Museum of the Occupation of Latvia

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Museum of the Occupation of Latvia building
Okkupasjonsmuseet latvia 07.JPG
Reconstruction of shack from Gulag in museum. The picture does not say, how many people were crammed into such a shack...

The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991 (Latvian: Latvijas Okupācijas muzejs) is an historic educational institution located in Riga, Latvia. It was established in 1993 to exhibit artifacts, archive documents, and educate the public about the 51-year period in the 20th century when Latvia was successively occupied by the USSR in 1940, then by Nazi Germany in 1941, and then again by the USSR in 1944. Official programs for visits to Latvia of top level representatives of other countries normally include a visit to the Museum of the Occupation.[1]


The museum was established in 1993 after Paulis Lazda, a History Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, proposed the idea to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia to create a museum covering the occupation period of Latvia, from 1940-1991. This led to the establishment of the Occupation Museum Foundation (OMF), now the Occupation Museum Association (OMB), in spring 1993. The OMF was made of 11 people who aimed to establish, administer and finance the museum. The first exhibition of the museum opened on 1 July 1993. The exhibition covered the period of the first Soviet occupation of Latvia from 1940 to 1941. The museum was expanded in the following years to cover the whole occupation period.[2]


The museum's stated mission is to:

  • "Show what happened in Latvia, its land and people under two occupying totalitarian regimes from 1940 to 1991;
  • "Remind the world of the crimes committed by foreign powers against the state and people of Latvia;
  • "Remember the victims of the occupation: those who perished, were persecuted, forcefully deported or fled the terror of the occupation regimes.[2]


The museum building was constructed by the Soviets in 1971 to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of Lenin. Until 1991 it served as a museum commemorating the Red Latvian Riflemen. However, planned reconstruction of the building means that the museum is temporarily housed on Raina Bulvaris.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Apmeklētāji" (in Latvian). Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. Retrieved 2009-03-08. Muzejs ir iekļauts Latvijas Valsts diplomātiskajā protokolā un to apmeklē daudzu valstu vadītāji un oficiālas delegācijas. 
  2. ^ a b "Mission and History". The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Getting here". Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°56′50″N 24°06′23″E / 56.947093°N 24.106364°E / 56.947093; 24.106364