Latvian National Foundation, second edition, 1982

Historical Introduction

Part 4Baltic Puppet Governments' Petitions to Join the USSR Are Granted After Due Deliberation

August 3,5,6, 1940
Baltic puppet governments' petitions to join the USSR are granted after due deliberation
The last act of this performance took place in Moscow where at the 7th session of the USSR Supreme Council, on August 3, 5 and 6, 1940, the delegations of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian "People's Parliaments" "requested" the incorporation of their respective republics. Afterwards, at its 2nd session in Riga, on August 30, the Latvian Parliament adopted the common standardized Constitution of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic, the 13th section of which reads: "the LSSR voluntarily has united into a federated State - the USSR." Naturally, also in this document, fabricated by the Kremlin, like in all other Stalin's Constitutions, is the famous paragraph (§97) which caused embarrassment to the minds of so many foreign intellectuals and workers, and which announces that "the citizens of the LSSR are by law guaranteed freedom of speech, press, assembly and demonstration, in conformity with the interests of the working people." This clause is decisive, because in Russia it is not the working people and their organizations which decide what is in their interests, but solely the Bolshevik party and the Politbureau.
  Hitler's Germany was first to recognize the incorporation of the Baltic States into USSR. Some days later the German Minister in Latvia - Ulrich von Kotze - congratulated the Soviet Minister Vladimir Derevjanski and expressed his gratitude for solving the "Baltic Problem".
Not everyone was asleep at the wheel, a matter of little consolation. It was only on May 29, 1957 that the United States Department of State declared, "the incorporation of Latvia by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is not recognized by the government of the United States." Too little, too late. As early as July 23, in reaction to these events, Mr. Sumner Welles, Undersecretary of State, on behalf of the U.S. Government, stated to the press that this was a "devious process" and that "the people of the United States are opposed to predatory activities, no matter whether they are carried on by use of force or by the threat of force." Also, Professor A. de Lapradelle, the well-known authority on international law, has given his opinion of the incorporation, requested by the Baltic Diets in the staging of the Russian occupation powers: "The mode of action pursued by the Soviet Union bears the distinct mark of an infamous double-dealing. A silent annexation would have been a worthier under taking." (La Jeune Suisse, 19 Febr. 1944)
 
Siberian deportations date as far back as 1925 Although the revolution of March 1917 did away with administrative deportation and forced labour by court sentence, provided for in the Penal Code valid since 1885, the Soviet Government re-introduced these two institutions of the Tsarist regime as early as 1922, authorizing the Cheka to transfer all "socially dangerous elements" to forced labour camps for a duration up to 3 years. This practice was legalized by all Soviet criminal codes. In addition, the programme of the Bolshevik party provides for a "transfer of inhabitants according to plan, for the purpose of balancing the distribution of man-power" which began in 1925 when several million Soviet citizens from European Russia were deported to Siberia, Central Asia and the Far East. Thus, deportation and forced labour had developed into a system of extermination of whole social groups ("bourgeois", "kulaks") and of genocide in that sense and understanding which made the UNO Plenary Meeting in Paris, on December 9, 1948, pass the convention on the punishability of genocide.
NKVD deports Latvian and Estonian heads of state prior to incorporation into USSR Since Red Terror, genocide and the slave economy, provided for in the economic structure of the Soviet State, are the foundation of the bolshevik regime, it is easy to understand that all these methods were automatically put into effect immediately after the occupation of the Baltic States in June 1940. The incorporation of these countries had not yet taken place when the NKVD started its work, in all three Baltic countries, not only by deporting the State presidents of Latvia and Estonia (the Lithuanian President was the only one who escaped the Soviets), but also the governments and the most prominent of the social workers and politicians of the three countries. After the incorporation, the Order No. 001223 which referred to the registration of "anti-Soviet elements" with the view of subsequently punishing them, and issued by the NKVD as early as October 11, 1939, was revived to its full extent. No sooner was the Soviet Latvian Constitution decreed on August 30, 1940, according to which the Latvian People's Commissariat of State Security was "federal-republican", i.e. common with that of the USSR, than the specialists in the matters of the NKVD, sent from Russia, could under the direction of the NKVD commissar A. Novik (in autumn 1940) and the NKGB commissar S. Shustin (early in 1941) "legally" start their activity.
  The premises of the former Ministries of Home and Social Affairs, a conspicuous building in the central part of Riga, was turned into the NKVD main headquarters. In November 1940 the ground-floor and cellars of this building were remodelled into a special prison for interrogation, and provided with cells measuring 80x80 cm [31.5 inches square] on plan and called "dog-kennels" (in Russian "sobachniki"), where the prisoners could neither stand nor lie. After all kinds of devilishly subtle methods of torture the prisoners were put into these cells to "recover" until they were again summoned for interrogation which usually began late in the evening and lasted the night through with the purpose of extorting a confession from the prisoner. The NKVD had at its command an extensive net of agents whose reports were worked out by specialists. All prisons were under the control of the NKVD which had at its disposal special military units. Even the militia, Workers' Guard, the members and candidates of the Bolshevik party, members of the Communist Youth and the rest of the ancillary party organizations had to obey NKVD orders and instructions.
  Who, then, were the unfortunate people who sooner or later had to succumb to the NKVD? The secret order, signed on November 28, 1940, at Kaunas by the Lithuanian NKVD commissar A. Guzevicius, which was found in the summer of 1941 among the documents left by the NKVD (cf. K. Pelekis, Genocide, p. 265-267, published by Venta, Germany 1949), gave the answer to this question. Taking into account that the NKVD in the three Baltic countries only executed the orders which they received from Moscow, there is every reason to assume that confidential orders of a similar content were issued to their subordinate authorities also by the Latvian and Estonian NKVD commissars.
  This circular order of November 28, 1940, contains the following passage:
November 28, 1940
"Annihilation" of anti-Soviet elements ordered
"For the task of operative work it is of profound importance to know how many former policemen, white-guardists, ex-army officers, members of anti-Soviet political parties and organizations are in the territory of Lithuania and where this element is concentrated. This is necessary in order to define the counter revolutionary force and to direct our apparatus of active agencies for their annihilation and liquidation. Executing the Order of the People's Commissar of NKVD of USSR No. 001223 referring to a report on the anti-Soviet element, and the demand to be most careful in the exact execution of that task, I issue the following order:
§ 5. Into the alphabetic files must be entered all those persons who, because of their social and political past, their nationalistic-chauvinistic inclinations, religious beliefs, moral and political instability, are hostile to the socialistic form of State, and consequently might be exploited by foreign intelligence services and counter-revolutionary centres for their anti-Soviet purpose. Among such elements are to be counted:
    a) all former members of anti-Soviet political parties, organizations and groups: Trotskyites, right-wingers, Essers, Mensheviks, Social Democrats, anarchists, etc.
    b) all former members of nationalistic, chauvinistic anti-Soviet parties, Nationalists, Christian Democrats, the active members of student fraternities, of the National Guard etc.
    c) former policemen, officers of the criminal and political police and of prisons.
    d) former army officers and members of military courts.
    e) persons who are dismissed from the Communist Party and Communist Youth Organization for various offences against the party.
    f) all refugees, political emigrants, immigrants, repatriants and contrabandists
    g) all citizens of foreign states, representatives of foreign firms, employees of foreign state institutions, former citizens of foreign states, former employees of foreign legations, firms, concessions, and stock companies.
    h) persons who maintain personal contact or are in correspondence with foreign countries, legations and consulates, with philatelists and esperantists.
    i) former officials of Ministerial Departments.
    j) former Red Cross officials.
    k) clergy of religious communities, Orthodox priests, Roman Catholic priests, sectarians and active members of religious congregations.
    l) former noblemen, estate owners, merchants, bankers, businessmen, owners of factories and shops, owners of hotels and restaurants.

§ 6. For the completion of the alphabetic files for all anti-Soviet elements there must be made the most careful use of all sources, among them: reports of agencies, material of special investigations, material of Party and Soviet Organizations, declarations of citizens, testimonies and other, official material must be proved at first in the agential way.
...
§ 9. The chief of the 1st Special Branch of the NKVD is under obligation to report to me daily about the progress of this Order."
  This enumeration is not complete, as is proved by other documents. Thus, in the above Order are only mentioned members of military courts, but after the NKGB was established on February 3, 1941, the latter had lists prepared which included even public prosecutors, inquestors of the specially important trials, members of Courts of Appeal and Supreme Tribunals, district prefects, military commandants of districts, officers of the Intelligence Section of the General Staff, officers of the Frontier Guard Corps, all officers of the former white Armies, prison guards of the ranks, former employees of the Baltic legations abroad, members of the families of the participants of counter-revolutionary nationalist organizations, whose family heads had been sentenced to death or were in hiding from government organs; families of traitors of the homeland who had fled abroad.
Standing order of the Cheka gives the lie to the Constitution of the LSSR Let us remember the Order of the Cheka, published on December 25, 1918: "Your first duty is to ask the prisoner what class he belongs to, what were his origin, education and occupation. These questions should decide the fate of the prisoner." The citizens of the Baltic States at that time naively believed that in the course of the 30 years after the bolshevik subversion in Russia the primary terror and methods of civil warfare had been entirely abolished or, at least adjusted to the principles of right, declared in Stalin's Constitution. Thus, sections 84 and 85 of the Constitution of the LSSR declared that: "In all courts of the LSSR, to the extent that the law does not provide exceptions, cases are tried publicly, ensuring the defendant the right of counsel. Judges are independent and subject only to the law."
...Timeline...Molotov–Ribbentrop PactMolotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 1939. Text of the secret protocol carving up Eastern Europe between Stalin and Hitler. The First Months of the WarThe First Months of the War, Mr. Munters Speaks at the University, 1940. Foreign Minister Vilhelms Munters' speech at the University of Latvia, asking, infamously : "I should like to ask, where now is the sovietisation against which we were warned...?" Letters on Birch Bark In Siberia Written Letters on Birch Bark, UNESCO Latvia. Birch bark was often the only material to write on. Background on deportations, the letters, and a gallery of photos. EXTERNAL SITE Holocaust in Latvia (HAOLUSA.ORG) Prof. Andrew Ezergailis' web site on the Holocaust in LatviaScholarship on the Holocaust in Latvia: essays, letters, reviews. Prof. Ezergailis is the pre-eminent scholar in this field. EXTERNAL SITE Soviet War NewsThe Soviet Union, Finland, and the Baltic States. Soviet Information Bureau. Soviet War News, 1941. In a monograph published after the Winter War and toward the end of its first occupation of the Baltic states, the Soviet Union blames the Finns and Balts for their troubles, only the Soviets have consistently engaged in "neighbourly relations," rebuffed by its neighbors at every turn. A classic study in Stalinist propaganda and a version of history still familiar in official Russian rhetoric. These Names AccuseThese Names Accuse—Nominal List of Latvians Deported to Soviet Russia in 1940-41, second edition with supplementary list. Latvian National Foundation, Stockholm. 1982. (1942) History leading up to and including the Soviet invasion of the Baltics, the first Soviet occupation, and the first mass deportations of 1941. The originally compiled list of names was published in Riga in 1942. Documents, photographs, list of names (in progress). A Shepherd DiedViens Gans Nomira (A Shepherd Died). Margarita Kovaļevska, illustrator. 1942. A miniature booklet of a folk song, published by Tautas Palīdzība (Peoples' Aid) in war-time Latvia and given out for donations to help the orphaned and widowed, illustrated by a popular Latvian pre-war and diaspora artist—and who dated Peters' father while they studied together at the Academy of Art. Behind the Polish-Soviet BreakBehind the Polish-Soviet Break, Alter Brody, introduced by Corliss Lamont. Soviet Russia Today, New York. 1943. After the Poles rightfully blamed the Katyn massacre on the Soviets, the USSR denounced (per Molotov's letter, included) the accusation as a "Hitlerite slanderous fake." Within two weeks the USSR severed relations with the Polish Government-in-Exile. Beyond alleging Polish lies, Alter Brody's monograph goes on to characterize the Polish people as an ungrateful scourge upon history—portending the post-WWII portrayal of anti-Soviet Eastern European nationalists as fascists. Latvia Under German Occupation in 1943Latvia Under German Occupation in 1943. Latvian Legation, Washington, DC. 1944. The Latvian diplomatic corps reports on Latvia's third year under Nazi occupation, recounting still-fresh events. What Latvian Wishes From This War?What Latvian Wishes From This War? Alfreds Bīlmanis. Latvian Legation, Washington DC. 1944. As head of the Latvian Foreign Ministry's press division, Alfreds Bīlmanis (1887-1948) actively promoted independent Latvia's interests abroad. His war-time monograph, subtitled: "Background, Current Situation, Hopes for the Future"—written while there was still hope for Latvia's post-war freedom—dispels still-prevalent misunderstandings regarding the historical inter-relationships of the Baltics, Europe, and Russia. Zedelgem POW Camp 2227Zedelgem POW Camp 2227Latvians whose only "crime" was to fight to free their homeland after multiple invasions are called Nazis and shot as target practice. Today, official Russia and others invested in the "Latvians are Nazis" meme keep the lie alive.
Copyright © 1982, The Latvian National Foundation. The Latvian National Foundation, Box 108, S-101 21 Stockholm, Sweden, retains all rights. Materials from "These Names Accuse" reproduced by express permission. For personal and academic research use only. Republication is prohibited.

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