A councilwoman at the Strenči Municipality has found a songbook that, in all likelihood, belonged to a Latvian exiled in Siberia by the Soviet occupation, reported Latvian Radio June 17.
A newly-published book outlines Latvia's rich collection of Art Nouveau or Jugendstil buildings, including many notable sites outside central Rīga that are often overlooked.
This is the first article in a series of culture- and history-related pieces appearing in the Centenary magazine and on the Satori.lv culture portal. This time, political scientist Roberts Rasums examines the complex role German forces played in the Latvian War of Independence a hundred years ago.
Politicians from Latvia's ruling coalition said they were in agreement June 4 that the Latvian archives of the former Soviet security service, the KGB, should be made public by the end of this year.
In late May, 1918 the 16th conference of the Latvian Social-Democracy was held in secret from the German occupying powers. The conference resulted with the party splitting into two. The so-called Mensheviks formed the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party, while the others kept on under the same name until, a little less than a year later, they renamed themselves the Communist Party of Latvia.
As the nascent Baltic states were fighting for their freedom, they nevertheless found time to draw borders. In 1919, the Ruhnu island, closer to Latvia than Estonia, was inhabited by Swedish seal hunters. Nevertheless, it fell to Estonian control.
A hundred years ago, there were a number of quite small Latvian parties apart from Latvian Social Democrats and Latvian Farmers Union. The tiny Democratic Party existed only until 1919, but it had a great role to play in the proclamation of Latvia's independence.
On May 9, the National Library of Latvia is holding a forum dedicated to the Latvian Worldwide Youth Congress, which was banned from taking place in West Berlin in 1968 by the Allied powers for fear of provoking the USSR, reports Latvian Radio.
Latvia's large Russian minority gathered in the capital Riga May 9 in large numbers to mark the end of World War II and the role of the Soviet Union in victory over Nazi Germany.
A conference about history is taking place at the Latvian National Library May 7.
The remains of 145 Red Army soldiers have been unearthed in Pampāļi, western Latvia during road works; it is thought there are more to be discovered. The soldiers had died during the Courland Pocket battles in World War II. The burial site is large and part of it goes underneath a local road, reported LTV April 23.
In spring 1988, the Iron Curtain was gradually lifting, and Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost policy paved way for attempts at democracy across the Soviet Union. Amid that atmosphere, a nationally significant event was held in Rīga: namely, the Miss Rīga 88 beauty pageant, the first such pageant in Latvia following the 1940 Soviet occupation, reports Latvian Radio.
On April 12, 1918 in Riga, a union of local, German-dominated land councils announced independence from Russia and declared a constitutional monarchy. The body (Der Vereinigte Landesrat für Livland, Estland, Ösel und Riga) set up a delegation which pleaded for recognition of the new United Baltic Duchy in Berlin.
German forces landed on the shores of southern Finland on April 3, 1918 to put an end to the Finnish Civil War that had raged for more than two years, with more than 40,000 perishing on both sides. It involved Rüdiger von der Goltz, a German general, whose wildly differing roles in the history of Latvia and Finland illustrate the complexities of history.
The Ķempji church in Līgatne, central Latvia, has had its glass panels restored, reported LTV April 2.
Among the many unwanted legacies of the Soviet occupation of Latvia are several ghost villages who once housed the outcasts of the Communist regime - people who for one reason or another were barred from living in Rīga.
Ceremonies were being held across Latvia March 25 in memory of the thousands of people deported to Siberia by occupying Soviet forces in 1949.
Latvia will gain a new square in the near future after Riga City Council on March 23 approved designating the open area around the iconic Freedom Monument "Freedom square" (Brīvības laukums)
The best-remembered Latvian politicians of the early 20th century come from the Bolsheviks (Pēteris Stučka, Jūlijs Daniševskis), the social democrats (Rainis, Fricis Menders, and Pauls Kalniņš), as well as nationalists like Kārlis Ulmanis, Jānis Čakste and Miķelis Valters. The conservatives, however, are less known, but nevertheless they were very much in the public eye in spring 1918, because the rest had gone underground or fled to Russia.
On March 8, 1918 the local Baltic German-dominated Kurländischer Landtag (state diet), in Jelgava, proclaimed the reinstatement of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. 123 years had passed since it annexed by the Russian Empire. Pro-German forces were trying to reanimate a state-like body closely related to the German Empire.
On February 28, 1918 the German forces took Gulbene, which housed the headquarters of the Russian 1st Army. This meant all of Latvia's territory was occupied by German forces, a state of affairs that would last for the next nine months.
Estonia's independence was declared on February 24, 1918, in Tallinn. The next day Estonia's independence drive was quashed by the invading Germans, who captured the city. Like Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia had to wait a further nine months to become fully independent.
Riga City Council City Development Committee on Monday, February 19, approved the naming of the territory around the iconic Freedom Monument as "Freedom square" (Brīvības laukums).
On February 16, 1918 Lithuania declared its renewed independence, which had been interrupted by Russia in 1795. The event took place in German-occupied Vilnius, and was the second declaration of independence within a few months. In a key difference from the declaration that had been adopted in 1917, which was dictated by the German powers, the February 16 document stipulated that Lithuania is fully independent both from Germany and Russia.
The Salaspils Memorial, a key location in the holocaust history of occupied Latvia has finally unveiled its new permanent exposition, which will tell visitors about the complicated history of the Salaspils camp and will allow them to learn more about the no less complex story of the creation of the memorial itself.
World War II didn't really end in 1945, for Latvia. More than 100,000 war refugees couldn't go back home. The people who did remain were stripped of their property, with collectivization in full swing. Soviet secret service arrested at least 40,000 people in the years following the war. An episode of a new LTV show, Atslēgas shows how the repressive state tried to take away the last freedom people had left. Namely, their freedom to think.
A message from the time of the Nazi occupation was revealed at a school in Grobiņa, western Latvia, while it was renovated, reported LTV January 24.
On January 18, 1918 the first and final meeting of the All Russian Constituent Assembly was held in Petrograd to march on the Tauride Palace. The very next day, it was dissolved by the Bolsheviks.
A group of students in Latvia's eastern Latgale region is working to record one of its most distinctive cultural features - beautiful and sometimes ornate wooden windows that can sometimes be found in even the humblest homes.