USSR/communist occupation IV Soviet occupation

In 1940, the independent state of Latvia ceased to exist due to the occupation and annexation of Latvia by the Soviet Union and incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

All institutions that ensured the sovereignty of the state, including the Foreign Affairs Department, the armed forces and the border guard, were eliminated. Latvia’s representative offices abroad were closed down, with their buildings and property taken over by the USSR. The army and border guard were scaled down, the officers and commanders were replaced.

The Soviet occupation lasted until 1991.

Two mass deportations of the Latvian people took place during the occupation, one in 1941 and one in 1949, where the people were subjected to repression and propaganda in addition to monetary reforms that were carried out.

More information sources

1. Soviet Occupation - Latvian Occupation Museum (occupation museum)

2. Soviet Occupation - Latvian Occupation Museum (occupation museum)

Related objects

Fire correction tower of the Ventspils 46th Coastal Defence Battery

The restored fire control tower of the 46th Coast Guard Battery in Ventspils is located on Saulrieta street and is available to visitors in the form of an observation tower. There are four artillery gun positions near the tower and it is the only World War II coastal defence battery in Latvia in such a good condition. Visitors can take the tower stairs to an outdoor viewing platform overlooking the sea. An information stand with a QR code is available next to the tower. You can use the QR to watch an animation about historical events. There is a new street leading to the tower, a large parking lot and a wooden footbridge that crosses the protected nature area next to the tower.

This military complex was built in 1939, marking the start of construction of USSR military bases in Latvia. The 46th Coast Guard Battery had four positions for the gun type Б-13. This battery had its first military engagement on 24 June 1941, when Ventspils harbour was attacked by German torpedo boats that were driven away from the shores of the Baltic Sea by battery fire. On June 28 the Soviet Army blew up the guns and left.

Zvaigznīte - Irbene military buildings

The 200-hectare site was once a top-secret military base occupied by military unit 51429.

Olman Battery No.456 (Soviet military base "Krasnoflotska")

The first coastal defence batteries for the defence of the Irbe Strait were built after 1912, when the Baltic Fleet Mine-Artillery Defence Position Plan was approved, which included several coastal defence batteries and sea mine-laying.

The Irbe Strait position was the furthest south, and its task was to block any enemy access to the Gulf of Riga. The main emphasis was on sea mines, tens of thousands of which were laid in the Irbe Strait during WWI by ships of the Baltic Fleet. It was not until 1916 that coastal defence batteries began to be built on the southern tip of the island of Saaremaa, Cape Sorve. Seven batteries were built in total, and Battery 43 was equipped with 305 mm guns. No defence batteries were built on the Latvian coast of the Irbe Strait.

Even after the establishment of the Republic of Latvia, the Latvian army and navy did not establish artillery positions to defend the Irbe Strait.

The situation changed after the mutual assistance pact between the Republic of Latvia and the USSR of 5 October 1939, which provided for a contingent of the Red Army and the Baltic Naval Fleet to be stationed in Kurzeme. Soviet plans also included the establishment of a coastal defence system based on the 1912 plan, with improvements. The plan was to build coastal defence batteries on the site of the Liepaja fortress, with new batteries south of Ventspils (Battery No 46) and two batteries in the narrowest part of the Irbe Strait near Mikeltornis. Already after the occupation and annexation of Latvia, the coastal defence plans of the Baltic Navy were supplemented and by June 1941 the 207th Artillery Division with five batteries was planned to be established in the northern part of Kurzeme. Two batteries were to be set up in the vicinity of Mikeltornis - Battery 40 at Lūžņa with 130 mm B-13 guns in reinforced concrete fortifications, and Battery 117 at Olmani (a place designated on Latvian army maps as Ķesteri) with 152 mm MU-2 guns. As the development of the 152 mm guns was not completed, temporary wooden platforms were built on the reinforced concrete fortifications of the battery and four more 130 mm guns were installed. Both batteries were completed by June 1941, but the batteries could not be traced in the war against the German 291st Infantry Division, and their crews moved to the island of Saaremaa.

At the end of WWII, the German Army Group "Courland" was quite serious about possible Soviet landings in northern Courland, especially after the ice melted in the Gulf of Finland and on the west coast of Estonia. Improvised coastal defence batteries were deployed all along the Kurzeme coast. The Soviet Battery No 40, Gerate Batterie Sommer of the 289th Artillery Division with two 122 mm Soviet howitzers, was stationed in reinforced concrete positions near Luzhne. In the area of Battery 117's position was Battery 2 of the 530th Artillery Division with three 152 mm Soviet trophy guns, three 37 mm zenith drones, one 20 mm four-barrel zenith drones, two 75 mm anti-tank guns and two mortars for illumination.

After the end of active hostilities in May 1945, the USSR began to rebuild the coastal defence system on the Kurzeme coast. In the autumn of 1945, a temporary Battery 456 with 152 mm guns of the Kane system was deployed near the Olmaņi farm, which was renamed "Krasnoflotskaya".

In 1952, the temporary guns of the battery were replaced by the latest 152 mm MU-2 weapon systems. The battery consisted of four reinforced concrete gun emplacements, a reinforced concrete command post with a range-finder turret and technical buildings. The construction of the battery was completed in 1958.

In 1958, after the dismantling of the Lūžņa coastal defence battery, it was replaced by a mobile 130 mm SM-4-1 gun Battery No 343. The mobile guns did not have reinforced concrete gun emplacements, but several log and sand structures were built.

Battery 343 operated until the early 1960s, and Battery 456 until 1975, when it was preserved. The battery positions were used to deploy S-125 air defence missile complexes, as well as the 10th Coastal Defence Artillery-Missile Regiment with CP-2 Sopka missile complexes, and the infrastructure was modified accordingly.

The Soviet Army transferred the infrastructure of the Olmaņi and Lūžņa batteries to the Republic of Latvia in 1993.

Former Soviet border guard observation tower in Pāvilosta

The Soviet border guard observation tower is located near the South Pier in Pāvilosta. The former Soviet border guard observation tower, which had been out of use since the early 1990s, now serves as a viewing platform with a 360-degree rotating land telescope. It offers beautiful views of the sea and ships and can be used for bird watching. Ascending the tower is only allowed during daylight hours in the summer season. As the stairs in the tower are quite steep, visitors should evaluate their abilities, health and associated risks. The observation tower and the surrounding area has video surveillance. The tower is closed to visitors during the winter season.

Collection of Soviet military trucks in Dundaga

Edgars Kārklevalks owns a guest house called Pūpoli in the Dundaga region, and for more than 15 years he has been taking people on historical and educational trips around northern Kurzeme (including to former military areas) with his own renovated Soviet Army truck GAZ-66 (up to 24 persons) and UAZ-3151 (up to 6 persons). Soviet Army trucks and other equipment are showcased in an area around the guest house.

Soviet Army Observation Tower (Kurgan of Officers)

The "Officers' Kurgan" is located less than a kilometre from the ruins of Zvārde Church. The Kurgan is made of the ruins and remains of the surrounding houses and manor house, which have been bulldozed together. An observation tower was built on the kurgan. According to the inscription, the present tower was built in 1981. The tower was used to record bomb hits. The training bombs had a reduced explosive content, so their hits had to be watched more carefully. Unexploded bombs were neutralized immediately, but not all could be found.

 The remains of the tower can be seen here today - the brick walls. As the barrage is relatively high, you can even see the Lithuanian oil refinery in Mažeikiai on a clear day.

Secret Soviet Bunker in Līgatne

Located in Līgatne parish, Cēsis municipality, the Soviet Secret Bunker lies 9 metres below the Līgatne Rehabilitation Centre building and its adjacent territory. The bunker is open to visitors and offers guided tours, meals in the bunker canteen, Soviet-style parties and the reality game Object X. The purpose of the bunker was to provide the minimum necessary conditions for long-term work for the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR, the leadership of the Communist Council of the LSSR and the management of the LSSR state planning committee in the event of a nuclear war threat. The 2,000-square-metre underground bunker was the strongest autonomous structure with all the required and most state-of-the-art equipment of the time, and also one of the most strategically important sites in Soviet-era Latvia in the event of a nuclear war. The site has a protected underground workspace (shelter), a sanatorium-type sleeping block for 250 people, security facilities and a 24-apartment residential house for service staff. All of the authentic underground equipment and plans have been preserved to this day. Highlights include an autonomous power plant with diesel generators and fuel storage, conditioning equipment for air purification with oxygen reserves, water supply and sewerage equipment operating on the submarine principle, a telecommunications unit capable of providing direct contact with the Kremlin in Moscow and autonomous communications with all major services in the country, a unique map with historical names of collective farms, an authentic canteen with typical Soviet-era meals, as well as various Soviet-era attributes and household items.

Soviet Army Missile base in Zeltiņi

The former Soviet Army Missile Base is located in Medņukalni, Zeltiņi parish, Alūksne municipality. This nuclear missile base was a particularly secret military facility of the Soviet Army, and it operated in Zeltiņi, Alūksne municipality, from 1961 to 1989. The facility housed P-12 (8K63) and P12Y (8K63Y) surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missiles with 4 launch pads. Their travel distance was 2,200 kilometres. During this period the army used barbed-wire to secure an area of about 300 ha less than a kilometre from the Sinole-Silakrogs P34 national regional highway. The living and top-secret areas have remained a legacy even today. Concrete roads lead to places hidden from the eye at that time: hangars, launch pads and bomb shelters. Various structures for the maintenance and servicing of nuclear missiles are located on an area of dozens of hectares. Facilities providing the area with the autonomous supply of power, water and heat were destroyed with the withdrawal of the army. After the army left, some of the equipment was handed over to the local municipality. Visitors currently have access to 20 ha of the former territory of the missile base, the south-western part of which is a tourist attraction. Tourists visiting the base can choose between the core exhibit about the history of the missile base, which is located in the Zeltiņi Museum, and a tourist route in the base area. Friends in a group of up to 12 people can enjoy a game of laser tag here.

Watch tower of border guards in Salacgrīva

Located in Salacgriva, NE direction, 1 km from the bridge over Salaca.

The Soviet Army military base in Salacgrīva is one of the former sites of the occupation troops. An air defense unit was located in Salacgriva. It was relatively small and became the first military unit to leave Latvia in 1992. During this time, large-scale looting of Latvia took place, when the Latvian state gave in to Russia's demands that the occupying army leave the territory as soon as possible.

After the Second World War, the rapid and large-scale construction of Soviet military facilities continued in the territory of Latvia. The military bases were like a state within a country. It is believed that occupied Latvia became the most militarized place in the world and would be completely destroyed in the event of war. Criminal offenses, imperial attitudes and permissiveness most vividly described the presence of the Soviet army in Latvia. The carefully maintained myth of a "happy life in Soviet Latvia" and the Soviet army as a "liberator" was actually "life on a powder keg". After the restoration of Latvia's independence, it was not until 1994 that a foreign army left Latvia, but tens of thousands of retired Soviet military personnel and their families remained in Latvia.

Nowadays you can see the base area.

 

 
Aizkraukle museum of History and Art, exposition "Soviet years"

The exhibit is located in the former culture house of Aizkraukle parish. It reflects the everyday social, recreational, professional, educational and cultural life in Soviet times, as well as the history of how Aizkraukle (during Soviet times – Stučka) and the Pļaviņu HPP came to be. Visitors can view the ‘Red Corner’ with its historical propaganda materials, the office of a party functionary and a typical Soviet apartment with a living room, kitchen, bathroom and toilet and their corresponding attributes. Some rooms are dedicated to Soviet medicine, tourism and sports as well as repression tactics. There is a spacious hall in the centre of the exhibit for Soviet-made vehicles. This was started in 2016 by the Aizkraukle History and Art Museum by setting up the exhibit on three floors. Nowadays it is the largest exhibit in the Baltics dedicated to this period of Soviet occupation.

Former Soviet army missile base "Raketnieki"

The former Soviet army base buildings are in a state of disrepair, but there is a motor track on the site. The area can be explored on foot, but good footwear against mud and sand is required.

Soviet border guard post in Jūrmalciems

After the Second World War, Latvia had various prohibitions in border and coastal areas. From 19 June 1945, fishermen were assigned piers, which were fenced off with barbed wire, guarded by patrols and watchtowers. On 4 September 1946, the prohibited coast guard zones on the Western border of the LSSR were introduced.

In Jūrmalci village there is a former border guard control post, a tower and a tractor proudly rocking on the beach! How it got there is something to ask the local guides!

A fabulously beautiful and interesting place - both with its Soviet-era aura and the charm of the seashore. 

Zvārde shooting range and former Soviet military base "Lapsas"

The landfill's service base is located approximately 2 kilometres east of Striķu Manor, on the Saldus-Auce road. The former Soviet Military Aviation Target Range (military unit No 15439) in Zvārde is located south of Saldus. The territory of the airfield is home to several sights - the ruins of Zvārde and Ķerkliņi churches, the ruined Rīteļi cemetery, the observation post of the airfield, the so-called "Officers' Kurgan" and the former airfield personnel base and shooting range "Lapsas".

The Zvārde air target range required a unit of approximately one company to service the air target range - to install targets, repair damage, guard the air target range and coordinate air flights. It was based on the site of the house called "Lapsas" until the Second World War. With the construction of the airfield, barracks, transport sheds, a flight control tower and a firing range for training personnel were built.

After Latvia regained its independence, the Zvārde Defence Forces Training Centre operated here, but since 2007 the site has been owned by the municipality and leased by several hunting collectives. The former barracks house an exhibition on the history of Zvārde parish.

Akmeņrags Lighthouse and the fate of the "Saratov"

The Akmeņrags Lighthouse is located in Saka parish, 10 kilometres southwest of Pāvilosta. The top of the lighthouse can be reached by a spiral staircase and it offers views of the sea and the surrounding forests. Standing at 37 metres high, the current lighthouse tower was built in 1921, while the previous lighthouse was destroyed during World War I.

The Akmeņrags Lighthouse stands out among other lighthouses in Latvia, as it is located in one of the most dangerous places for sailing in the entire Baltic Sea coast. The signal beam of the lighthouse marks a rocky bank, which extends approximately two nautical miles or 3.7 kilometres into the sea in a north-western direction. The depth of the bank is just over two metres. The location of the lighthouse has remained unchanged, but the coastline has been receding over the years. Although a navigation light has been here since 1879, Akmeņrags has seen several shipwrecks. The most notable occurred in September 1923 when a Latvian steamer named Saratow struck the ground. In 1919, Saratow briefly served as the seat of the Latvian Provisional Government. Akmeņrags used to be home to a border guard post, and buildings of the Soviet Army are can be viewed here.

Soviet army military base in Pāvilosta - active recreation centre

During the Soviet era, a border guard unit was located here, other Soviet army units - liaison officers and a surface-to-air missile base were located several kilometres away in the forest. After independence, the Latvian army was stationed there.

The former Soviet army military base is now a recreation, leisure and camping centre - for personal development in interaction with nature and the people around. 

A place for recreation and accommodation for both tourist groups and families. Rooms, showers, WC, fireplaces, spacious area for activities, sounds of nature. Book in advance by calling +371 26314505.

Soviet army town in Mežgarciems

The former Soviet Army town is located in Mežgarciems, Ādaži municipality, near the P1 highway. It was a small town inhabited by the air defence units of the Soviet Army and used as a military training base. Informative stands have been placed near the town. The former army base area is available to visitors. Mežgarciems did not exist on the maps during the Soviet occupation. And there was nothing to suggest that there was a small town built for the Soviet military with air defence capabilities. Wide-spread construction of Soviet Army stations was rapidly started in the territory of Latvia after World War II. And these army bases were like separate states within the country. There were military units almost in every location in Latvia. An especially privileged part of the society was the retired USSR military personnel and their families, who were entitled to living space as a matter of priority. Many chose Latvian cities, because the standard of living here was higher than elsewhere in the Soviet Union. The presence of the Soviet Army in Latvia was characterised by criminal behaviour, imperialistic attitude and impunity, demonstrating the regime’s indifferent attitude towards Latvia and its people. And the carefully maintained myth of the happy life in Soviet Latvia and the Soviet Army as the liberator was actually like living on a powder keg.

Adam Steel School

The school building in the city center is located on the left side of Ausekļa Street, next to Valka Jānis Cimze Gymnasium.

The building, named after teacher Adam Steel, originally housed the school and was completed in 1923. In 1946, the military headquarters of the army garrison was located here. Thus, a military center was established in the center of Valka, and Valka became an important nuclear weapons facility for the USSR army. The territory of the building was surrounded by a high fence and it was called a city within a city, because there had its own shop, hospital, boiler house and even a cafe for the needs of the army. The symbol of the Soviet power - the red star - was placed on the roof part of the building. The army left this place in the 20th century. In the late 80's, taking everything you could with you.

Right next to the Adam Steel School and the underground bunkers is the Swedish (Sheremetyevo) fortress. The artificial earthen rampart was built at the beginning of the Great Northern War, around 1702, to protect Valka from the Swedes. The steepest wall of Skansts faces Ērģemi, but the other side faces Ausekļa Street.

Today, the Adam Steel School is only visible from the outside.

Underground Military bunkers in Valka

The Valka bunkers are located in the centre of the city of Valka, on the left side of Ausekļa street, next to the Ādams Tērauds School. Visitors can only view the bunkers from the outside. The Soviet Army bunkers in Valka were among the most secret places in Soviet Latvia only accessible to people with special permits. From 1953 to 1989, they were home to the Soviet Army’s strategic missile communications reserve. Large 16 wheelers were used to deliver massive reinforced concrete blocks for building the bunkers. Once completed, all three bunkers were covered with gravel for additional reinforcement and insulation. The bunkers housed a strategic missile communications reserve subordinated to the Leningrad Communications Centre. Silos with army missiles were controlled from these bunkers. There were 20 such silos in the Valka and Valga area. In October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, these missiles were combat-ready and aimed at Florida. Legend has it that they were a couple of hours shy from actually being launched. Right next to the Ādams Tērauds School and the underground bunkers is the Swedish (Sheremetyevo) Fortification. The artificial wall of earth was built at the beginning of the Great Northern War, around 1702, to protect Valka against the Swedes. The steepest wall of the fortification faces the village of Ērģeme, while the other side faces Ausekļa street.

Valka train station

The Valka Railway Station is located at the end of Poruka street, next to a set of train tracks that are out of use. The station building can only be viewed from the outside where information stands of the importance of the railway in Valka and Valga are in place. Near the station building is a memorial stone devoted to the people deported to Siberia on 14 June 1941. The station building was constructed around 1896-1897. Narrow-gauge railway lines in the Valka-Rūjiena-Pärnu section were put in place here initially. During World War I, the railway was severely damaged. After establishing the state border, the Valka Railway Station (Valka II) became a border station. In late September 1920, the special Railway Board Commission arrived in Valka. The commission was authorised to negotiate and conclude an agreement with Estonia on the transfer of passengers from the station of one state to the other. The tracks between the triangularly placed Lugaži, Valka and Valga stations were strategically important, as they allowed armoured trains to turn around and move in the opposite direction. During the Soviet period, the USSR Army used this station to deliver ballistic missiles to Valka. A mass deportation of the Latvian people to the inland areas of the USSR took place on the night of 13-14 June 1941. More than 90 people from Valka and the surrounding areas were put in cattle waggons to be deported from the Valka Railway Station without any court judgement, prior warning or explanations. In September 1944, the station was destroyed by the retreating German Army.

Latvian Army Summer Camp in Litene

The Latvian Army Summer Camp in Litene is located in the forest in Litene parish, near the Pededze River. The beginnings of the Litene Camp can be traced back to 1935 when the construction of a summer camp complex for the Latgale division of the Latvian Army was started. From May to autumn, several thousand soldiers learned combat tactics and shooting skills in Litene. In the summer of 1941, Latvian Army officers were arrested by Red Army and NKVD troops at an army summer camp in Litene. Several officers were shot on the spot, while others were deported to Siberia. On 14 June 1941, at least 430 officers were arrested and deported to Siberia in the Litene and Ostrovieši camps about 10 kilometres from Litene. The only historical building that has survived from the camp is a food storage facility. Only the foundations remain from the other buildings. There is a viewing platform with the Latvian flag, benches and a well-maintained place for a fire. A demilitarised cannon was installed with the support of the Ministry of Defence and the National Armed Forces. Information boards are in place. The Wall of Pain memorial in the Litene graveyard is also connected with the events at the Litene camp. The YouTube channel of the Latvian Army features a video named ‘Litene, Katyn of the Latvian Army’.

Gulbene County History and Art Museum

Located near Vecgulbene manor, Litenes street.

In the second half of the 1940s, the radar ornament of the Soviet army part No.75568 was deployed in the conservatory of Vecgulbene manor and in the adjacent manor house of the manor; In the late 1980s, they were transferred to Beļava Parish. The Soviet army left Gulbene in 1993.

There is a square with two artificial hills on Litenes Street.


Memorial Wall of Pain

Artrodas Litene cemetery.

On June 14, 2001, the memorial “Wall of Pain” created by architects Dina Grūbe, Benita and Dainis Bērziņš, stonemasons Ivars Feldbergs and Sandra Skribnovskis was unveiled in Litene Cemetery, it symbolizes the resting place of the soldiers killed in 1941. In October 1988, the ashes of 11 officers killed in June 1941 by the Soviet Army were found in the territory of the former Latvian Army summer camp in Sita Silila, Litene Parish. Although they could not be identified, on December 2, 1989, at the consecration service in Gulbene Evangelical Lutheran Church, Litene Cemetery was solemnly reburied.

11 white crosses, memorial plaque and information stands.

Memorial site of national partisans in Sērmūkši

Sērmūkši is home to one of more than a hundred memorials to partisan battles in Latvia. There are more than six hundred partisan battle sites in Latvia. A Latvian national partisan dugout has been built based on historical evidence, and visitors can spend the night in near-authentic conditions with plank beds, lighting provided by kerosene lamps and a heating device similar to the ones used by partisans. Visits must be booked in advance. The fateful moment for the Sērmūkši National Partisan Group came on 29 November 1946 with the deaths of four fighters from the group: Jānis Zīrāks, Reinholds Pētersons, Jānis Pīlands and Anna Zariņa. Alfrēds Suipe survived, endured deportation, returned to Latvia and saw the restoration of a free state. He initiated the idea to establish a memorial site for his fallen companions in Sērmūkši.

Monument to the commander of the North-Eastern national partisans Pēteris Sup - "Cinītis"

Honoring the memory of the national partisan commander Pēteras Supes, on May 28, 2005, a monument dedicated to him was unveiled in Vilakas. It is placed near the Viļaka Catholic Church, on the edge of the trenches dug during the war, where the Chekists buried the shot national partisans. A capsule with the names of 386 fallen national partisans, battle descriptions and materials about the partisan commander is placed under the monument dedicated to P.Supem. The words engraved in stone: "I remained faithful to you, Latvia, until my last breath".
The monument was created by Pēteris Kravalis.

Next to it is a memorial place in the Stompaki forest and other places of battle for Latvian freedom fighters who fell and were murdered by the Chekists in 1944-1956.
On June 20, 2008, a granite plaque with the names of 55 fallen partisans arranged in three columns was discovered on the right wall.
The monument was erected in the place where the communist occupation authorities once displayed the remains of the murdered partisans to intimidate the rest of the population.

Words of thanks to Pēteris Supe and a poem by Bronislava Martuževa are engraved on the adjacent plaque:
"Get up, Peter Supe,
Soul, in battle!
Today Your blood sacrifice,
Risen in the nation.
Go out to live forever
In the strength and vigor of the young,
Wraps, flutters, folds
In the rising flag!"

Bunker of national partisans – Forest Brothers

The Forest Brothers’ Bunker is located by the Riga-Pskov (A2) highway 76 kilometres from Riga and 11 kilometres from Cēsis. The Latvian national partisans or Forest Brothers were small, armed groups of local residents who fought their independent battles against the occupation regime of the USSR in the territory of Latvia from 1944 to 1956. Forced to hide in the forests, these were people who could not or did not want to live in the Soviet Union. A total of around 20,193 Forest Brothers operated in Latvia. The bunker was formed based on the stories and memories of former Forest Brothers about life in the forests, hiding and fighting for the independent state of Latvia after 1945. The bunker showcases armaments and household items. The personal belongings, weapons and photos of partisans are on display. The guide’s narration is enriched by a video from interviews with Forest Brothers. There is a place for picnic campfires by the bunker. It is possible to pre-order a soup prepared on the fire or enjoy an evening of outdoor cinema by the fire.

Battles and memorials of national and Soviet partisans in the Griva forest massif

It is located in the Griva forest massif.
Six objects related to the places of national and Soviet partisan battles are under consideration.
In the forest massif of Griva, there are not only the headquarters of the "Purvsaliņi" national partisans, the White Cross in the bunker of the national partisans and the cross to the commander of the resistance movement Andrejas Roskoš, but also the grave of the Soviet partisan brigade commander Artūrs Balož, a monument on the so-called Maiden Hill, where a Soviet partisan died in 1944 the group of young partisans of the brigade, as well as a monument to the Soviet partisans with a five-pointed star and the engraved words "Let's cover ourselves with needles".

It is also possible to view the objects by going for a ride with a two-wheeler on bicycle route no. 785 - "Rhymes of history in the forests of Griva" (route length 34 km, gravel and forest roads). Map for download.

Memorial place for the commander of the national partisan group Andrejas Roskoš (GPS 56.87399, 27.43524)
In the autumn of 1997, the White Cross was discovered in Lielgrivas forest for the commander of the national partisan group Andrejas Roskoš.

Monument to Artūrs Balodis (GPS 56.872926, 27.478121)
Artūrs Balodis was a Soviet partisan, the commander of special tasks of sub-unit A, which was stationed in the Griva forest massif. Fell in the extensive "combing" carried out by the occupiers of Nazi Germany. The comrades carved the letters AB in the birch tree at the place where he died, so that it would not be forgotten. After the war, local researchers found the marked birch and installed a commemorative plaque in its place.

For all those who fell in the forests of Griva (GPS 56.863280, 27.47975)
This commemorative stone in the Griva forest massif has been installed by VAS "Latvijas valsts meži" in honor of the partisans who fought for their homeland. Next to the memorial stone, there is a map-scheme with indications of the partisans' headquarters and places of interest. There is also a rest area. Nearby is the settlement of the national partisans, 1945-1947.

National partisans settlement (GPS 56.863456, 27.481148)
In this place there were settlements of national partisans who fought against the Soviet occupation. The places of individual bunkers have been preserved, by their visual appearance you can judge how big and what shape the dugouts were. National partisans, resisting the Soviet power, operated in the forests of Griva for several years after the end of the Second World War.

Griva forest memorial ensemble, dugout (GPS 56.860665, 27.490439)
It was built in memory of the Soviet partisans who lived in the forests of Griva. Guerrillas blew up the local railway network and trains to disrupt the supply of ammunition, food, etc. to the Nazi German army. Memorial stones have been placed in places where trenches were dug during the war. In the restored dugout you can feel the atmosphere of wartime.

Girls' hill (GPS 56.858187, 27.521526)
In June 1944, the occupiers of Nazi Germany carried out an extensive "combing" of the Griva forests with the intention of destroying the partisans. The soldiers on the hill of Numerne besieged the economic company, which consisted mostly of young girls, and all of them were shot. Since these tragic events, Numerne hill was renamed Meitenu hill by local residents. A memorial stone has been erected at this location.

Memorial stone to the national partisans of Alsviķi parish "Snake Square"

Located in "Čūskubirzs", Alsviķi parish, Alūksne district.

The memorial stone was unveiled on August 21, 2018. Akmeņkalis Ainārs Zelčs.

A bunker site has been preserved here in the forest massif, where in June 1947 the head of the communications department of the Latvian National Partisan Association Antons Circāns came to meet with the partisan representatives led by Bruno Bucalder to organize and maintain contacts between certain groups of national partisans. Anton Circan's goal was not achieved, because on July 7, 1947, near Drusti, he died.

Memorial plaque to Veclaicene national partisans instead of a bunker

Located in Veclaicene parish, Alūksne region.

Opened on October 4, 2019. Akmeņkalis Ainārs Zelčs.
On March 13, 1953, in the forests of Veclaicene, not far from the Koruļi house, the Chekists opened a carefully disguised bunker and arrested Bernhard Ābelkok and Elmārs Tortūze.
Weapons were found in the bunker: 2 German rifles and 95 rounds, 2 Parabellum pistols and 152 rounds.
On November 11, 1949, Czech agents K. Dokti-Doktenieki were shot and his group broke up. After the attack, B. Ābelkoks and E. Tortūzis hid for some time in a bunker near the Maskaļi house, but from the spring of 1951, with the support of Ilona Ābolkalns, they built a bunker in Koruļi, where they lived until their arrest.

Broņislava Martuževa poetry barn

The Broņislava Martuževa Museum is situated on the site of the poet’s childhood home in Indrāni parish, Madona municipality. The museum’s exhibit is located in a renovated barn featuring voice and video evidence from the National Resistance Movement and the work of the poet in publishing an underground magazine, as well as composing poetry and songs for national partisans. Broņislava Martuževa was involved with the resistance movement since its inception. Lazdiņas, Martuževa’s home which has not survived, also served as a place of refuge for Pēteris Supe, Head of the Latvian National Partisan Association, and his comrades-in-arms. The poet spent five years hiding in the basement of her home, meeting with partisans, writing poetry (including work dedicated to partisans Pēteris Supe, Vilis Toms, Smilga Group, Laivenieks, Salns, Celmiņš, Bruno Dundurs and others), as well as writing songs and teaching them to partisans. Now, her songs are sung by the ‘Baltie lāči’ group (literally: ‘White Bears’). In 1950, the ‘Dzimtene’ magazine (literally: ‘Motherland’) was published underground together with Vilis Toms. The poet transcribed 11 issues of the magazine, 10 copies each, by hand. The poet, her brother, sister, mother and Vilis Toms were arrested in 1951. Bronislava Martuževa returned from Siberia in 1956. Recognised locally and nationally, the poetry barn is visited by both local residents and guests of the municipality. Learning about the poet’s life gives you the opportunity to discover the fate of Latvia.

Memorial to the fallen soldiers of the Latvian Legion and national partisans

Located in Indrāni Parish, Lubāna New Cemetery.

A memorial place to the fallen soldiers of the Latvian Legion and national partisans can be seen

The memorial was opened on July 25, 1992. The memorial stone was created by Andris Briezis.

At the beginning of the Awakening, in October 1990, Kārlis Doropoļskis, a member of the Helsinki 86 human rights group, received permission from the authorities to resume the joint burial of Latvian legionnaires the cemetery of the brothers, which was arranged in the new cemetery of Lubāna. A total of 26 fallen legionnaires and national partisans were buried in the brothers' cemetery.

Memorial to the bunker of the national partisan group "Jumba"

Located in Ziemera Parish, State Forest Quarter 66.

The memorial site was unveiled on July 10, 2020.
In the second stage of the Latvian national partisan movement, in the middle of 1948, a group of 4 people - Viks Pētersi, Stebers Rolands, Bukāns Ilgmārs and Kangsepa Elvīra separated from J. Bitāna-Liepačs unit in Mālupe-Beja parishes and . The location of the partisans was near the Estonian border, near the Riga-Pskov highway, on a hill in a thoroughly built bunker.
On March 2, 1950, when the Chekists opened the bunker, the partisans hid in a barn made of boulders on the Estonian side of Napke's house. After a long and intense shooting on March 3, 1950, the Chekists managed to set fire to the barn. Ilgmārs Bukāns, Rolands Stebers and Elvira Kangsepa burned down together with their newborn daughter. Peter Wick jumped out of the barn window and hid in the attic of the house, where he was also found and shot. The farm was burned. The bodies of all the fallen partisans were taken to Alūksne. A memorial was erected at the site of the fighters' deaths in the early 1990s. Elvira Kangsep's daughter, born in a burning barn, was given the name Liesma.

Trail and partisan memorial in Stompaki bog

The Stompaki Bog Area is a specially protected nature and NATURA 2000 territory located between the cities of Balvi and Viļaka. The eastern part of the bog features a marked 1.5-kilometre trail that crosses the forest and also a small part of the high bog (wooden footbridges), leading to five islands within the bog where the national partisans had built residential bunkers. Information stands along the edges of the trail tell about the local natural values and historical events. There is a rest area by the trail. Directions from the P35 road will help visitors find the trail. In early March 1945, one of the largest national partisan settlements in the Baltic States was established at the Stompaki Camp. About 350 to 360 people lived here, including 40 to 50 women. Starting from January 1945, national partisans carried out regular attacks on the military personnel of the occupation regime and their supporters. The camp had a bakery, a church bunker and 25 residential bunkers, immersed halfway into the ground, for accommodating 8 to 30 people. The bunker sites are still visible today. The Battle of Stompaki, the largest battle in the history of Latvian national partisan battles, took place here on 2-3 March 1945. The anti-partisan forces consisted of a total of about 483 soldiers, including subunits of the 2nd and 3rd Rifle Battalions of the 143rd Rifle Regiment of the NKVD 5th Rifle Division, the rifle platoon (armed with submachine guns), mortar company, reconnaissance and sapper platoons, as well as the so-called ‘istrebitel’ (destruction) fighters.

Veseta partisan dugout and memorial site "White Cross"

A 3 m high white plaque with the names of the Latvian national partisans shot on July 2, 1946 can be seen. A nearby dugout has been restored. To make it easier to find this place, there is a sign on the side of Vietalva with the inscription "White Cross".

During the Second World War, there was an active war in the vicinity of Vietalva, and the events after the end of the war were also related to it. In the post-war years, the so-called “Pārupa Group” operated here, led by Rihards Pārups (1914 - 1946).
In 1946, 10 partisans were shot dead in the area due to treason.

A memorial stone to the Pārups group has also been erected in Jēkabpils near the Krustpils Lutheran Church.

The project was implemented by former activists of the Uldis Eiduks youth guard group.
From the side of Pļaviņas, the memorial can be reached by walking on wooden footbridges and in spring and autumn the accessibility of the object can be difficult.

Video story about the exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Rihards Pārups

Monument to members of the resistance movement in Stompakis

It is located 15 km from Balvi in the direction of Viļakas, on the right side of the road.

A memorial is visible.

The memorial to the members of the resistance movement, dedicated to the memory of the national partisans of Pēteras Supes who fell in the battles of March 2 and 3, 1945, on the side of the Balva - Viļaka highway opposite the Stompaki swamp, was opened on August 11, 2011, on the day of remembrance of Latvian freedom fighters. At the end of July, a capsule with a message for future generations was embedded in the base of the monument. A document with the names of 28 national partisans who fell in the battles of March 2 and 3, 1945 is placed in the capsule.

"In February 1945, Latvia's largest national partisan camp was established on the islands of the Stompaku swamp, which the people began to call the islands of the Stompaku swamp, 2 km from the Balvu - Viļaka highway, where 360 people lived in 22 dugouts. Among them, some legionnaires who, for the legion division retreating, they had stayed at their father's house with all their weapons. In order to destroy the partisans, on March 2, 1945, the soldiers of two battalions of Czech troops attacked the dugouts together with destroyers, which also had four mortars in their armament. The battles took place all day, the partisans resisted stubbornly, and the attackers suffered suffered great losses, so that they could not capture the camp and destroy the partisans. 28 inhabitants of the Stompaku swamp had also fallen or died after being seriously injured in the battle. The next night, the partisans broke the siege of the camp with a battle and left undefeated" - this is what a member of the national resistance movement of the award department writes about the Stompaku battle chairman of the case commission, Zigfrīds Berķis.

Exposition “Abrene Rooms”

The exhibit ‘Abrene Rooms’ is located near the city centre of Viļaka. It covers the period from 1920 to 1960 when Viļaka was part of Jaunlatgale, Abrene district, and became the centre of Viļaka district and Abrene municipality. The exhibit is located in the building with the most interesting and diverse history in Viļaka. Initially located on the old Marienhausen Market Square, it later housed apartments, offices and various shops and, during World War  II, the Latvian Self-Defence headquarters, the Gestapo and also the Cheka. The exhibit features items from the national partisan camp in the Stompaki Bog, which are related to the national partisan movement in the Latgale region, as well as documents and photos associated with the War of Independence. With a guided tour booked in advance, the owner, Dzintars Dvinskis, will present the testimonies available in the exhibit.

Memorial place "Bitan bunkers"

Located in Mālupe Parish, Alūksne District.

The memorial stone was unveiled on October 13, 2017. Akmeņkalis Ainārs Zelčs.

On August 24, 1945, in the Dubna forests of Latgale, the Latvian National Partisan Association (LNPA) was established with the aim of restoring the Republic of Latvia in 1918. Regional headquarters were set up to better coordinate the activities of the guerrilla groups. National partisan groups operating in Beja, Mālupe and Mārkalne parishes united in the Priedolaine sector. The regional headquarters was headed by Jānis Liepacis. Propaganda divisions were established at each regional headquarters. One of them, the commander of which was Jānis Bitāns, was formed in the forest massif of Mālupe parish. Here, in the bunker, from 1946 to 1948, five press publications of the Latvian National Partisan Association “Mazais Latvis”, “Liesma”, “Auseklis”, “Māras Zeme” and “Tautas Sargs” were printed. The youth resistance movement “Dzimtenes Sili” of Alūksne Gymnasium was involved in the preparation and dissemination of information.

Memorial stone in Ilzen near the houses of "Sarvu" and "Melļ"

Located in Ilzene Parish, Alūksne District.

The memorial stone was unveiled on September 28, 2018. Akmeņkalis Ainārs Zelčs.

From the autumn of 1944, the inhabitants of these Ilzene parish houses supported the national partisans led by Voldemar Anderson ("Old"), whose bunker was located in a thicket near the forest. On November 23, 1945, the bunker was surrounded by NKVD soldiers. Nine fighters were killed in the battle. After it, 2 machine guns, 14 submachine guns, 11 rifles, 10 pistols, 3,500 rounds, 45 grenades, 4 binoculars were found. The destruction of Voldemar Anderson's group was planned in the case of the Czech agency "Chain" ("Цепь").

The group consisted of Voldemārs Pāvels Andersons (“Old”), Gaston Dzelzkalējs, Voldemārs Tonnis, Centis Eizāns, Osvalds Kalējs, Jānis Koemets, Stāvais (“Polis”), Voldemārs Rappa, Eduards Rappa, Elmārs Rappa (survived).

Ensemble of the Brothers' Cemetery of Soviet Soldiers Fallen in World War II

Located on Skolas Street near Spārīte Park.

There are sculptures of four people, a memorial.

The author of the sculptural ensemble of the Brothers' Cemetery of Soviet soldiers who died in World War II is the architect G.Barkāns, the sculptors G.Grundberga and I.Zandberga. A memorial wall with 36 stone plaques is engraved near the brothers' cemeteries, on which the names, initials and ranks of the fallen are engraved. The monument was unveiled in 1968, when the fallen from various graves of the Gulbene district village brothers were reburied here.
A total of 1125 Soviet soldiers, partisans and militiamen were buried in the brothers' cemetery.

 
Cattle wagon used for deportations – museum at Skrunda train station

To commemorate the deportations of June 1941 and March 1949, a memorial stone and a four-axle wagon, which also serves as the museum dedicated to deportations, was erected at the Skrunda railway station. This is the first wagon-type museum in Latvia that holds a permanent exhibit of photos, letters, memoirs, documents and various items made by the people deported from the Skrunda station. Skrunda station was a location where deportees were gathered, and one of the three stations in the region to which people from the Skrunda and the Kuldīga area were brought. In 1941, the family of the first President of the restored Republic of Latvia, Guntis Ulmanis, was deported from here to Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia.

With the help of deportations, the Soviets dealt with supporters of the national partizans’ and at the same time intimidated the remaining rural population, forcing them to join the collective farms.

North Pier and Battery No.3 in Karosta

The longest pier in Latvia - the Northern Pier - was built at the end of the 19th century as a very important part of the Liepaja Sea Fortress and military port. The length of the pier is 1800 metres, the width - 7.35 metres.

The Northern Pier is one of the first port structures of Emperor Alexander III, built between 1890 and 1892 before the excavation of the Karosta Canal. Together with the North Breakwater, the South Breakwater and the South Pier, the pier formed the outpost of Liepaja.

Liepaja Fortress Battery No 3 was located next to the North Pier of the Karosta and was planned to be the largest in terms of armament. Platforms were built for four 6-inch (152 mm) guns of the 1892 model of the Canet system, five 11-inch (280 mm) guns of the 1887 model and two 57 mm Nordenfeld anti-tank guns, as well as 18 9-inch (229 mm) guns and mortars.

Today, Battery 3 is most affected by the prevailing south-north sea current, which creates a whirlpool effect behind the North Pier, resulting in the washouts of the gun platform foundations.

The North Pier protects the Liepaja harbour area from North Westerly winds. It is a favourite place for residents and visitors to Liepaja to watch sunsets, fish and watch the sea in different weather conditions. Especially spectacular during storms.

There is ample parking at the North Pier. There are also restrooms and a café with a unique sea view.

Boat trip in Ciecere lake by the boat “Zezer”

During the ride with the recreational boat “Zezer” along Lake Ciecere near Brocēni you can listen to the audio guide and captain's stories about Lake Ciecere and the city of Brocēni on its shores, World War II events near Lake Ciecere, trenches on both sides of the lake and the Oak Island, as well as the tank route running along an observation tower and the tank that is said to be sunk in the lake. The audio guide is available in Latvian, Lithuanian, English, and Russian languages. The ride takes 1 hour 15 min.

Karosta Military Prison

The Karosta Prison in Liepāja is the only military prison in Europe open to tourists. Constructed around 1900 for the needs of a hospital, the building was never used for its original purpose. The structure was repurposed as a place for serving temporary disciplinary punishment and was used as such up until 1997.

Powers changed but the purpose of the institution remained the same, namely, to house prisoners, including revolutionaries, sailors and non-commissioned officers of the Russian tsarist army, German deserters, enemies of the people of the Stalin era, as well as soldiers of the Soviet and Latvian armies. The Karosta Prison is currently open to visitors and guided tours are available. The tours show the prison and visitors can learn about its history, have a look at the prison and punishment cells and hear interesting and even ghostly tales about life at the prison. Braver souls have the opportunity to play the ‘Behind the Bars’ reality game or try to get out of closed rooms. And those who know no fear can spend the night in a prison cell. The Karosta Prison has a Karosta Visitor Centre, a Soviet-era buffet and a souvenir shop. The services of a guide are available throughout the whole of Karosta.

Private collection of military objects and sewing machines

The only sewing machine collection in Latvia with more than 200 different sewing machines from the pre-war and Soviet periods, which played a direct role in the production of military clothing in the pre-war and war years. Collection creator - Juris Beloivans

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.

Exhibition "Struggles for freedom in the 20th century" in Jēkabpils History Museum

Located in Krustpils Palace

Viewable exhibition "Fights for freedom in the 20th century"
Soviet repression. Hard memories. Sitting here in a club chair, you can listen to fragments of the book "Those were the times" by Ilmars Knaģ from Jēkabpils. On one of the walls of the room, a list of townspeople deported to Siberia slides dispassionately, like the credits after a movie. There you can watch an amateur video about the removal of the Lenin monument in Jēkabpils on the old TV. Visitors are interested not only in the content, but also in the technical possibilities - how did this film get on the old TV.

It is possible to listen to the lectures prepared by the museum specialists at the Jēkabpils History Museum or apply for an excursion: Jēkabpils and its surroundings in the First World War, Jēkabpils in 1990, the time of the Barricades, the deportations of 1949 - 70, Jēkabpilians Cavaliers of the Lāčplēš Military Order, etc.
The average duration of lectures is 40 min. Information and registration for lectures by calling 65221042, 27008136.

Information about prices

Jēkabpils History Museum is located in Krustpils Castle. In 1940, after the inclusion of Latvia in the USSR, the 126th Rifle Division was stationed in Krustpils Castle. During the Second World War, the castle housed a German infirmary, and after August 1944, a Red Army war hospital. After the war, Krustpils Castle with the adjacent manor buildings were occupied by the central warehouses of the 16th Long-range Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment and the 15th Air Army of the Soviet Army.

Vaiņode air base

Vaiņode airfield still has 16 Soviet-era aircraft hangars and an 1800 m section of the once 2500 m long runway. The airfield can only be visited with a previous booking. Vaiņode airfield was established during the Latvian independence as one of the cradles of Latvian aviation and was later one of the largest military airfields in the Baltic States. In 1916, two hangars for German Army airships were built. Airships were used to gather intelligence and bomb the positions of the Russian Army. Later the city of Riga bought the airship hangars and used their roof structures to build the pavilions of the Riga Central Market. In May 1940, the 31st Fast Bomber Aviation Regiment of the Red Army moved to Vaiņode, and the construction of a standardized concrete slab runway began. At the end of the summer of 1944 the partially completed airfield was used by various German aviation units, however, at the end of World War II, the same airfield was used by the Red Army aviation units fighting the German Army group called ‘Kurzeme’. After World War II the Soviet Air Forces were stationed in Vaiņode until 1992.

Pilsblidene Manor

The manor house was built in the classical style in the 1920s of the 19th century. After the land reform, the manor complex was rented out to private individuals, but from 1932 it passed to the Ministry of People's Welfare.

6. During the fierce battles of the Great Battle of Courland it was used both as a support post and as an infirmary. 

On 17 March 1945, the last attempt of the Red Army to attack Courland began. Units of the German 24th Infantry Division defended themselves in the vicinity of the Pilsblidene Manor complex. On 18 March 1945, the manor house was attacked from the south by the 121st Rifle Regiment of the Latvian Rifle Division of the 43rd Guards, which was unsuccessful. The 1st Battalion of the 300th Rifle Regiment of the 7th Estonian Rifle Division attacked from the west, and at the end of the day the 35th Tank Brigade of the 3rd Guards Mechanised Corps joined the 1st Battalion of the 917th Rifle Regiment of the 249th Estonian Rifle Division on the Blīdene-Remte road.

On the night of 19 March, the 43rd Grenadier Regiment of the 19th Latvian SS Grenadier Division arrived in the vicinity of Blīdene Station and counter-attacked to retake the Pilsblīdene Manor residential building. However, as a result of a night tank attack, Estonian and Latvian units of the Red Army gained a foothold at the station.

In 1959, a fire broke out in the castle. From 1961 to 1986, a retirement home operated in the residential building. In 1986, the castle was again destroyed by fire. Since then, the castle has stood empty and ruined.

A 24-hectare park surrounds the manor house, which is now overgrown. The park has about 37 plantations of non-native species of trees and shrubs and is under state protection. The park is unmaintained and the surroundings are overgrown.

Priekule Memorial Ensemble of Warrior’s Cemetery

The Priekule Memorial Ensemble of Warrior’s Cemetery is on the Liepāja-Priekule-Skoda road and is the largest burial site of Soviet soldiers of World War II in the Baltics. More than 23,000 Soviet soldiers are buried here. Operation Priekule was one of the fiercest battles in Kurzeme Fortress that took place from October 1944 to 21 February 1945. The Battle of Priekule in February 1945 lasted seven days and nights without interruption and had a lot of casualties on both sides. Until Priekule Warrior’s Cemetery was transformed into a memorial, the last monument of the outstanding Latvian sculptor K. Zāle (1888-1942) was located here to commemorate the independence battles in Aloja. Between 1974 and 1984, the 8 ha Priekule Warrior’s Cemetery was transformed into a memorial ensemble dedicated to those who fell in World War II. It was designed by the sculptor P. Zaļkalne, architects A. Zoldners and E. Salguss, and the dendrologist A. Lasis.

The centre of the memorial holds a 12 m tall statue called the ‘Motherland’, and names of the fallen are engraved on granite slabs. Until Latvia regained its independence, the Victory Day was widely celebrated every year on May 9.

Barn of Nygrande Manor

The Nīgrande Local History Repository is located in the Nīgrande village in the manor barn, next to the Nīgrande Primary School, and is accessible by appointment.

The military history section of the repository includes an exhibition on World War II and original objects and parts found in the area after the war and in later years. You can also find out stories and see photographs about Nygrande and its surroundings from the War of Independence, World War II and the post-war period, as well as life on the collective farm in Soviet times. 

The exhibition has a special place for the local writer Jēkab Janševskis and his works, and there is an exhibition presenting traditional manor house life and furnishings. A mammoth tusk found in Nīgrande is also on display in the barn of Nīgrande Manor.

Īle National Partisans’ Bunker

The bunker is located in Zebrene municipality, less than 1km from the P104 Biksti - Auce road. 

The largest bunker in the Baltic States was built in 1948 in the forests of Īle by the partisans of the united Latvian-Lithuanian group to continue their fight against the Soviets. The 27-strong group was led by the young commander Kārlis Krauja (real name Visvaldis Brizga).

On 17 March 1949, the 24 partisans, who were in a bunker at the time, fought their last battle against the 760-strong force of the Ministry of State Security, or Cheka. 15 guerrillas were killed, nine were captured and deported to Siberia with their supporters.
 
In 1992, the Home Guards, together with the Daugava Hawks and representatives of patriotic organisations, dug up the bunker, collected the bones of the fallen fighters and buried them in the Virki Cemetery in Dobele. A White Cross, a memorial stone and a granite stele were erected at the bunker.
 
In the mid-1990s, the outline of the bunker was already traced and reinforced with internal walls, but it was not until the 60th anniversary of the battle that the bunker was rebuilt exactly as it was before it was blown up. Many supporters and volunteers helped to make it happen.
 
Inside the bunker you can see a stove, a table and narrow benches on which the partisans slept. There are information boards, memorial stones with the names of the partisans and their supporters. 

There is a resting place and a toilet. 

Skrunda Manor and exposition of Skrunda locator

Skrunda manor has an exhibit about the Skrunda radar (Skrunda radio location station) and the activities of the Latvian Popular Front in Skrunda. The Skrunda radio location station nicknamed ‘Kombināts’ (The Plant) was a USSR missile early warning system in the western sector. Location ‘Skrunda-2’ was a special town (в/ч 18951) created 5 km from Skrunda in the direction of Kuldīga for the needs of the USSR military. The radar station Dņepr operated from here and a new, more modern station Darjal was being built. Construction was stopped and the radar station Darjal was blown up on 4 May 1995. In compliance with an international agreement the radar station Dnieper was shut down on 31 August 1998.

Mērsrags lighthouse and former border guard

Mērsrags Lighthouse is located in the Mērsrags village, about 1 km north of the village centre. The lighthouse was put into commission in 1875. It is an 18.5 m tall freestanding, cylindrical, riveted iron tower, the lower part of which has been fortified with reinforced concrete counterforts. The height of the signal light is 21.3 m. At the top all around the tower there is an iron balcony supported by consoles. The lighthouse tower was made by Sotera, Lemonier & Co in Paris, so this lighthouse is commonly known as the ‘Frenchie’. At the end of 1944, the 1003rd Artillery Division Battery of the German Army with 60 cm spotlights was located right next to the lighthouse. In May 1945, the Nazi Germany high command planned to move the 15th Latvian SS Grenadier Division to the area, but these plans failed, because Latvian soldiers surrendered to the Western Allies. Near the Mērsrags Lighthouse there are still remains of a building where during the USSR times Soviet border guards had a large, extendable spotlight for illuminating the sea. There is a bird-watching tower next to the lighthouse. Tours need to be booked beforehand by contacting the Mērsrags Tourism Information Centre.

Mazirbe border guard tower

The Soviet border defence post was located in the building that used to be a maritime school, and next to it is a well-preserved Soviet border guard watchtower. The second watchtower is located right on the shore next to a parking lot. These watchtowers are a reminder of the Soviet occupation and the times when Mazirbe was a closed border area and civilians were allowed on the shore only in specially designated places and only during the daytime. This border guard watchtower is one of the best-preserved objects of its type on the coast of Latvia. However, it designated is dangerous to climb it.

Mazirbe Nautical School

The Soviet Border Guard Tower in this complex is one of the best preserved of its kind on the Latvian coast. Unfortunately, the condition of the buildings is poor, there is a rifle loading/unloading site on the site, and a drive and fragments of trenches have been salvaged. 

The Coast Guard post was located in the former Marine School building. In the post-Soviet period, accommodation was offered in parts of the buildings.

The second tower of the Soviet Border Guard is located about 400 m from the beach, but unfortunately it is in a state of disrepair. However, the Mazirbe boat cemetery is located not more than 500 m from the beach tower towards Sīkrags.

Liepaja Coast Defence Battery 23

The battery is located between Tobago and Marine Streets, seawards.

According to the "base agreement" between the Republic of Latvia and the USSR, signed on 5 October 1939, a contingent of nearly 25 000 Red Army and Baltic Navy troops was to be stationed in Kurzeme. By March 1941, Baltic naval bases were established in Latvia in the defence sectors of Irbe Bay, Saaremaa and Liepaja, consisting of coastal defence batteries.

The Liepaja coastal defence sector included the 208th artillery division with two 130 mm B-13 gun batteries (No 23 and No 27) and one 180 mm rail gun battery. Construction of Battery 23 began in November 1939 and was completed on 17 May 1941, partly using the reinforced concrete fortifications of Battery No. 2 of Liepaja Fortress. Battery 23 consisted of four reinforced concrete gun positions on the seafront, a command post and an observation (range-finding) tower in the dune forest. The range-finding positions were located in reinforced concrete towers to ensure better visibility while maintaining concealment in the pine forest.

Gun positions 1 and 2 are located on the seafront and partially eroded, while gun position 4 is the most visible in the dunes. Battery 23 was blown up by Soviet soldiers on 27 June 1941 during the retreat from Liepāja.

After the Second World War, Battery 23 was renamed Battery 636, armed with the same 130 mm B-13 guns, but a new range-keeping tower was built in 1954 for fire control, adjacent to the 1941 tower. In 1963, all the Liepaja coastal defence guns were dismantled.

After the restoration of Latvia's independence, the area of Battery No 2 is in the use of the Ministry of Defence.

The two towers are located very close to each other - only 10 m apart. The four gun positions were located to the right of both towers, actually on the seafront. The reinforced concrete bunker of the personnel who manned the guns is now washed away by the waves and has a washed-out foundation, tilted and leaning seawards.

Seda cultural heritage (1953-1990) exposition and Stalinist architecture

The town of Seda was originally built as a workers’ village, together with the construction of a peat factory in 1953. The peat factory was declared part of the All-Union Komsomol Shock Construction Project, with young people from all over the Soviet Union coming here. This defined the character and face of the village. In 1954, Seda was granted workers’ village rights. In 1961, the workers’ village was named a township. On 14 November 1991, the township with a rural area acquired the status of the town of Seda with a rural area. An exhibit of cultural and historical heritage is on display at the Seda Culture House. The panels in the exhibition hall showcase the history of development of the Seda area, starting from the historical period when the Salānieši farm property extended across the territory of the town of Seda to the construction of the town. The exhibit features stories about the reasons for and process of the creation of the town, the history of the Seda Peat Factory and other documentary evidence. In terms of core content, the exhibit mainly includes historical archive materials: protocols, decisions and orders. To help visitors gain a better sense of this period of history, the exhibit includes a ‘manager’s office’ featuring items from that time. The exhibit is also visually enhanced by Soviet-era household items that are on display in addition to different documentary evidence.

Exposition of historical evidence of the Tirza Parish local history repository of the USSR period

The exposition located in the former dispatch room of the collective farm was opened in 2005. Visitors are offered to experience the atmosphere of the time of the USSR in interactive lessons: discussing the Soviet period, creating legends about historical evidence, participating in choir singing, dancing "letkis", making paper airplanes and hlapushkas, thus surviving a break at school, as well as enjoying kilava buns and linden tea .

Stories and historical evidence about traditions, ancient trades and outstanding residents.

Please book your visit in advance!

For adults: 2.00 Eur
For students, pensioners: 1.00 Eur
Guided tour for up to 6 people (1-1.5 hours): 6.00 Eur
Guided tours for more than 6 people (1-1.5 hours): 1.00 Eur per person

Concrete access road from Mārciena to Gaizinkalns via Bērzauna

Located in Madona region, Bērzaune, Bērzaune parish.

The concrete road was intended for the transfer of nuclear missiles from the military base in Mārciena to Gaizinkalns. Conventional roads did not carry the heavy weight of the missiles, a special surface was needed to move them

The concrete road (with breaks) in Mārciena and Bērzaune parish has been preserved to this day.

WWII German army bunker

It was located near the house in "Brankša" on a grain field.

On September 2, 2021, under the guidance of Andras Grabčiks, a history enthusiast of the Saulkrasti region, and in coordination with Ines Karlova, the tenant of agricultural land, excavation works of the German army bunker of the Sigulda defense line of World War II took place.

"77 years have passed since the bunker was built, experienced both the attack of the Soviet Army and the driving of agricultural machinery over it. Only 3 years ago, it partially succumbed to the heavy machinery. To prevent the floor from being flooded, a drainage system was developed with a water storage reservoir at the entrance, which, if necessary, exhausted. The floor of the bunker is made of round logs 10 cm in diameter and was covered with straw. This bunker is not one of the big ones, but quite enough for about 6 people. This bunker is not the only one in the area, but one of the few that is well preserved." - this is what Andris Grabčiks says about the bunker.

After the information was published on the Internet, 2 scanned historical photographs were received from the historian and owner of the Saulkrasti Bicycle Museum, Jānis Seregins, with the inscription "29.08.44, Saulkrasti, Vidrižu parish" and the comment: "The photographs were obtained from a Saulkrasti resident, who is now dead. According to her story, refugees from Pskov and Leningrad region, who were driven out of their homes by the retreating Germans, had settled in Saulkrasti. They were employed in digging trenches in the defense line near Ķīšupe. One of the pictures shows people in forest works. In this way, the logs that we can see now in the bunker near Brankša were obtained. The second picture shows how they are fed at a distribution point near the house or in the kitchen. I think it's the Branch Mill."

The bunker has been preserved from WWII on the defensive line of Sigulda.
The site of the first rezi bunker was surveyed in April 2021, but due to the high ground water, excavation work could not take place.

The bunker is located on agricultural land and after excavation and exploration, it was filled in so as not to interfere with agricultural work.

Red Army prisoner filtration camp in Grieze and Grieze Church

Grieze is located at the Latvian-Lithuanian border, where the Vadakste River flows into the Venta River. The Grieze church was built in 1580, but the parish existed before 1567. The church was rebuilt several times - in 1769, in 1845 and in 1773 the first organ was installed. Both the altarpiece and the two bells have been lost for various reasons.

In the church garden there is a cemetery where people belonging to the church and noblemen are buried. One of them is Grieze organist Friedrich Baris and his wife Charlotte, who have a monument erected in front of the church sacristy. On the south side of the church, 32 Swedish soldiers who died in the Great Northern War are buried. The cemetery also contains the graves of 110 German soldiers who died in the First World War, for whom a monument was erected in 1930.

During the Second World War, the church suffered when the front line was stretched along the Venta River in late October 1944 and the German 225th Infantry Division was stationed in the vicinity of Grieze Church. When the Soviet 4th Shock Army launched attacks across the Venta River on 19 November 1944, several artillery shells hit the south wall of the church and the church tower was badly damaged.

After the surrender of Army Group Kurzeme, the Red Army's Leningrad Front accounted for 284 171 people taken prisoner. 7493 were Red Army soldiers released from German captivity. 48 German generals surrendered to captivity. According to the documents submitted at the time of the surrender of Army Group Kurzeme, the number of soldiers was about 185 000. The rest of the nearly 100 000 people subjected to filtration were Kurzeme civilians and Soviet refugees, as the Soviet Leningrad Front ordered on 10 May 1945 that all men between the ages of 16 and 60 be subjected to filtration.

In the Red Army, unlike the armed forces of other countries, the screening, guarding, maintenance and protection of prisoners of war was carried out not by army units, but by the internal affairs bodies - the People's Commissariat for State Security. The main task of the filtration was to detect citizens of the USSR and Soviet-occupied countries who had taken part in the hostilities on the German side. Captured German soldiers were examined in order to detect possible perpetrators of war crimes.

A prisoner-of-war filtration camp was located in the vicinity of the Grieze Church from 10 May to 17 June 1945. The camp was probably located here because the Grieze Church was close to the main roads. The pits in the ground where the prisoners hid from the cold on cold nights by covering themselves with whatever was available are still clearly visible in the surrounding area. During this period, the Red Army caused considerable damage to the interior of the church (all the pews were removed - "for the war effort", the pulpit was damaged, the organ was destroyed, etc.). A laundry was set up in the church building itself.

The last service in the church was in 1950 and the congregation ceased to exist. After the dissolution of the congregation, also later under the supervision of the Latvian Society for the Protection of Nature and Monuments, the church was not repaired. However, the building stood under roof until the 1960s-1970s. The church was damaged during the storm of 1961 and in 1968 the remaining interior elements were rescued by the Rundāle Palace staff.

Since 2003, a group of like-minded people from Riga parishes have been involved in the clean-up and restoration of the church. To date, the church walls have been conserved and the tower has been restored.
 

Memorial ensemble for the deportees "The Way of the Cross"

The memorial ensemble is located at Skolas Street and St Agathe of the Mountains Roman Catholic Church.

The memorial ensemble consists of four stylised carriages, each for a different time of deportation. The roofs of the wagons symbolise houses. In the middle of the ensemble are an altar and a cross. The monument is different from the others because it reminds us that Latvian citizens were deported not only on 14 June 1941 and 25 March 1949. There were deportations between these dates as well. The monument has been designed in such a way that the list of names engraved on it can be expanded as research continues.

The memorial ensemble was designed by local artist and local historian Maija Eņģele

Liepaja Fortress Middle Fort and Monument to the Soldiers of the Red Army

The most dangerous direction of attack for the port of Emperor Alexander III was from the east between the lakes of Tosmare and Liepāja, where there was a 2.5 km wide strait of land. Three fortifications were built to defend the land strip. On the southern shore of Lake Tosmare there was a left redoubt, on the northern shore of Lake Liepāja a right redoubt, and between the redoubts there was a Middle Fort. The Middle Fort was the most serious fortification of the Liepaja Fortress, but it was not fully completed and artillery was not deployed until 1908.

It was at the Middle Fort that the most serious battles took place in April 1915, when German troops attacked, in November 1919 during the Latvian Army's battles against the West Russian Liberation Army, and in June 1941, when Liepāja was attacked by the 291st Infantry Division of the German Armored Forces.

In June 1941, when hostilities between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union broke out, the Liepaja garrison of the Soviet Army consisted of units of the Liepaja naval base of the Navy and the Red Army. The Liepaja naval base consisted of mine trawler, torpedo boat and submarine divisions, including former Latvian Navy ships and submarines. The coastal defence was carried out by the 23rd and 27th artillery batteries with 130 mm guns and the 18th railway artillery battery with 180 mm guns, covered by two Zenith artillery divisions. The base also included several sapper, repair, liaison and training units, totalling some 4 000 soldiers, commanded by Captain M. Klevenski, 1st rank. Of the Red Army units, the garrison was manned by the 67th Rifle Division (minus the 114th Rifle Regiment and one artillery division), commanded by Major-General N. Dedaev. The division had about 9000 soldiers before the outbreak of hostilities. The 143rd Fighter Aviation Regiment with 68 aircraft of various types was stationed at Liepāja airfield. In addition, the 12th Border Guard Unit operated in the Liepāja area.

The battle action at the Liepaja Fortress began in the early morning of 24 June 1941. Despite the Soviet losses, the German units were unable to break through the Liepaja Fortress rampart on 25 June. The fighting in Liepāja ended on 27 and 28 June, when Soviet units tried to break northwards.
 

Liepaja Museum exhibition "Liepaja under the occupation regimes"

The Liepāja Museum exhibition "Liepāja under the occupation regimes" is located in Liepāja, 7/9 Klāva Ukstiņa Street.

The exhibition covers the period from 1939 to 1991 during the double Soviet and German occupation. The inhabitants of Liepāja were among the first in Latvia to experience the outbreak of the Second World War and among the last for whom the war ended both literally and symbolically.

It was not until the collapse of the USSR in the late 1980s that the opportunity arose to restore Latvia's independence. The Latvian People's Front played a major role in this process, and its exhibition, opened on 21 January 2001, is housed in the former headquarters of the Liepāja City Branch. The Liepāja branch of the Popular Front was the second largest after the Riga branch, with 13 000 members. It was from here that buses of volunteers were organised during the barricades in January 1991 to go and defend the sites in Riga. On 23 August 1991, the day of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Lenin Monument, a symbol of Soviet power in the city, was dismantled. In later years, 500 bronze bells were made from it in Germany - souvenirs of a bygone era. One of these bells is also on display.

World War II and the Soviet occupation of Liepāja ended only in 1994, when the last troops of the USSR's heir, Russia, left the city.

The museum regularly organises thematic exhibitions of its collection and artworks, as well as lectures and meetings with historians and eyewitnesses of recent Latvian history. The museum building is currently being renovated and the exhibition is being renewed.

German army coastguard searchlight site in Usi and border guard post in Kolka

No military infrastructure was planned in Cape Kolka, except for several offshore lighthouses that were rebuilt over a long period of time, either before World War I, during World War I or during World War II. Coastal defence batteries were planned for the narrowest part of the Irbe Strait, between the Sirves Peninsula and the Michael Tower Lighthouse.

The only fortifications of a military nature appeared at the end of 1944, when the German Army Group North was preparing to repel possible landings by the Soviet Baltic Fleet. In the spring of 1945, after the ice retreated, two batteries of the 532nd Artillery Division defended the coast at Cape Kolka. Battery 7 with four 75 mm guns and three 20 mm zenith guns. Battery 8 with four 88 mm mortars, three 20 mm mortars and an 81 mm mortar. The anti-deserter infantry garrison consisted of one of the most famous coastal defence units of the German Navy, the 5th Company of the 531st Artillery Division. Although it was an artillery unit by name, it was an infantry unit by deployment, which started its war in June 1941 at Liepāja. The unit was then garrisoned on islands in the Gulf of Finland and later took part in the fighting on the island of Saaremaa. The remnants of the division were reformed into one company and, reinforced with seven anti-tank guns and three 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, deployed at Cape Kolka.

The Soviet naval landing operation never took place and the German units capitulated in May 1945.

The military infrastructure in Cape Kolka began to be built after the Second World War, when Soviet border guard posts were deployed here and Kolka, like the entire Kurzeme coast from Mērsrags to the Lithuanian border, became a closed zone

German Army concrete tower (by the beach)

Walking along the slope of Mount Odju for 200 m along the path, you can see several objects related to the First World War - old concrete foundations of cannons from. An unfinished concrete observation tower stands next to the beach, parallel to the forest path along the Rojas Trail. The exact use of this object is unknown. Below the base, niches have been built for ammunition. Deep pits, former dugouts, are also visible among the pines.

Some of the objects probably date back to the end of the Second World War, when German coastal defence batteries were stationed in the area. The 4th Battery, 532nd Artillery Division, Navy, was armed with four 88 mm guns, three 37 mm guns, one 20 mm four-barrelled gun and one 50 mm mortar for illumination at night. Two 45 mm anti-tank guns are deployed at the mouth of the Rojas. The town garrison consisted of units of the 64th and 109th Sapper Battalions.

Ruins of Ķērkliņu church

The ruins of the Ķerkliņu Church are located about 5 kilometres north-west of Kokmuiža, near the Ķerkliņu Lake. The church was built in 1641 by Heinrich von Dönhoff (Derkarth), the owner of the Ķerkliņi manor. The original wooden church was replaced by a stone building, under which tombs were built for the dead of the Dönhof and later Kleist families. The tombs were already destroyed during the 1905 riots, but in 1949 the coffins were moved from the tombs to the church. The church was an example of the Kurzeme Baroque style - its carvings were made by the Kuldīga - Liepāja woodcarvers. Although the owners of the manor and the church were at various times plagued by financial problems, the church underwent several reconstructions during its existence. It also suffered during the First World War, after which the parish rebuilt the stonework in 1929 and added an organ in 1934. Unfortunately, the church was damaged during the Second World War and much of it was lost, so it is to be commended that before the church was rebuilt in 1933, many unique pieces of Baroque sculpture were photographed, inventoried and even ended up in the archives of the Monuments Board. With the establishment of the landfill and the eviction of the inhabitants, the church was never restored. Today, the church walls and tower are visible.

Monument to the fallen heroes of Gulbene parish in Latvia

Located in the historical center of Gulbene, opposite the Gulbene Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Monument to the victims of the riots of 1905, members of the Gulbene congregation who fell in the First World War and the Latvian War of Independence, and the victims of the Maliena tribunal. The monument was designed by E. Ābeltiņš and was unveiled in 1929 in front of the Gulbene Evangelical Lutheran Church. After the Second World War, a five-pointed star was placed on the monument, then - on its foundations - a plaster image of a Soviet soldier was painted in bronze, and a cemetery of fallen Soviet soldiers was erected behind the monument. When the new cemeteries of Soviet soldiers who died in World War II were opened in Spārīte Park in 1969, the remains of the fallen were transported there, but the site of the monument was leveled with the ground. In the autumn of 1989, the foundations of the monument were excavated and the capsule with the text built into them in 1928 was excavated. The monument was restored in 1992 (sculptor O. Feldbergs).

Between December 24, 1918 and May 31, 1919, when the 1st (4th) Valmiera Infantry Regiment liberated Gulbene from the Bolsheviks, the Maliena (Vecgulbene) Revolutionary War Tribunal and Workers' Club were located in the church. It stood out for the severity of its decisions and the high number of death sentences, often for minor offenses, in which 349 cases were investigated and 606 people were charged.

A memorial sculpture can be seen.

Red Army Cemetery

Located on Parka Street 1B, Lubāna, Madona district.

Memorial to the Red Army soldiers who died in World War II

The center of Lubāna, the intersection of Oskara Kalpaka Street, Tilta Street and Baznīcas Street, was established as the burial place of the soldiers of the original Red Army in 1944. Later - in 1961, when traffic not only in the city, but also in its immediate vicinity became more intense, the burials were relocated, reburying the remains of the fallen near the Aiviekste River (the intersection of the current Stacijas Street and Parka Street, in the direction of Aiviekste). A total of 450 Red Army soldiers are buried in this place, there are plates in the part of the monument with the names of the Red Army soldiers buried in this burial place.

Monument to the battlefield - forcing Aiviekste

Located on the bank of Aiviekste, by the road Madona - Varakļāni, Barkava parish, Madona region.

Memorial to Aiviekste forcing. Opened in 1964. August 12

1944 the 341st Guards Rifle Regiment of the Soviet Army forced Aivieksti.

One of the plans for the attack on the 2nd Baltic Front in early August 1944 was called "Razgrom", and it was planned to arrive in Riga in about 10 days from the Lubāna area. These were also peculiar baptisms of fire for the 130th Latvian Rifle Corps, which for the first time in the territory of Latvia on August 2-6, 1944 went on the offensive in the north-east of Steķi, in the direction of Medņi-Antuži and reached the left bank of Aiviekste. On August 7 and 8, 1944, units of the 130th Latvian Rifle Corps successfully took part in the attack of the 22nd Soviet Army on Krustpils. After the capture of Krustpils, the subdivisions of the 130th Corps forced Aivieksti on August 10 and established a bridgehead on the right bank of the river.

Video showing an episode of Aiviekste's forcing .

Barkava Brothers Cemetery

Located between Brīvības and Parka streets, Not far from Barkava culture house, Barkava parish, Madona region.

Memorial to the Red (Soviet) Army Soldiers of World War II. Buried: 1980 - 659 (all known and marked); 1984 - 667 (661 known and marked) soldiers.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation, in cooperation with the Madona Municipality, has carried out and will carry out several reconstruction works of the Brothers' Cemetery of the Soviet Army in Madona Municipality, including Barkava Parish.

Madona Brothers Cemetery

The Brothers' Cemetery in Madona is located on Parka Hill near Pumpuru Street. A concrete staircase leads from Pumpuru Street to the cemetery, but a path leads from Parka Street.

The monument was unveiled in 1947.
Several thousand fallen Soviet soldiers are buried in the cemetery of the brothers. There is no preserved obelisk on the hill.
The Russian Federation has compiled and clarified information about the names of the soldiers who are resting in these cemeteries and in 2021 the reconstruction of the cemetery was completed. The names of the soldiers who fell during the reconstruction were re-engraved on marble slabs placed on the memorial walls.

Buried: 1959 - 46; 1980 - 3941 (all known and marked); 1984 - 3979 (3943 known and marked) soldiers, 1 partisan, 2 Soviet activists. PSV: MA Ivasiks (1919 -1944).

Memorial to the Red Army soldiers killed in World War II

Located in Varakļāni, at the intersection of Rīgas and Lubānas streets.

A memorial to the soldiers who died in World War II can be seen, which was erected to destroy the old Catholic cemeteries.
Buried: 1959 - 204; 1980 - g. 710 (all known and marked) and 4 SA soldiers killed in the War of Independence (1919); 1984 - 722 (715 known and marked) soldiers.

It is located next to the church of the Roman Catholic Church in Varakļāni, which suffered various hardships during the Second World War - the loss of an organ, the removal of bells from towers, etc. A tour of the church (accompanied by a guide) is included in the "Path of Souls". Apply by phone. 29359242 or 64866164.

Monument "To those who fell for the Fatherland 1918 - 1920."

It is located on the edge of Riga Street, opposite the Krustpils Palace.

In Jēkabpils, on the right bank of the Daugava, the proposal for erecting a monument to the fallen soldiers of the Freedom Struggle for the monument "Fallen for the Fatherland 1918 - 1920" was made by the Krustpils branch of the Latvian Brothers' Graves Committee on June 12, 1923. For the creation of the monument, on November 12, 1923, the Krustpils Parish Board handed over the stone part of the Tsar Alexander II monument at the parish board building, where the monument was installed in honor of the abolition of serfdom, to the disposal of the Fraternal Graves Committee. The Ministry of the Interior of Latvia allowed the Krustpils branch of the Fraternal Graves Committee to collect donations. In total, 2,400 lats were donated, 1,200 were missing. It was hoped to get them from the bazaar and social evening organized on the opening day of the monument.

The project of the monument is entrusted to the architect Aleksanders Birznieks. The architect's plans were to create a monument from local material - dolomite studs. The volume of the monument was formed by two concentric, massive semi-circles of dolomite stud masonry, the outer one on the Daugava side was lower, cut into the shore and formed a terrace. In its center was a fire cross made of red bricks. In the center of the main half-circle, as an altar, granite plates with the text: "Fallen for the Fatherland 1918 - 1920" and depicting the rising sun above the waves of the Daugava, framed by Latvian symbols. The central part of the monument was formed by the mask of the fallen soldier, which was forged by the sculptor V. Trejs. The Acting Commander of the Latgale Artillery Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Jākobsons, allowed the use of the square on the right bank of the Daugava opposite the Krustpils Castle for the construction of the monument, on the condition that the square remains the property of the Latgale Artillery Regiment.

In 1925, the Krustpils branch of the Latvian Brethren Cemetery Committee concluded a contract with businessman V. Treija from Riga for the construction of a monument in Krustpils. On July 26, 1925, the foundation of the monument was laid. September 27, 1925 is a holy day for Crusaders. The opening of the monument is taking place with its consecration by the Lutheran pastor of Krustpils parish K. Skujiņš. The Minister of War R. Bangerskis, the commander of the Latgale Artillery Regiment, Colonel Kire, General K. Berķis, etc. participate in the construction of the monument.

20th century In the 1950s, the monument "Fallen for the Fatherland 1918 - 1920" was partially destroyed - the upper part was demolished - the mask of ancient Latvian soldiers, smeared inscriptions, destroyed fire cross sign. On the other hand, already at the beginning of the Third Awakening, the activists of the Krustpils branch of the Latvian People's Front (LTF) in the first regional conferences of the LTF wrote in the resolution the demand to restore the monument in Krustpils. Already on November 11, 1989, at the place where the monument was located, a commemoration was held in which the people of Jēkabpils remembered their Lāčplēši.

At the beginning of 1992, the restoration works of the monument were started. Granite pieces of the required size and shape are manufactured at the Cēsis utility company combine. The granite was processed according to the drawings by E. Nīmanis and V. Treikmanis. The technical supervision of the restoration of the monument is carried out by architect Māra Steķe. In Riga, the sculptor Inta Berga cast the bronze details of the monument. All works were financed from Jēkabpils city funding. The renovated monument was consecrated by Modris Plāte, the then-present rector of Jēkabpils and Krustpils Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Jānis Bratuškins, pastor of Jēkabpils Catholic Church, on November 18, 1992.

Opened in Krustpilis on September 27, 1925. The monument was designed by the architect Aleksandar Birzeniek. The inscription "Fallen even for the Fatherland 1918-1920" is carved into the monument. The monument was partially demolished by the Soviet occupation power in 1941, it was completely destroyed around 1950. The monument was renovated on November 18, 1992.

Remte manor house and park

Remte Manor Castle (German: Remten) is a manor house located in Remte. The buildings and the park of Remte Manor are national monuments. The manor house houses the Remte Primary School. Remte Manor Palace was built in 1800 in the Berlin Classicist style for the then owner of the manor, Count Karl Medem.

At the end of World War II, the 19th Division of the Latvian Legion of the German Army Group was stationed in Remte Manor and its surroundings. 

Virga manor antiquities storage

A storage room for antiques has been arranged in the house of the lords of the Virga manor. Here you can get an idea of who lived on the banks of the Vārtajas River and in Virga, as well as the Virga estate and the Nold family of barons, as well as the times of World War II and the Soviet kolkhoz in Virga. You can only look at the objects, but you can also listen to stories about topics that are interesting to visitors.

The Virga manor survived the Battle of the Kurzeme cauldron in 1944/1945 so well that a simple walk through the territory of the former manor allows you to perceive the breath of antiquity and the presence of the former inhabitants of the manor. A moment of rest at the "Karlias Zabaks" memorial of the Swedish king Charles XII or at a specially designed resting place near the Virga Tradition House will be useful not only for relaxation, but also as a reminder that Charles XII spent the winter of 1701 right here - in Virga.

In the former granary of the manor, now in the house of cultural and domestic traditions of local residents, you can rent a sauna and rooms for celebrations, including weddings.

Zeltini History Repository

It is located in Zeltiņi parish, Alūksne county.
The visit must be arranged in advance.

Ability to travel through time. The uniforms of different armies, the "red corner", household items tell about the recent Soviet and pre-Soviet life in Latvia. The school class is an eyewitness to the life of students of different times. For those who experienced those times, it is an opportunity to dwell on memories, for the new generation, to see the world in a different light. The Zeltinų Museum was founded in 2007 as a place to store Soviet heritage.
Here you can also get to know the history of the school founded by pastor Ernst Glik, the life stories of the local residents and information about the life of the resident Edgars Liepiņš.

An excursion to the missile base of the Soviet Army is offered.

Viewed expositions:

"Recent past" (uniforms of various armies, "red corner", household items);
"Countrymen's room" (pre-Soviet household),
My school in Zeltinių" (a school class - an eyewitness to the lives of students from different times).
"Northern star - Edgars Liepiņš", which was created thanks to the support of the fans of Latvia's King of Jokers No.1. Zeltiņi is the childhood land of Edgars Liepiņš.

Visit fee:

EUR 2.00; for students, seniors 1.00 EUR;

Please arrange the visit by phone: +371 25745577.

Working time

Monday-Tuesday - closed
Wednesday - 9:00-17:00
Thursday-Friday - closed
Saturday - 9:00-17:00
Sunday - closed

 
Private military collection in Mundigciems

Private military collection in Mundigciems. Aivars Ormanis has been collecting historical objects for many years - military uniforms, uniforms, camouflage, communication devices, household items, protective equipment from different periods and countries, dating back to the Second World War, the Soviet army and the restoration of independent Latvia.

The collection is currently not well maintained and the exhibits are housed in a former collective farm barn. 

Ezere local history repository “Muitas Nams” (Customs House)

The Ezere Customs House is located in Ezere near the Saldus-Mažeikiai highway at the Latvian-Lithuanian border. The act of surrender of the German Army units ‘Kurzeme’ (Kurland) surrounded in the so-called ‘Courland Pocket’ was signed in this building on 8 May 1945. It is believed that World War II actually ended in Ezere. The customs house has an exhibit covering the events of the end of World War II and exhibits detailing the history of Ezere parish from ancient to modern days. In the morning of 7 May 1945, the commander of the Leningrad Front, Marshal L. Govorov, sent an ultimatum to the command of the army group ‘Kurzeme’ to lay down arms. The act of surrender was signed by the involved parties on May 8 and it detailed the procedure of surrender, weapons collection points, documents and information to be submitted and other practical measures.

Karosta St.Nicholas Orthodox Sea Cathedral

The St Nicholas Orthodox Sea Cathedral is the visual and spiritual dominant feature of the Karosta, in stark contrast to the high-rise prefabricated housing built next to it. The church was designed and built according to the principle of 17th century Russian Orthodox churches, with one central and four side domes.

A representative cathedral was already envisaged at the time of the design of the port complex by Emperor Alexander III, but initially the port infrastructure took priority. A temporary Orthodox church was in operation from the beginning in the area of the port hospital.

Construction of the St Nicholas Maritime Cathedral began in 1900 to a design by the architect Vasily Kasyakov, which was very similar to other sacred buildings of the Russian Empire of the time. The cathedral was consecrated on 22 August 1903 and was attended by Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his family. Until 1915, the cathedral hosted all the ceremonial events of the Russian army and navy, including the service of the 2nd Pacific Squadron in 1904 before it sailed to the Far East, where it was destroyed in the Battle of Tsushima.

After 1915, when Liepāja was occupied by German troops, the cathedral retained its sacred status and partly its furnishings, with rare services held there.

After the Latvian army garrisoned Liepāja in the territory of the Karosta, the cathedral continued to function as an Orthodox church until 1934, when it was converted into a Lutheran church for the Liepāja garrison. The church was redecorated, including the replacement of the crosses, and the three major denominations - Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox - were able to hold services there. One Orthodox altar was retained in the cathedral, and in the late 1930s an electric organ manufactured in VEF was installed for Lutheran services.

During the Soviet military base in 1939-1941, the cathedral lost its sacred status, and during the Second World War the building was also used by various German units.

After the Second World War, the Soviet naval base authorities established a matrons' club in the cathedral and the building was converted to its new function.

In September 1991, while the Russian Federation was still in operation, the cathedral was restored to its historic name and handed over to the Orthodox Church. The first service was held on 19 December 1991 in honour of Saint Nicholas. In September 2016, the restored cathedral bells were consecrated.
 

Red Army Soldiers Memorial Site "Pieta" in Nīkrāce municipality

The Soviet Soldiers' Cemetery is located on the Skrunda - Embute - Priekule road, which is situated on a highland between the two rivers Dzelda in the south and Koja in the north. More than 3000 fallen are buried there. 

World War II battles

The Red Army launched an offensive operation from 27 October 1944, now known as the 1st Kurland Battalion, with the aim of destroying the German army group "North", later renamed "Kurland". By 5 November, the Soviet 61st Army and parts of the 6th Guards Army and the 4th Shock Army reached the River Zeld and some units of the 5th Guards Panzer Army captured the bridgeheads on the north bank of the river. Before the next attack, the 2nd Guards Army of the 1st Baltic Front was moved into this sector to reach the Skrunda-Liepaja railway line. After the initial invasion was achieved, the attack towards Kuldīga would be continued by the 5th Guards Panzer Army.

The start of the 2nd Battle of Courland was delayed by weather conditions and only began on 19 November. The Red Army made its greatest gains in the vicinity of what is now the Cemetery of the Brothers and by the evening of 24 November the 1st and 60th Rifle Corps had captured the placdarm on the north bank of the River Koj. However, the Red Army's success ended there. The German Army Group North anticipated the direction of the Soviet attacks and concentrated appropriate forces here, including two panzer divisions.

On the evening of 26 November 1944, the Red Army attacks were halted and no further attempts were made to destroy the German forces in Courland until the end of the Second World War. In the battles that followed, the task was to prevent the German army from being evacuated from Courland.

Riteli Cemetery

After the airfield was established in this area in 1953 at the request of the USSR Ministry of Defence, the Zvārde Church, the Ķerkliņi Church and the Rīteļi Cemetery were actually located in the centre of the airfield - next to an artificial airfield with access roads and defence positions, which was used as a target by Soviet pilots. Planes flew here from airfields in Latvia and elsewhere in the Soviet Union. In less than 40 years, the church, the cemetery, the former manor house and dozens of surrounding buildings were reduced to ruins. Today, the site is cared for by the Saldus Martin Luther Church. The surrounding area is still contaminated with unexploded ordnance and it can be dangerous to walk off the roads.

Barbarism reached its peak in 1988, when the Rīteļi cemetery with its graves and monuments was bulldozed.

On 21 July 1990, in one of the first actions in which the Latvian population demanded that the USSR army leave the territory of Zvārde, a protest rally was held in Saldus, after which people went to the Rīteļi cemetery. The rally participants were allowed into the landfill site, and they cleaned up the cemetery a bit and dug white crosses.

The landfill continued to be used until 1992 and even as late as March 1992 a plane taking off from Lielvārde crashed in the landfill for unknown reasons. The Latvian Defence Forces started demining the site in May 1993, after the withdrawal of the Russian army.  In 2008, Zvārde residents installed a memorial stone "Forgive us for not saving you" in the Rīteļi cemetery.

Liepaja Fortress South Fort and monument to N. Dedaev, commander of the 67th Rifle Division of the Red Army

The South Fort of Liepaja Fortress is located in the south-western part of Liepaja, between Klaipėda Street and the beach.

A fort was planned to protect the port of Emperor Alexander III from the south, two kilometres from the southern border of the city. The fort was to be located between Liepāja Lake and the sea, west of the outlet of the Thunder River, reinforcing the reinforced concrete fortifications with a moat. Although the fortifications were almost completely finished, the armaments had not been deployed. The constructed cellars were used as storage facilities both during the First World War and during the Second World War. In the 1920s and 1930s, various factories were located in the fortification area. Unlike the Middle Fort and Ravelin, the South Fort never took part in the war, because in all the wars the invaders besieged the eastern shore of Lake Liepāja and tried to invade Liepāja between Lakes Tosmare and Liepāja.

To the north of the South Fort is Liepāja's largest cemetery, the Central Cemetery. In the southern part of the cemetery there is a Red Army cemetery where Soviet soldiers who died in the vicinity of Liepāja are reburied, including the commander of the 67th Rifle Division, Major General Nikolai Dedaev, who led the defence of Liepāja in June 1941.

Mazbānīš trail in North Kurzeme

Mazbānīti is the name given to a train in North Kurzeme that transported passengers and cargo along 600 mm wide narrow-gauge railway tracks between 1916 and 1963. It is a legacy of military history from the First World War, which once played an important role in the cultural and economic prosperity of the whole of Northern Kurzeme, but especially of the Libyan fishing villages, providing connections between settlements, providing jobs.

The nature trail leads from Mazirbe to Sīkraga along the path of the former Stende - Ventspils narrow-gauge railway, or as the locals say - the path of Mazbānīš. The construction of the railway started in 1916 and it served until 1963. The narrow-gauge railway line connected the port city of Ventspils with the coastal fishing villages of Dundas and the major railway hub of Stande, thus contributing to the region's economic and cultural boom between the First and Second World Wars.

During the times of the Soviet Union, the coast was a "Closed Zone", therefore coastal villages were economically isolated and their population decreased, the presence of newly built secret army facilities also contributed to the fact that in the sixties of the last century, railway traffic was stopped.

The trail has a small loop of 15 km and a large loop of 19 km.

The GPX map is available here:

https://www.kurzemesregions.lv/projekti/turisms/unigreen/dabas-takas/mazbanisa-dabas-taka/

Rangefinder No.1 of the 23rd Shore Battery (1941)

The rangefinders (dating from 1941) are located in the pines of the dune, only 10m from the other tower, built in 1954. The 1st and 2nd gun emplacements of the shore battery are located on the seafront and partially eroded, while the 4th gun emplacement is best seen in the dunes.  The reinforced concrete bunker of the personnel who manned the guns is now washed away by the waves and has a washed-out foundation, tilted and leaning seawards.

Liepaja Fortress Battery 2 was planned to be built further from the shoreline and protected by a high rampart. The armament of the battery was to be 16 11-inch (280 mm) mortars of the 1877 model. The mortars used steep trajectories and did not require direct aiming.

Following the 'base agreement' between the Republic of Latvia and the USSR, signed on 5 October 1939, a contingent of nearly 25 000 Red Army and Baltic Navy troops was to be stationed in Kurzeme. By March 1941, Baltic naval bases were established in Latvia in the defence sectors of Irbe Bay, Saaremaa and Liepāja, consisting of coastal defence batteries.

The Liepaja coastal defence sector included the 208th artillery division with two 130 mm B-13 gun batteries (No 23 and No 27) and one 180 mm rail gun battery. Construction of Battery 23 began in November 1939 and was completed on 17 May 1941, partly using the reinforced concrete fortifications of Battery No. 2 of Liepaja Fortress. Battery 23 consisted of four reinforced concrete gun positions on the seafront, a command post and an observation (range-finding) tower in the dune forest. The range-finding positions were located in reinforced concrete towers to ensure better visibility while maintaining concealment in the pine forest.

After the Second World War, Battery 23 was renamed Battery 636, armed with the same 130 mm B-13 guns, and a new range-keeping tower was built for fire control in 1954, adjacent to the 1941 tower. In 1963, all the Liepaja coastal defence guns were dismantled.

After the restoration of Latvia's independence, the area of Battery No 2 is in the use of the Ministry of Defence.
 

Rangefinder No.2 of the 23rd Shore Battery (1954)

The rangefinder (dated 1954) is located in the pines of a dune 10m away from the 1941 rangefinder. The gun positions of the 1st and 2nd guns of the shore battery are located on the seafront and partially eroded, while the gun position of the 4th gun is best seen in the dunes.

Liepaja Fortress Battery 2 was planned to be built further from the shoreline and protected by a high rampart. The armament of the battery was to be 16 11-inch (280 mm) mortars of the 1877 model. The mortars used steep trajectories and did not require direct aiming.

Following the 'base agreement' between the Republic of Latvia and the USSR, signed on 5 October 1939, a contingent of nearly 25 000 Red Army and Baltic Navy troops was to be stationed in Kurzeme. By March 1941, Baltic naval bases were established in Latvia in the defence sectors of Irbe Bay, Saaremaa and Liepāja, consisting of coastal defence batteries.

The Liepaja coastal defence sector included the 208th artillery division with two 130 mm B-13 gun batteries (No 23 and No 27) and one 180 mm rail gun battery. Construction of Battery 23 began in November 1939 and was completed on 17 May 1941, partly using the reinforced concrete fortifications of Battery No. 2 of Liepaja Fortress. Battery 23 consisted of four reinforced concrete gun positions on the seafront, a command post and an observation (range-finding) tower in the dune forest. The range-finding positions were located in reinforced concrete towers to ensure better visibility while maintaining concealment in the pine forest.

After the Second World War, Battery 23 was renamed Battery 636, armed with the same 130 mm B-13 guns, and a new range-keeping tower was built for fire control in 1954, adjacent to the 1941 tower. In 1963, all the Liepaja coastal defence guns were dismantled.

After the restoration of Latvia's independence, the area of Battery No 2 is in the use of the Ministry of Defence.

"Dunci's bunker" and memorial plaque to "Tēvijas vanagi" (Patriotic Hawks)

The "Duncs Bunker" with the memorial plaque "Patriotic Hawks" is located in Otaņķu municipality, in the place where the first bunker of the partisan group of the national resistance organisation "Patriotic Hawks" was located.

In the winter of 1945/46, in the village of Ķīburi in Barta parish, three patriotic men, led by Alfred Tilib (a former legionary of the 19th SS Division), founded the national resistance movement "Tēvijas Hawks", which soon had about 200 members from different places: Liepāja, Aizpute, Nīca, Dunika, Grobiņa, Barta, Gavieze. This movement fought for the liberation of Latvia.

The size of the bunker in which the partisans were housed was 4 x 4 m and was made of thick, horizontally laid logs. It was entered from above through a trapdoor with a small pine tree growing out of it, under which was a ladder. The hatches were on two floors, each with a place for 7-8 men to sleep. Unfortunately, the bunker was found and blown up in 1947.

Today, a depression can be seen in the ground where the bunker was. The site is located in the forest and can be freely accessed by anyone at any time without prior reservation.

A picnic area with a shelter is available nearby.

The memorial plaque was unveiled on 9 September 2005. The granite stele was erected by the Latvian National Partisans' Association in cooperation with the Municipality of Nīca, the Barta Forestry and the Rudes Primary School.

The object has the status of a cultural and historical monument of the region

Related stories

Prohibited lighthouses and the sea shore

During the USSR era, the seacoast in North and West Kurzeme were actually military zones closed to the public, but it was forbidden to visit the lighthouses or even take photographs

The forgotten shore of Livonia

The area of the last Liv villages on the northwest coast of Latvia has been systematically destroyed by the Council since 1950 and declared a restricted area. In 12 fishing villages, only a small handful of this nation survived, which is currently experiencing a kind of cultural renaissance.

In the footsteps of tension

People's memory is sometimes quite short. Now that everyone can go and go wherever they want, many cry for the lost cheap sausage, but have already forgotten that right behind Mērsrags, a striped boom and armed Russian soldiers, called border guards, often landed in front of the road, were passed only with written and stamped props. And not every inhabitant of the Latvian SSR could receive a permit, but only one who had first received a so-called invitation from the Roja or Kolka village council, on the basis of which he could (or could not) receive a visa to enter his militia in ten days. in the restricted border area. I had bought a house on this unfortunate coast of Kurzeme, so every spring I and my family members also had to pray and land so that the authorities would renew the entry permit.

 
Rebellion on the warship STOROŽEVOJ

On 8 November 1975, as was customary in the USSR, Riga hosted another large-scale celebration of the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Nobody, even in their wildest nightmares, could have imagined that the 58th anniversary of the Revolution would go down in the history of Latvia and the USSR as something unprecedented and unprecedented - a mutiny on board the Storoževoj, a large anti-submarine ship. For 15 years, the USSR denied that a mutiny had taken place on board.

Crossing the border area

"Propusk" or permission to cross the border area was as mandatory as a bus ticket.

Fake amber on the Liepāja side

For more than twenty years, the seaside of Liepāja has been dangerous due to fake amber, which the sea tends to wash away from its depths especially during spring and autumn storms.

Attempt to escape from the USSR

It will be difficult for young people and foreigners inexperienced in Soviet times to believe that it was practically impossible for a Soviet citizen to get out of the USSR legally.

Mines, bombs, torpedoes and chemical weapons in the Baltic Sea

In the first days of February 2010, a message appeared on the Swedish TV channel SVT, which caused shock and deep surprise to many.

 
Akmeņrags lighthouse and shoal - one of the largest ship cemeteries in the Baltic Sea

It was in the Akmensrags lighthouse area that on January 13, 1923, a steamer Saratov ran aground and crashed, on which the interim government, led by K. Ulmanis, took refuge, when the independent state of Latvia became independent.

“PZ" - border zone

Memories of Andris Zaļkalns, Chairman of the Vērgale Village Council of People's Deputies (1982-1989), about life in the border area.

 
"Here will be the Latvian SSR NPP!"

Andris Zaļkalns (born 1951, Chairman of the Vērgale Village Council of People's Deputies (1982-1989)) recalls the time when a nuclear power plant was almost built in Akmeņrags.

Damage to Irbene radio telescopes

Before leaving Irbene, the Soviet army damaged all radio telescope systems

Slītere State Reserve in the border regime zone

Memories of former employees of Slītere State Reserve about Soviet times.

Border regime area

About times in the border regime area.

 
"Wind. Despite. And the Liv flag. ” (excerpt) - Ghost ships and barbed wire

Gunta Kārkliņa's memories of the Soviet times on the Liv coast - how did the boat cemetery appear there?

About Upīškalns former military object

Memories of Valdis Pigožnis during the operation of "Upīškalns" about Upīškalns military base

(Pigožnis was former head of Kurmale parish)

Kolka Cape border guard observation tower

During the USSR, border guards observed and controlled the waters of the Irbe Strait from this tower, and at that time it was often said that even a duck could not swim through this strait without the knowledge of the border guards.

On Košradznieki relations with Soviet army

Imants Upner's memories of the Soviet era.

About Kolka border guards

Baiba Šuvcāne, a resident of Kolka, tells about the times in Kolka when there were border guards.

About Kolka coast border guards

Kolka resident Valija Laukšteine's memories of the times in Kolka when there were border guards.

War airfield near Tukums

Today, in Soviet times, army destroyers stood in barely visible, overgrown hangars on the highway to Tukums. Even in those days, the airfield with hangars was disguised and ignorant people did not know about it.

USSR army base in Marciena

The Baltics were one of the most important lines of defense for the Soviet empire, the extreme western bastion, so the concentration of troops here was enormous. It is believed that Latvia was the most militarized territory in the world at that time. The exact number of military personnel is unknown, various sources mention 200,000 to 350,000 at different times. In 50 years alone, 3,009 troops were deployed in more than 700 locations in Latvia. One such place was the USSR army base in Marciena.

About D.Breiksis national partisan group

The memorial site is located on the site of the former “Daiņkalni” and “Graškalni” houses of Rauna Parish, under which a group of national partisans led by Dailonis Breiks (nickname Edgars, 1911-1952) hid in the bunkers created from 1950 to 1952.

Forest Daughter Domicella Pundure (Lucia)

Domicella Pundure is 90. At Riga Castle on May 3, 2018, she received the Order of Viesturs from the hands of President Raimonds Vejonis for special merits in the national resistance movement and in defending the country's independence. Domicella Pundure remains the last witness to the battle of Stompaku bog.

Pēteris Supe - the initiator of the founding of the Latvian National Partisan Association

From 1944 to 1946, Peter Supem managed to unite the national partisan units scattered in the forests in an organized movement that fought against the occupation of Latvia in the Abrene district for several years after the Second World War. Pēteris Supe, nicknamed "Cinītis", was one of the most outstanding organizers and leaders of the national guerrilla movement in Northern Latgale.

The life of General Jānis Balozis after returning from deportation

When the Russians tried to force a military base agreement from the Latvian government in 1940, which would make the Latvian army's resistance to the Red Army almost impossible, General J. Balodis tries to get some amendments to this agreement. But it fails. But the general's bad guys use this circumstance to later correct J. Balodi almost as a traitor. After a conflict with the Prime Minister of the State and Prime Minister K. Ulmanis, on April 5, 1940, the General was relieved of the post of Minister of War. Then J. Balodis decides to participate in the Saeima elections from the Democratic Bloc, but nothing comes out of it, because only one list may stand for election - the list of communist candidates. Latvia becomes the 14th Soviet republic.

On the occupation of Latvia

The existence of the independent state of Latvia in 1940 was interrupted by the occupation and annexation by the Soviet Union, or incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

About the Salaspils Memorial as a symbol of the ideology of the Soviet occupation regime.

The description vividly describes the extent to which a place of remembrance is politicized and its role in the ideology of the Soviet Union. The text states that one of the main goals is to fight the "rebirth of fascism". This shows that efforts with ideological infrastructure to hide communist crimes and prevent dissent are continuing. Memorial sites, Soviet army cemeteries and museums, and various cultural events maintained the myth of the "liberation of Latvia" and the "Brother Soviet Union." An inverted view of the events of World War II in Latvia was created using the facts of Nazi crimes.

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.

Flight to Vaiņode airfield

The story of the German air raid on Vaiņode airfield in June 1941

Tukums reserve aerodrome management in the 90s.

With the departure of the Soviet occupation forces, the looting of many former war bases began. Soviet soldiers tried to take out as much as possible and leave the degraded infrastructure. After the departure of the troops, these bases continued to be looted by civilians and to exploit former military infrastructure.

About found war items

In today's Latvia, the collections of various museums are supplemented by the personal collections of private individuals, which are often exhibited in public and are accessible to everyone. Many people's hobbies are ancient things, including items related to military history. Visitors often do not have an idea of the origin of these things. They suddenly appeared? In all cases, it's several years of work and an interesting, personal story about one person's interests in putting things together to make a museum out of them, for example. The narrator describes his personal experience, giving the reader an idea of the situation in Latvia after World War II. The legacy of various armies and the lack of raw materials on the farm are forcing people to find creative ways to use virtually anything to survive. Over time, the useless on the farm become valuable, historical exhibits that tell about the experience of Latvia and its people.

Stories of sunken machinery

Numerous stories of machinery sinking in swamps and lakes have survived in Latvia. Few of them are true.

July 1976 military-patriotic game "Orlenko" at the landfill near Irbene

July 1976 military-patriotic games "Orlenok" at the tank training ground near Irbene, in which 17-year-old Evalds Krieviņš participated and secretly photographed the games, equipment and even the Irbene antenna with a Sme8M camera

Pranks and games with military ammunition

After the Second World War, the land of Latvia was full of the physical remnants of the war. It was a large number of rounds, unexploded ordnance and simple cartridges. Even today, especially in places where there has been active warfare, unexploded ordnance is found, which is very rare, while in the post-war years these charges in the forests and even in the courtyards were the everyday life of the inhabitants and even children's toys.

 
Life on the Kegums side during World War II

Memories of a distant wartime flare up. For the older generation, it would remind them of their own experiences, perhaps bored of the young.

Memories from the diary left abroad - service at Ķegums HPP

Jānis Jaunozoliņš. "Memories from the Diary Left Abroad" (August 16, 1944-13.10.1946) Excerpts.

Injury of Major General N. Dedajev at the Middle Fort of Liepāja Fortress

In June 1941, the successful attack of the German army had reached Liepaja, when Liepaja was attacked by the 291st Infantry Division of the German Armored Forces. When hostilities between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union began in June 1941, the Liepaja garrison of the Soviet Army consisted of troops from the Liepaja naval base of the Navy and the Red Army. During these battles Major General N.Dedaev was mortally wounded

The story of Ventspils 46th Coast Guard Battery Fire Correction Tower

The Ventspils Military Heritage Site is unique because it is one of the few coastal defence structures in Latvia and the Baltics that depict the history of World War II fortifications. It is also unique in that it is a military object built by the Soviet Union during the years of independence of the Republic of Latvia and in a way symbolises the inability of a small country to confront the superpowers on the eve of World War II. It is the only coastal defence battery that has survived so well, without historical layers and in its complete state of construction. The site shows the entire evolution of the Soviet military concept from 1939 until the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1994.

Liepāja - at the crossroads of various historical events

The inhabitants of Liepāja were among the first in Latvia to experience the outbreak of the Second World War and among the last for whom the war ended both literally and symbolically. The Second World War and the Soviet occupation of Liepāja ended only in 1994, when the last troops of the USSR's heir, Russia, left the city.

The fate of Krasnoflotsk after the Soviet withdrawal

After the last Soviet troops left Latvia in 1993, the Krasnoflotsk or Olmani coastal defence battery also came into the possession of the Latvian National Defence Forces. Soon the orphaned property began to be seized by for-profit prospectors.

Discovery at the site of the Grieze filtration camp

Various objects belonging to former soldiers are often found at the site of the Grieze filtration camp and along the roads leading to it. Soldiers, arrested civilians, prisoners of war, etc. disposed of them for various reasons, both to avoid being identified and to avoid being subjected to "special attention".

Pieta or "Māmuļa" Memorial Ensemble in Nīkrāce

Pieta, or Mammy, is a well-known motif in European culture and art, and was also used in Soviet times.

Stoning of tanks

During the Soviet era, the entire Kurzeme coast was a closed zone. Children who lived near the Soviet army unit in Targale parish, including Ovishi, used to have fun throwing stones at tanks.

Kurzeme coast - closed area

During the Cold War, the entire Kurzeme coastline was a closed zone to the public - Soviet border guards were the main decision-makers here, with guard posts at certain distances and observation towers with spotlight stations on the beach. Civilians were only allowed on the seafront during daylight hours.

Missing soldiers of the German army during the Great Battle of Kurzeme

The records of the German army group "North", later renamed "Kurland" during the siege of Courland, still do not contain clear information about the approximately 50 000 German soldiers. These soldiers are listed as missing. Even today, the relatives of these soldiers are trying to find traces of their relatives and ancestors in Kurland, both documentary and physical. One such story is that of Karl Grimm, a German soldier from Swabia (a historical region in south-west Germany, at the source of the Rhine and Danube rivers), whose war career was cut short on 27 October 1944 at the Krūmi home near Vaiņode (5 km to the NW from Vaiņode, Latvia)

Pēteris Čevers - national partisan and commander of a partisan group

Pēteris Čevera - national partisan and commander of a national partisan group

Jānis Tilibs' memories of the partisan unit "Tēvijas Vanagi"

Jānis Tilibs' memoirs about the activities of the partisan unit "Tēvijas Vanagi" in Southern Kurzeme until the year 1950

"The war is not over until the last soldier is buried" (Saldus German Soldiers' Cemetery)

Kurzeme emerged as a separate and distinct battlefield on 10 October 1944. Some 500 000 German troops were counted as surrounded. According to reports from the 1st Baltic Front Headquarters, only a "small effort" was needed to completely liberate the entire Baltic coast. However, the fighting in Kurland continued for another seven months and Kurland became a symbol of the end of the Second World War. 

During the seven months of fighting until May 1945, German forces in Courland lost 154 108 soldiers killed, wounded and missing. Since 1997, a war cemetery survey and reburial of soldiers near Saldus has been carried out and currently 27,000 names of fallen soldiers can be found here

Jānis Sūna's memories of the time spent in the Grieze filtration camp

Lawyer Jānis Sūna has published his memories of his time in the Grieze filtration camp in his autobiographical book.

Zvārdenieka's childhood in the shadow of bomb explosions - Polygon summers

Spending my childhood near the Zvārde target range, under the sounds of explosions and flying jet planes, but still sometimes on weekends I could enter the range. After the departure of the Soviet army, the land was littered with bomb craters and many explosive objects, not only from the time of the landfill, but also from World War II.

Zvārdenieka's childhood in the shadow of bomb explosions - Phosphorus capsules

Spending my childhood in the vicinity of the Zvārde target range, under the sounds of explosions and flying jet planes, but still sometimes on weekends I could enter the range. After the departure of the Soviet army, the land was littered with bomb craters and many explosive objects, not only from the time of the landfill, but also from the 2nd World War. Especially the boys liked to burn phosphorus capsules ...

Soviet aircraft bomb Riteli Cemetery

The Riteli cemetery was actually located in the centre of the target area. The locals could only watch as they were destroyed.

"The war is not over until the last soldier is buried" (Priekule Brethren Cemetery)

Kurzeme was established as a separate and isolated battlefield on October 10, 1944. About 500,000 soldiers of the German armed forces were counted as surrounded. According to the reports of the headquarters of the 1st Baltic Front, only a "slight effort" was needed to completely liberate the entire Baltic coast. However, the fighting in Kurzeme continued for another seven months and Kurzeme became a symbol of the end of World War II.

During the seven months of fighting until May 1945, the German armed forces lost 154,108 dead, wounded and missing soldiers in Kurzeme, while the Red Army lost around 400,000 dead, wounded or missing Red Army soldiers.

Monument to the commander of the 67th Red Army Rifle Division N. Dedayev

To the north of the South Fort is the largest cemetery in Liepāja - the Central Cemetery. In the southern part of the cemetery there is a Red Army cemetery, where Soviet soldiers who died in the vicinity of Liepāja are reburied, including the commander of the 67th Rifle Division, Major General Nikolai Dedaev, who led the defence of Liepāja in June 1941.

The important place of Stendes station in the railway network of the kingdom

The main task of the royal railways in the area of the Partridge Strait was to provide the coastal defense positions of the German army with cannons and ammunition.

The memories of Jānis Miesnieks from Ezere about the end of World War 2 in Ezere

The repository of cultural history and regional research materials of the lake "Muitas nams" has been established in a historically important building. On May 8, 1945, the act of capitulation of the units of the Nazi German army surrounded on the Kurzeme front was signed here.

Jānis Miesnieks (b. 1930), a former resident of Ezer, shares his memories about the events of that day.

Karl Libert's memories of the day of capitulation of the German army in Ezere

The repository of cultural history and regional research materials of the lake "Muitas nams" has been established in a historically important building. On May 8, 1945, the act of capitulation of the Nazi German army group "Kurland" surrounded on the Kurzeme front was signed here.

Former Red Army soldier Kārlis Liberts shares his memories of the events of that day