Totalitarianism II WW2, IV Sovietų okupacija

Totalitarianism (from Latin totalis 'comprehensive'; English Totalitarianism, German Totalitarianism, French totalitarianism, Russian totalitarianism) - a political system in which the state is governed without public participation, decisions in totalitarianism are made without the consent of the majority of society; the most important social, economic and political activities in a totalitarian regime are controlled by the state. It is a form of dictatorship in which power restricts people in all spheres. Under a dictatorship, power belongs to a small group of people or even to one person. Characteristic features: state power is concentrated in the hands of a narrow group - a clique; repression of the opposition, general terror as a tool of public administration, subjugation of all spheres of life to the interests of the state and the dominant ideology; a permanently mobilized society through the cult of leadership, mass movements, propaganda, etc .; aggressive, expansion-oriented foreign policy; full control over public life.

In Latvia, the time of totalitarian regimes is chronologically divided into 3 stages: 1) the first occupation of the USSR from June 17, 1940 to July 1941; 2) the occupation of Nazi Germany from July 1941 to the autumn of 1944 (in Kurzeme until May 1945); 3) the period of the second Soviet occupation from the autumn of 1944 until Stalin's death in 1953.

The author of the term totalitarianism is the Italian publicist-anti-fascist Giovanni Amendola. In 1925, the term was taken over by the Italian Prime Minister and dictator, Benito Amilcare Andrea Musolini, and the fascists began to see it as a term for their political system. The idea of "totalitarianism" was taken over from Italian fascists by German right-wing intellectuals, such as the philosopher Carl Schmitt, a critic of liberalism and the liberal state.

There is a debate in academia about which regimes can be considered totalitarian. There is a general consensus that these are the regimes of the 20th century in Nazi Germany (1934-1945), the USSR under Stalin (1929-1953), China during the reign of Mao Zedong (1949-1976), the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) Kim (dynasty (1948 - present)) and the Paul Pot regime in Cambodia (1976-1979).

Daugiau informacijos šaltinių

Daina Bleiere. Totalitarianism. National Encyclopedia.

Totalitarianism. Wikipedia.

Susijusios vietos

Museum of the Occupation of Latvia

The museum exhibits the history of Latvia from 1940 to 1991, under the occupation of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. ‘House of the Future’ is a reconstruction and expansion project of the Occupation Museum designed by the well-known American Latvian architect Gunārs Birkerts as well as the new exhibit of the museum. The exhibit ‘History of Cheka in Latvia’ was created by the Occupation Museum and it is located in the ‘Corner House’, which is the former USSR State Security Committee (KGB) building. Latvian Occupation Museum was founded in 1993. It tells the long-hidden story of the fate of the Latvian state, nation and land under the occupation of two foreign totalitarian powers from 1940 to 1991. At the end of 2020 the museum had more than 70,000 different historical items (documents, photographs, written, oral and material evidence, objects and memorabilia). Museum specialists have recorded more than 2,400 video testimonials, making it one of the largest collections on occupation in Europe. The events that unfolded in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia clearly show us what the nations had to endure under the two totalitarian regimes.

Victory Park

Located in Riga, Pārdaugava, near the National Library of Latvia.

Victory Park is one of the largest and most controversial parks in Latvia. It occupies a territory of 36.7 ha, where a monumental ensemble glorifying the Soviet occupation power "For those freed from the German fascist invaders of Soviet Latvia and Riga" has been created. Built in the place where the 17th century fortifications and was the last known place of public execution in Latvia.

20th century in the beginning, a landscape park was created on the territory of the former Kobron skanst. It is dedicated to the Russian emperor Peter I, whose army captured Riga in 1710. After the establishment of the State of Latvia, an ambitious project - Victory Park - was planned in the territory. It was conceived as a place of honor for the heroes of the War of Independence, a symbol of the greatness and self-confidence of the Latvian state. The park, built on public donations, was intended for major events, but World War II interrupted the plan.

During the Soviet occupation, the territory of the park became the place of execution of 7 German army officers. It was a significant event to open in 1985 the largest object glorifying the Soviet power and its army in the Baltic States.

Until 23.08.2022. g. (dismantled) it was possible to view the monumental ensemble, which represented the prevailing trends in the construction of monuments in the Soviet Union. The wide park area is perfect for walks and active recreation.


Monument for the Freedom-Fighters

It is located in Tukuma, Mālkalna, Jelgavas street 15A.

The monument was opened in 1975 to highlight the merits of the Red Army during World War II. It served as a means of Soviet ideology and propaganda, symbolically strengthening the presence of the occupation regime in Latvia and creating the myth of the Soviet power as "liberators". The author of the monument is sculptor and resident of Tukums Arta Dumpe.

After the capitulation of Germany on May 8, 1945, the Red Army perceived Kurzemi as a territory conquered from the enemy and not a liberated part of the USSR. The inhabitants of Kurzeme were enemies and their property was considered war trophies. The repressive authorities and the army began the "Cleaning of Kurzeme". Men aged 16-60 were detained, registered and examined. In terms of danger, the inhabitants of Kurzeme - men - were compared to the military personnel of capitulated Germany. The permissiveness of the Red Army and the wave of crimes began - murders, rapes, robberies, arrests and "disappearances of people". The only armed resistance was from the National Guerrilla groups. The Soviet authorities created fighter battalions, including in the Tukum district, to eliminate any counter-action. The wave of violence and terror reached its climax in 1949, when the population was deported throughout Latvia.

Today you can see the monument. Its symbolic meaning is explained in different ways - a battle scene or a mother holding her sons fighting on opposite sides. The monument is installed on a hill with an impressive view.

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. 

Alūksne Museum

The Alūksne Museum is located in an architectural monument of national significance: the neo-Gothic Alūksne New Castle built in the late 19th century. The museum features an exhibition named ‘Memorial Room for Victims of the Totalitarian Regime’, which tells about the fate of the inhabitants of Alūksne municipality in Siberia and the Far East, while the time periods from prehistory to the present meet in the Alūksne history exhibit ‘Feast of the Ages’. It features a separate section devoted to the contribution of the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment to the military, culture and public life. The formation of the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment began on 20 June 1919 in the Naukšēni Manor. Initially, a battle group of 22 officers and 1,580 soldiers was formed from the reserve battalion of the Northern Latvian Brigade, and was named the Dankers Division. It was included in the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Jelgava Regiment. On 23 August, following an increase in the number of companies, it became part of the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment. Having taken part in the battles against Bermondt, on 5 January 1920, the regiment was transferred to the Latgale front to fight the Bolsheviks. After the signing of the Peace Treaty with Soviet Russia, the regiment guarded Latvia’s eastern border. The Latvian War of Independence saw the deaths of more than 200 soldiers of the regiment, while 85 were awarded the Lāčplēsis War Order. In 1921, the 7th Sigulda Infantry Regiment was stationed in Alūksne. The regiment’s headquarters were set up in the Alūksne New Castle. After World War II, the castle was taken over by Soviet security institutions. As of the late 1950s, the castle housed various cultural institutions: the Culture and Cinematography Department of the Executive Committee, a pioneer house, a library, a cinema and a museum.

Museum of Melānija Vanaga and Siberian dugout

The Melānija Vanaga Museum is located in the Amata village school in Cēsis municipality. The museum showcases materials about the life, literary activity, family and destiny of writer and cultural historian Melānija Vanaga: video content about Siberia and the deported Latvians living there and a Siberian dugout taking its visitors on a trip to the writer’s place of deportation in Tyukhtetsky district, Krasnoyarsk region. The appearance and layout of the dugout form a realistic idea of life away from home. The dugout features unique historical objects brought there from the Tyukhtet Museum: a birch-bark dish known as ‘tuyesok’, a clay mug known as ‘krynka’ and a kerosene lamp. The museum features video interviews with politically repressed people from the municipality and 18 characters from Melānija Vanaga’s book Suddenly, a Criminal: Sixteen Years in Siberia. The museum’s virtual exhibition ‘BE YOURSELF!’ ( shows the experiences of five deported children and their parents who were wrongly accused by the Soviet authorities of ‘betrayal of the motherland’.

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.

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.

Karosta, the Military port of Liepāja (tour)

The Karosta is the largest historical military territory in the Baltics and occupies almost one third of the entire territory of Liepāja. The Karosta is a unique compound of military and fortification buildings on the shores of the Baltic Sea with a special meaning in the history and architecture of Latvia and the world. The Karosta features such military heritage sites as the North Pier and forts, the Redan, Karosta Prison, Karosta Water Tower, St. Nicholas Orthodox Maritime Cathedral, Oskars Kalpaks Bridge and others.

Pāvilosta local history museum exposition

Named ‘Pāvilosta, a Closed Area’, the exhibit in the Pāvilosta Local History Museum is about everyday life in the town of Pāvilosta during the Soviet occupation; specifically, about the executive branch, border area, fishermen’s collective farm, and the cultural and social activities. In addition to the permanent exhibit, there is an interactive and emotionally rich digital exhibit in two languages and an audio-visual installation offering a film about Pāvilosta.

The museum also features a new exhibit named ‘The Golden Sand Grains of Pāvilosta’. The digital installation showcases old events, how Pāvilosta was founded and the most important developments from 1918 to the present day. Military heritage is a point of focus in the War of Independence section, which tells a story about the freedom fighters of Latvia and the time of the Soviet occupation.

Stende railway station in narrow gauge railway network and the memorial stone for deportations

The railway line Ventspils - Mazirbe, as well as the Stende - Dundaga extension to Mazirbe with a branch to Pitrags, were intended only for strategic military needs. During the construction of these lines, and afterwards, all civilians were evacuated from the region. The main task of the military railways in the Irbe Strait area was to provide the German army's coastal defence positions with guns and ammunition.

These military-only military railways also connected the three most important lighthouses, located in Oviši, Mikeltornis and Šlītere.

Nevertheless, passenger transport was also provided as early as the years of World War I.

A memorial stone (1989) to the deported Latvians of 1941 and 1949 is located at the Stende railway station.

On 30 October 1919, Stende railway station was occupied by Bermont troops. On 17 November, soldiers of the Latvian army led by K. Šnēbergs attacked the station, driving away a wagon with weapons, war materials and grain. 6 soldiers were awarded the Order of the Order for these battles: K. Bumovskis (1891-1976), P. Strautiņš (1883-1969), R. Plotnieks (1891-1965), E. Jansons (1894-1977).

Susijusi istorija

Deportation echelon secretly photographed at Skrunda station in 1949

On 25 March 1949, Elmārs Heniņš, a pupil in Skrunda, witnessed his classmates being taken away. He took his camera and climbed a pine tree on a nearby hill to document what was happening, later hiding the pictures.

Kolka Coast Guard observation tower

The border guard tower is hidden in the last pines of the Cape of Kolka, where the border guard post was constantly located during the USSR and the small masonry wall next to it is now abandoned and destroying destiny.

The battle of February 23, 1946 in the vicinity of Zūru meža Dzelzkalni

1945/46. Misiņa's group spent the winter of 2011 in the Dzelzkalni area of Zūru forest, where several bunkers had been built. About 40 partisans stayed here. On February 23, 1946, the camp was surrounded by the internal affairs troops of the USSR and a fierce battle took place

As partisans in 1945/1946 expelled the occupiers from Kabyle

As partisans in 1945/1946 expelled the occupiers from Kabyle in the year / Article (

Pēteris Čevers - national partisan and commander of a partisan group

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

The role of the former lieutenant of the legion, Arvīdas Gailīš, in the liquidation of Pēteris Chever's group

Captain Pēteri Čevera and seven other partisans were captured on November 1, 1950 in the Engure forest massif, where the group of fake partisans of former legion lieutenant Arvīdas Gailīš (the agent-fighter's nickname was "Grosbergs") had stationed themselves by chance. It included operatives of the LPSR VDM and agent-militants who played the role of "forest brothers".

Landed Leonid Zariņš - the check turns out to be useless for recruitment

Leonid Zariņš was recruited as a CIA agent in the USA and in 1953 he crossed the border of the USSR on a plane from Germany and landed with a parachute near Auce. Unfortunately, one of the contacts he was supposed to be in touch with had turned out to be a double agent, and Leonidas was soon arrested. He refused to cooperate with the Chekists and was shot without trial in 1954.