Aizsargi (literally: "Defenders", "Guards" (Latvian: Aizsargu organizācija, "Guards Organization") was a paramilitary organization, or a militia, in Latvia during the interbellum period (1918–1939). The Aizsargi was created on March 30, 1919 by the Latvian Provisional Government as a self-defense force, a kind of National Guard, during the period of unrest and civil warfare following the Russian October Revolution, which enabled the independence of Latvia from Russia. In 1921 it was reorganized to follow the example of the Finnish Suojeluskunta (known as the "White Guard" in the English-speaking world).
Aizsargi issued a newspaper entitled Aizsargs ("Defender"/"Guard").
Aizsargi had women's ("Aizsardzes") and youth ("Jaunsargi") subsidiaries.
On January 1, 1940 the organization had 31,766 aizsargi, 14,810 aizsardzes and 14,000 jaunsargu.
On June 18, 1940 the organization was disbanded as a result of the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940. During the Soviet occupation, the members of the organisation were heavily persecuted.
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