Exhumation of Soviet army soldiers in Blīdene parish in 2019

In July 2019, the Soldiers' Search Team "Leģenda" exhumed 66 soldiers' ashes in a forest in Blīdene parish. Due to superficiality or omission during the Soviet era, the majority of these soldiers are counted as officially reburied during the Soviet years. The names of these soldiers are even engraved on the tombstones in the Tuški Brethren 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"

The fraternal cemetery of the Red Army 130th Latvian and 8th Estonian Rifle Corps soldiers is located about 350 metres south-west of the Blīdene-Remte road. The name derives from the farm Tušķi, which was located 400 m south of the cemetery.

On 17 March 1945, the last attempt of the Red Army in Kurzeme began. The 308th Latvian Rifle Division attacked south-west and west of the Tušķi homestead and during three days of fighting crossed the Blīdene-Remte road in the 142.2 area of the highlands and reached the Jaunāsmuižas-Mezmali line. The soldiers killed during the battles were buried in several small cemeteries near Ķēķiai, Vērotāji, Jaunāsmuiža and elsewhere.

In the late 1960s, when the Soviet Union began to commemorate the Second World War, a new cemetery was established north of the ruins of the Tušķu homestead, where it was planned to rebury all the soldiers who had fallen in the Pilsblidene and Kaulači area. In reality, the reburial was partial, as very often the fallen soldiers remained in their original gravesites, but only their names were overwritten in the cemetery of the Tuški brothers. The names of the soldiers of the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps, whose main wartime cemetery was located on the site of the present Pilsblidene cemetery, can also be found in the Tuški Brethren Cemetery.

There is also a monument to Jakob Kundera, a soldier of the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps, to whom the object 'Kundera dots' is dedicated. Immediately after the battle, Jakob Kundera was buried in what is now Pilsblidene Cemetery, and later reburied in the Tuški Brethren Cemetery.