also crossed," said Bļodnieks.

Exhibit “Nyet nyet Soviet!” will be open at the Railway Museum until July 23. The film Valiant! A Trip to a Free Latvia can be viewed on replay.lsm.lv for two weeks. 

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