Latvian Central Council

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The Latvian Central Council (LCC) (Latvian: Latvijas Centrālā Padome, LCP) was the pro-independence Latvian resistance movement during World War II from 1943 onwards. The LCC consisted of members from across the spectrum of former leading Latvian politicians and aimed to be the governing body after the war. Its military units were an alternative to the Soviet partisans also operating in Latvia.[1]

Latvia had gained its independence from Russia at the end of World War I, but in June 1940 the country was occupied by the Red Army and in August 1940 it was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. In June 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union and by July of that year it had overrun Latvia and incorporated the country into Germany’s eastern empire. Latvians resisted both Soviet and German occupation and sought to restore their independence. The Latvian Central Council was founded on August 13, 1943 by members of the four biggest Latvian political parties- the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party, Democratic Centre, Latvian Farmers Union and the Latgalian Christian Farmers party. These men survived the Soviet terror and now strived to restore the democratic Republic of Latvia. Konstantīns Čakste was elected as the chairman with deputies Pauls Kalniņš and Ludvigs Sēja as general secretary. Seven commissions were made for most important sectors like defense, foreign affairs and finances.[2]

On March 17, 1944, 189 Latvian political leaders and public figures signed the Memorandum of the Latvian Central Council, which declared the urgent need to restore the de facto sovereignty of the Republic of Latvia and create a Latvian government. The memorandum was a call to resist the reoccupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union following the defeat of Germany, which by that time was widely expected. The memorandum was drawn up in several original copies and photographically reproduced with the aim of taking it out of Latvia and getting it into the hands of the governments of the Western allies.