Documentary examines the coup d'etat of 1934

Latvian Television has produced a new episode of its documentary series "The Keys", complete with English-language subtitles.

The latest episode centers on May 15, 1934, the date upon which Latvia changed from the path of parliamentary democracy towards authoritarian dictatorship.

In just 15 minutes the documentary gives a good account of the complex situation that led to the coup d'etat, and ramifications which even those instigating the plot could barely have imagined over the decades to come. Even today it is not unusual to find people who view the coup as a necessary and successful measure as well as those who view it as the day the country made a dreadful error for which is would pay a heavy price.

The show pays particular attention to the actions - or rather the inactions - of President Alberts Kviesis whose passivity enabled the rapid completion and legitimization of the coup. As the documentary reveals, this was not even the lowest point of his political career.

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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