Exhumation of Soviet army soldiers in Blīdene parish in 2019

In July 2019, the soldier search unit "Legend" exhumed the ashes of 66 soldiers in the forest in Blīdene parish. Due to the superficiality or inaction committed during the Soviet era, most of these soldiers are considered to have been officially reburied during the Soviet years. The names of these soldiers are even engraved on the tombstones in the Tušķi brothers' cemetery.

In July 2019, the soldier search unit "Legend" found and exhumed the ashes of 66 soldiers who had been lying in the forest in Blīdene Parish for 74 years, although their names can be read on the graveyards in Tušķi Cemetery. Due to the carelessness or inaction of the Soviet era, the scar of war was once again torn apart by any family.

The men of the search unit worked in the area where the Guļauce ranger's house was located during the Second World War. Now there is a forest. But at that time there was a sanitary part of the Red Army, and the fallen were buried next to it on the edge of the forest.

Soldiers of the 308th Latvian Rifle Division have been found. About 85% of them were drafted into the Red Army at the end of 1944. They are mostly Latvians. An unpleasant surprise awaited the search engines. Most of these soldiers are officially reburied during the Soviet years. The names of these soldiers are even engraved on the tombstones in the Tušķi brothers' cemetery.

"It simply came to our notice then. Because we knew it was reburied in Tušķi cemetery. Every year we went to commemorate our brother, ”says Ella Indzere, the sister of Arvīds Popov, who fell in the war.

Ella Indzere and Zidrīte Paula did not return their older brother Arvīds Popovs from the war. Arvid Popov was only on the front for a month and a half.

"It was the autumn of 1944, when the Red Army entered Latvia. The boiler of Kurzeme boiled. They had already come to Auce, ”Ella recalls.

"He was 19. I was 17. We were standing at the gate, papus, mom, me. Throw by hand. He looked back and left, and it did not return. And then there was a summons that he had fallen, ”adds Zidrīte Paula.

"I remember the third letter I read myself years later. He wrote, "Mommy, the war will end soon, and I will return home from Bliden." The sentence that is very close to my heart. When he left, he picked me up, showed me the lights and told me, "Sister is waiting for me at home," Ella continues.

The sisters kept the gilded summons with the news that the brother on the front, showing masculinity and heroism in the battle with the German invaders, had died of an injury on March 5, 1945. It is indicated that buried in the grave place no. 7. on the edge of the forest near Guļauce house in Blīdene district. Later, in the Soviet years. the family was informed that Arvīds was reburied in the Tušķi brothers' cemetery.

Storyteller: Valdis Kuzmins; Wrote down this story: Jana Kalve
Used sources and references:

https://www.sargs.lv/lv/otrais-pasaules-kars/2020-06-21/tusku-bralu-kapos-gulda-66-karaviru-pislus

https://www.lsm.lv/raksts/zinas/latvija/atrasti-66-kara-kritusi-karaviri-kuriem-bija-jadus-kapseta.a329053/

Related objects

Soviet soldiers' cemetery "Tuški"

Brāļu kapi Sarkanās Armijas 130. latviešu un 8. igauņu strēlnieku korpusa karavīriem, atrodas  apmēram 350 metrus uz dienvidrietumiem no Blīdenes – Remtes ceļa. Nosaukums cēlies no viensētas Tušķi, kas atradās 400 m uz dienvidiem no brāļu kapiem.

1945. gada 17. martā sākās pēdējais Sarkanās armijas uzbrukuma mēģinājums Kurzemē. Uz dienvidrietumiem un rietumiem no Tušķu viensētas uzbruka 308. latviešu strēlnieku divīzija, kas trīs dienu kauju laikā šķērsoja Blīdenes – Remtes ceļu augstienes 142.2 rajonā un sasniedza Jaunāsmuižas – Mežmaļu līniju. Kauju laikā kritušos karavīrus apbedīja vairākās nelielās kapsētās pie Ķēķiem, Vērotājiem, Jaunāsmuižas un citur.

1960. gadu beigās, kad Padomju Savienībā sākās mērķtiecīga Otrā pasaules kara piemiņas veidošana, uz ziemeļiem no Tušķu viensētas drupām izveidoja jaunu kapsētu, kurā paredzēja pārapbedīt visus Pilsblīdenes un Kaulaču apkārtnē kritušos karavīrus. Realitātē pārabedīšana notika daļēji, jo ļoti bieži kritušie karavīri palika sākotnējās kapu vietās, bet Tušķu brāļu kapos pārrakstīja tikai viņu vārdus. Tušķu brāļu kapos atrodami arī 8. igauņu strēlnieku korpusa, kura galvenā kara laika kapsēta atradās tagadējās Pilsblīdenes kapsētas vietā, karavīru vārdi.

Šajā vietā atrodas arī piemineklis 8. igauņu strēlnieku korpusa karavīram Jakobam Kunderam, kam veltīts objekts "Kundera dots". Uzreiz pēc kaujas Jakobu Kunderu apglabāja tagadējās Pilsblīdenes kapsētas teritorijā, bet vēlāk pārapbedīja Tušķu brāļu kapos.