Video: Khrushchev's 'thaw' and its effect on Latvia

Take note – story published 4 years and 2 months ago

The Atslēgas (Keys) documentary strand has another offering available to view online with English subtitles. 

This episode takes a look at the year 1956. Following Stalin's death in 1953, the Soviet Union experiences a "thaw" of sorts under Nikita Khrushchev. The results were far reaching in every sense, and the documentary traces some of the repurcussions on both sides of Soviet territory, from occupied Latvia to the Gulag camps of Siberia in which thousands of people from the Baltic states were imprisoned.

While many got to return home as a result of Khrushchev's decisions and the particular tower blocks bearing his name are part of the Latvian urban landscape to this day, in the end Kruschev himself was deposed and the gray Soviet orthodoxy of the Brezhnev era was imposed.

According to LTV "The Keys" series tells of the most important or "key" events, personalities and turning points in the history of the Latvian state from 1918 to the present. The purpose is to reveal each selected event from an unusual point of view, as if "unlocking the door" to lesser known and therefore particularly intriguing facts. 

"Such an exploratory approach, bypassing the usual stereotypes of presenting history, will allow viewers to perceive what is known to others and to better understand what has happened in the context of today's experience," says LTV.

Throughout the year, Latvian history will be told in 'mixed order' - events will not be sequenced year by year, but viewed in the exact month in which they occurred

The show is made by VFS Films, a long-time partner of Latvian Television and it is hosted by Mārtiņš Ķibilds, a distinguished cultural journalist who sadly passed away late last year.


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