When thousands of people came together in 1991 to protect the newly independent Republic of Latvia from the Soviet forces some people spent a short time at the barricades, and some stayed a month. LSM.lv interviewed five patriotic participants.
On 19 January 2020, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the Ministerial Conference of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in Brussels.
A trove of historical artifacts has been found in the basement sand and debris of the formerly famous Madame Hoyer Hotel in Liepāja, which is undergoing renovations and will eventually become a 17th-19th century historic interior museum, according to a Latvian Radio broadcast and LTV’s culture news broadcast “Kultūras ziņas” on January 10.
A new collection of essays by 13 researchers from seven different countries discussing the significance of medieval Livonia were written as the result of an international conference in 2017, that was part of a National Library and University of Latvia project in honor of the Latvian centenary, according to a Latvian Radio broadcast on January 11.
80 years ago on December 15, 1939, the 700-year ethnic German minority effectively disappeared from Latvia after around 80% of the community repatriated back to Germany, LSM.lv wrote on December 15.
Illegal excavation at archeological sites (sometimes referred to as "black archeology") is one of the greatest threats to the preservation and protection of cultural heritage objects, and Latvian Radio reported on December 10 that police have seized around 4,000 of these objects over the past three years.
November 30, 2019 will mark 78 years since the biggest mass murder of civilians in the history of Latvia when around 25,000 Latvian Jews were killed in the Rumbula forest near Rīga during a two-day-long Holocaust atrocity.
Carbon dating of an item in the collection of the National History Museum of Latvia has thrown up a surprise with a small boat recovered from a swamp turning out to be far more ancient than initially thought, reported Latvian Radio November 18.
Latvia is in celebratory mood November 18 on the occasion of its independence day, with ceremonies, events and parties planned to mark 101 years since the proclamation of the independent Latvian state on November 18, 1918.
On 14 November 2019, to mark the 101st anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted an event at which the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, handed over to the Museum of Literature and Music a letter of gratitude presented in 1923 to the French composer Vincent d’Indy by the Latvian literary and artistic community in appreciation of his masterful conducting at several concerts at the Latvian National Opera.
Memorial services and other ceremonies are taking place across Latvia November 11 to remember those who have fallen in defense of the Latvian nation and its freedoms.
On 9 November 2019 in Berlin, at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Heiko Maas, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, together with his counterparts from the Baltics and other European Union Member States, took part in events to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Latvia's postal service reveals a special edition stamp November 8 commemorating the battle for Rīga in 1919.
It's one hundred years since crucial battles put the fledgling Latvian state on a firmer footing, and to mark the occasion the Latvian National History Museum is staging an exhibition that tells the tales of winners of the Order of Lāčplēsis, a military award established to honor those who showed outstanding bravery in the independence struggles.
The next week marks one hundred years since the Bermondt battles, which concluded with the liberation of Riga on November 11, 1919.
A new exhibit has been unveiled at the National History Museum of Latvia (LNVM). The “11 Heroic Stories” exhibit is dedicated to the military Order of Lāčplēsis, which turns 100 this year. Exhibit attendees will be able to see the history of how the military award was created, testimonies about presenting the award and learn about the cavaliers who were highly respected members of society during the first era of independence.
A new exhibition at the Latvian National Library opened October 16, which tells of the involvement of the United Kingdom in supporting Latvia's path to independence.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem has written to Latvia's ambassador in Israel to express its "shock and indignation" at comments made by Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks.
September 28 marked the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Estonia ferry disaster, which claimed more than 800 lives in the Baltic Sea, most of them Swedes and Estonians.
On September 27, 1919 the Polish army attacked the outskirts of Daugavpils, eastern Latvia, with the goal of overtaking the Grīva bridge fortifications and the city itself should there be the chance. The battle for Daugavpils was among the most bloody during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920) and it was the only battle in the war where tanks participated alongside regular units.
A hundred years ago, on September 21, 1919 the German army general Rüdiger von der Goltz as well as self-styled prince Pavel Bermondt-Avalov, the commander of the West Russian Volunteer Army, concluded a secret pact that foresaw the transfer of German army units to the Russian army. Meanwhile Bermondt agreed to submit to the pro-German military council, or government, of Western Russia that had been set up in Berlin. This marked the start of another episode in von der Goltz's affair undertaken against the Republic of Latvia and its provisional government.
German historian Michael North has written one of the best general histories of the Baltic region, titled appropriately enough The Baltic: A History and first published in 2015. He is Professor and Chair of Modern History at the University of Greifswald, Germany and has produced numerous papers, publications and books about the Baltic region.
A hundred years ago, on September 11, 1919 the Latvian government received a telegram from Georgy Chicherin, People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs in the Soviet government, with an offer to conclude a peace treaty. Such offers were sent to the Lithuanian and Finnish governments as well, while Estonia had received such an offer as early as August 31.
Renovation work is underway at Hāmaņa Muiža (Hamann Manor), a magnificent wooden manor house from the eighteenth century that has suffered decades of neglect and abuse.
Former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, one of the region's most renowned and respected diplomats, was in Rīga on August 22 to attend a conference dedicated to the Baltic Way.
August 23, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way – the day in 1989 when Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians joined hands, forming a live human chain from Tallinn to Vilnius via Rīga to protest the Soviet occupation of their countries, which resulted from the signing of the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop pact on August 23, 1939. They called for the renewed independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – a goal that, incredibly, was achieved within two years.
When the Baltic Way took place 30 years ago, it was in a world without the internet, email and social media where the cutting edge of communications technology was the fax machine, which itself was put to brilliant use to spread the word as this famous document from the time demonstrates.
Jonathan Steele is a distinguished former foreign correspondent with the British daily newspaper The Guardian, and remains a contributor to this day.
This week sees a large number of events taking place dedicated to the Baltic Way, an extraordinary piece of non-violent resistance on August 23, 1989, that saw Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians join hands all the way from Vilnius to Tallinn via Rīga to call for the restoration of their independence.