Talk:History of the Jews in Latvia

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About this page[edit]

Need some help Wikifying this article!

Where did you get his material? -Will Beback 07:28, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
  • This article was reproduced, with permission of the publisher, from the forthcoming Encyclopaedia Judaica, Second Edition.

Holocaust[edit]

A couple of points: the statement that the Aizsargi participated in the Holocaust has been repeated and reiterated and is a stock feature of accounts of this horrible period. But there is a problem with it: the Aizsargi as an organization did not exist at this time.

The Soviets had identified it, no doubt correctly, as a hostile element, and they wasted no time in abolishing it. The high-ranking officers in this paramilitary organization were among the deportees to remote parts of the USSR. When the Nazis replaced the Soviets as the occupying power, they did not permit any country-wide organization other than those that they themselves invented, and certainly the last thing they would have tolerated was an armed, trained group such as the Aizsargi. What they did was to organize so-called "self-defense" units, in part imitating the organizational structure of the Aizsargi and including some former Aizsargi among their members. And of these "self-defense" groups, some were indeed used in actions against Jews--mostly arresting and transporting them but in some cases directly participating in the murder of Jews. But the Aizsargi as such did not exist; there were former members, but no command structure, no organizational structure, nothing of the sort. That some individual former Aizsargi committed crimes during the Holocaust is true; that the Aizsargi as such did so is misleading assertion.

The Pērkonkrusts party, which had been illegal in independent Latvia, is another story. It was small and powerless, but not without a baleful influence in some circles, and since it was viciously anti-Semitic the Nazis thought that it might be useful and allowed it to operated in return for cooperation. The Pērkonkrustieši turned out a few anti-Semitic pamphlets in 1941, but the honeymoon was short-lived--the inherent incompatibility between German and Latvian nationalism, even if the latter came in a fascist form as was the case with the Pērkonkrustieši. So before long the Nazis in their turn outlawed the Pērkonkrustiesi, who never met a government that could tolerated them. That the leaders of the infamous Arājs Commando (and the two similar groups that operated only locally and were disbanded early) were members of Pērkonkrusts is simply not so, no matter how often it is repeated. It is hard to think of anything good to say of this party, but they were not at all as important in the Holocaust as the stereotype account depicts them.

This sort of thing is simply recycled, quoted and quoted from quotations ad infinitem. What we need is articles that are based on the work of Margers Vestermanis, Andrievs Ezergailis, and the other historians who at last are giving us serious, source-based histories of the Holocaust in Latvia. Stephen.r 03:59, 17 March 2007 (UTC) (Is that how I'm supposed to sign?)

I have to agree. Latvian "fascist" coup? The fascist party was outlawed and their leader thrown in jail! Ulmanis was not inimical to the Jews--the authoritarian actions which applied to all politically oriented movements and parties at the time are incorrectly portrayed here as focused on Jews. Most notably missing: as soon as the Soviets occupied Latvia, Stalin deported the Jewish merchant class by the thousands to their deaths in Siberia. There is no mention of this--instead, we have the parroting of Soviet propaganda that the Latvians were Fascists (aka Nazis). As mentioned by Stephen.r, the Latvian extremists/fascists-and this is not the Ulmanis government--were anti-everyone (especially the Germans and the Nazis who were just more Germans). It's tragic that this sort of shallow and misrepresentative material is appearing in an encyclopedia on Judaica. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 23:48, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Key role of Latvian nationalists in the killings of Latvian, German, Hungarian Jews[edit]

I was born in Riiga and am fluent in Latvian. My father went through both ghettos in Riiga, Kaizerwald and Shtuthoff; he was liberated by the Soviet Army on March 14, 1945 and returned to Riiga. Let me preface, that Latvians are no more responsible for Latvian killers than Latvian or German, Hungarian and other Jews were for the Jews in the NKVD that actively participated in the deportations of Latvian citizens (Latvians, Russians and Jews primarily) after USSR annexed the Latvian Republic in 1940. There are always few leaders and many followers. However, those in Latvia and of Latvian diaspora of today, who pretend that it was Soviet propaganda, who fall behind a highly debatable book by Dr. Ezergailis, as to DENY that it was Latvian killers that started (and were the proud “Strelnieki” during both actions – November 30 and December 3, 1940 – that resulted in mass murder of thousands of Jews) the mass extermination of Jews in Riiga, not German Nazis, are revisionist at best, and they indeed bear the responsibility for the glorification of the Latvian SS legion, for equating German fascism with Soviet socialism. So, for those of you, whitewashers and challengers of Latvian atrocities who have forgotten - re-read "Teevija", issues from early July 1940 -I think starting July 2, 1940 (when your claim of German Nazi control proves to be false). The newspapers I owned were confiscated by Soviet border guards in Brest, so I can not offer a copy of the newspaper with blood curling calls, by Latvians in Latvian, to get even with the Jews, to throw them in Daugava "Metiet zhiidus Dagavaa". The killings of the Jews, pilfering of their possessions, started well before Nazi order was established in Riiga. The burning of the Jews in the Gogol synagogue certainly has no witnesses left, the killing of the Jews in Skirotava prison certainly has no witnesses left. Except for those that were either killing or living next.

My father, Julius Drabkin, lived in Tukums and Riiga, never held hate towards Latvians; he lived his life to the fullest and had friends among Latvian and Russian, Jew and Lithuanian alike. He was "Muusu zhiids", no doubt behind his back. I had fond memories of many Latvians I knew, but many more for whom I was a "nolaadetais zhiids".

Truth is fact multiplied by faith. Thus revisionist history will always take place. If I would be an honorable Latvian, I would stay away from this subject at least. However, if I were a Latvian nationalist, planning to lay claims to Russia, deflecting criticism of discrimination against Russians in today’ Latvia, I would certainly want to get the support of Jewish power in the US and elsewhere, and show how innocent the Latvians were - "Mees visi bijam upuri" - we were all victims. In sum, your objectives are not of historical truth, or because of an attempt to accommodate disbelief in the horrible crimes committed by, perhaps, your relatives, but due to geo-political calculations. This subject does not lend itself to a civilized, non-emotional discourse on your or our side. But rest assured, that those of us, descendants of Latvian Jews whose families, clans, were killed primarily by Latvian nationalist, will never accept your truth. As most honorable Latvians will not.

BTW, I met Vaira Vika-Freiberga. To say the least, she certainly did not come across as a potential Zhanis Lipke. Rubiks, however, does.

mikhail_drabkin@yahoo.comMikhail Drabkin (talk) 09:46, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I understand and sincerely sympathise with the hurt, anger and bitterness that come with the personal experience of persecution and genocide. However, it appears that you have confused the dates in your narrative. The Rumbula massacre was in 1941, not in 1940 (your dates would have it taking place during the period of Soviet control). Those truly interested in what happened during the Holocaust in Latvia can all now read Tēvija freely (the Latvian National Library has digitised the entire run and it is available on the internet here), and compare what was written then, with what is said today. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the first issue of Tēvija came out on 1 July 1941, the day the Germans captured Riga from the Soviets. —Zalktis (talk) 10:51, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, the burning of the Great Choral Synagogue on Gogol Street by the men of the Sonderkommando Arājs took place on 4 July 1941; we know this because German film crews filmed this atrocity. —Zalktis (talk) 11:08, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, dating the events to 1940 is indeed my mistake. Thank you for the amplification, with references to sources. I have been careful though to state ...well before Nazi order was established in Riiga... – during "inter-regnum" in Riiga, the short time when, among other events (attempts to establish a Latvian State allied with Nazi Germany including), scores with Jews were settled, without Nazi agitation in "Teevija", or on the streets. The Whermacht was in pursuit of the retreating Soviets; order in Riiga was not a priority for the Army, or SS, in the 5-10 days after Riiga fell. The city was, during that time early in July 1941, under governance by Latvians. When was the "sarkan-balt-sakranais" replaced by the swastika atop the Riiga Castle?
To clarify, the hurt, anger and bitterness, present or not in my comments, come NOT from past experiences in Latvia – “Dzimtene ir tikai viena”, but from the current position of the officialdom in Latvia (and of the Latvian elite) sponsoring the glorification of the Latvian SS legion, and equating German fascism with Soviet socialism.Mikhail Drabkin (talk) 09:42, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The Nazis rolled out the Holocaust as soon as they invaded, along with their program throughout Eastern Europe to make the Holocaust look spontaneous. To my knowledge, there was not a week and a half after the Nazis invaded that the Latvians simply did as they wanted, everything was carefully orchestrated by the Nazis as soon as they entered. The first thing the Nazis did was allow the Latvian flag to be raised and anthem played on the radio to help them play the role of liberator from the Soviets--please make no mistake, there were absolutely NO Latvians in charge of anything from the moment the Nazis arrived. —PētersV (talk) 04:38, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
And you well know the "SS legions" organized in the Baltics in 1943/44 had nothing to do with the Holocaust, they were formed to defend against the Red Army. There is absolutely no "glorification" of Nazis. They are only honored for attempting to keep Latvia free--as they did in the Courland pocket which held out to the end of the war. —PētersV (talk) 05:09, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
“The Nazis rolled out the Holocaust as soon as they invaded,… to look spontaneous…, no Latvians in charge of anything” – that is lame, Peeteris. I looked over “Teevija” this morning – leaves no room for doubts that Latvians where in charge of much during the “inter-regnum”, and more than some – during the Nazi occupation of Latvia (not much different than during the Soviet times, BTW) – do I need to go through issue## and page##, quote chapter and verse? Why did the Nazis “rolled out Holocaust in Eastern Europe” – what gives you certainty that it did not take place in Central or Western Europe? What about Denmark – how did the Danes ignore that “program” – why not Latvians? How about Russia proper – any Arajs Commandos there, any Salaspils or Kaiservalds? Why no working ghettos in, say Smolensk, or Voronezh – but in Riiga? And your argument – the Russians were afraid and the Latvians hated the “zhiidu bolsheviks” no doubt.
To your point about the “SS legion” – no, I do not know that they had nothing to do with the Holocaust, nor do I think that they uniformly fought for Latvia’ independence. I knew Latvians, decent people, caught in the grinder of war, forced into the Legion, without any hope of gaining independence. And I am certain that the Legion SS Latvian leaders, names not known to me, had no illusions that they would hold off the Red Army. I doubt that the Latvian Legion SS stayed out of the Holocaust action – or let me put it this way – I do not accept your premise on faith. Certainly they did not get involved in mass murder of Jews to the extent of the mass murder of Jews by Latvian nationalists in 1941 – there were no Jews left in Courland for sure, and Latvia, by and large was Judenfrei. But one does not remain an angel dancing with the devil.
What is the lesson of the Holocaust then? That good people and good countries can go bad very quickly, succumbing to a few, given a cause. It was the Jews then. Arguably, we in the US are not immune either. We fight islamo-fascists and, to the delight of many (including some in Latvia and the Latvian diaspora), starting mid-August - the "neo-imperialist" Russia. mikhail_drabkin@yahoo.com Mikhail Drabkin (talk) 09:42, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The most recent major wok on the subject, Andrej Angrick and Peter Klein's Die "Endlösung" in Riga: Ausbeutung und Vernichtung 1941–1944 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2006; ISBN 9783534191498 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN.), is very clear and explicit in explaining how the Holocaust in Latvia was prepared in advance by the RSHA, and how these plans were put into action upon the arrival of Einsatzgruppe A (which arrived in Riga 30 June/1 July 1941). For example, on p. 73, Angrick and Klein describe Tēvija as being the de facto offical gazette of the German occupation regime from its first appearance ("die erste Ausgabe erschien noch am 1. Juli und war faktisch als Amtsblatt anzusehen"). According to the documentary evidence, such as Nuremburg Document 180-L, it was Franz Walter Stahlecker's intention to make the pogroms appear to be "self-cleansing" (Selbstreinigung) actions by the Latvians themselves:

"Es musste nach aussen gezeigt werden, dass die einheimische Bevölkerung selbst als natürliche Reaktion gegen jahrzehntenlange Unterdrückung durch die Juden und gegen Terror durch die Kommunisten in der vorangegangenen Zeit die ersten Massnahmen von sich aus getroffen hat." (IMT Blue Series, vol. 37, p. 672.)

Another important work which discounts the possibility of an interregnum in Latvia, when local forces would have a free hand to do as they pleased, is Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm's Die Einsatzgruppe A der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD 1941/42 (Frankfurt am Main &c.: Peter Lang, 1996; ISBN 3631496400), especially pp. 104–13. It must be borne in mind that the situation in Latvia differed from that in neighbouring Lithuania, where an autnomous Lithuanian authority did briefly attempt to excercise its own power, during which time attacks on Jews did take place. As for why there were no pogroms in Denmark during the invasion in April 1940, there are several important reasons. A key point is, however, that the Germans did not exert direct control over the country in until 1943; as soon as the last vestiges of Danish state sovereingty were extinguished, Werner Best began to prepare the mass arrest and deportation of the Danish Jews. And he found willing helpers, particularly amongst the Danish SS men who had served on the Eastern Front (see for example the descriptions of the arrests in Dagbog fra Østfronten: En dansker i Waffen-SS 1941–44, Aschehoug, 2005; ISBN 8711118083). —Zalktis (talk) 11:20, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I can read German, thank you. Franz Walter Stahlecker was killed in 1942 and could not present his side of why it was required to “…Es musste nach aussen gezeigt werden… natürliche Reaktion der einheimischer Bevölkerung.. gegen jahrzehntenlange Unterdrückung durch die Juden…” Quite to the contrary, I read into it proof that Latvian nationalists were given a free hand, time, to display the “…natürliche Reaktion der einheimischer Bevölkerung ..” during an inter-regnum as it were. Further, I conclude that precisely due to “..jahrzehntenlange Unterdrückung durch die Juden ..” there was no need to have a script for events to be prepared by the German Nazis. While I agree that such policies/scripts may/have existed and were indeed a work of Nazi experts – I am not an academician to deliver proof or argue source against source – your argument seems to be what: that the inter-regnum was a Marionetten Spiel (Lellu Teaatris) by RSHA? That the “…einheimische Bevölkerung…” was pushed into participation, early in July 1941, to massacre the Jews? BTW, I do not think that it is fair to speak about the “..native population..” as if there was en masse participation in the killings. I repeat – there were few leaders and many followers. Some followers came to their senses upon the horrors witnessed. Some crossed the line of no return. Some merely picked-up what was left after the expulsion of the Jews from their places of residence.
I have no access to Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm's Die Einsatzgruppe A der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD 1941/42 (Frankfurt am Main &c.: Peter Lang, 1996; ISBN 3631496400), especially pp. 104–13; I would read it and reach my conclusions should you kindly forward e-copies for research (if copyrights permit). My e-mail address remains the same.
I accept your explanation about limited Danish governance (I would add as a factor the absence of deportations by bolsehvik Jews). It appears that your point is that there was no limited Latvian governance, of governance by Latvian nationalists (which of course is not the same) however brief, early July 1941. What is the logical conclusion you reach on this narrowed argument (inter-regnum) then? That Latvian nationalists did not lead, kill, approve, applaud the extermination of Jews in Latvia? That is all was a charade, German Nazis role-playing Latvians, misunderstood by Latvian Holocaust survivors and reported as such in error? Is the other option, then, that the events were not led by Latvian nationalists and it was a spontaneous act of "...der einheimischer Bevölkerung…” ? I can tell you, that among those Survivors I know, this later view is non-existent.Mikhail Drabkin (talk) 07:50, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

(section break)[edit]

My apologies that with family health issues I can't offer a more annotated answer to: "It appears that your point is that there was no limited Latvian governance, of governance by Latvian nationalists (which of course is not the same) however brief, early July 1941. What is the logical conclusion you reach on this narrowed argument (inter-regnum) then? That Latvian nationalists did not lead, kill, approve, applaud the extermination of Jews in Latvia? That is all was a charade, German Nazis role-playing Latvians, misunderstood by Latvian Holocaust survivors and reported as such in error? Is the other option, then, that the events were not led by Latvian nationalists and it was [NOT] a spontaneous act of "...der einheimischer Bevölkerung…” ? I can tell you, that among those Survivors I know, this later view is non-existent." ... but to your questions.

  • No limited Latvian governance upon Nazi invasion. Please accept that this is thoroughly documented
  • "That Latvian nationalists did not lead, kill, approve, applaud the extermination of Jews in Latvia?" Lead no, = Nazis. Kill yes, obviously there were collaborators, but not an entire nation. (Plan,) approve = no, = Nazis. The Nazis identified collaborators and planned and directed their activities at the most detailed level. That personal accounts paint a different picture is a testament to Nazi orchestration. Eyewitness accounts are the best and worst of information. That something was said or seen, that is an eyewitness account. That it means something--for example, it's been written of the Lithuanians that the entire population participated in actively slaughtering Jews, how else could the Holocaust have been so effective?--is another matter. Personal interpretations of personal experiences are not reliable. I am not saying this just in this case, this is the case generally in historical studies (entire books have been written on this topic).
  • That is was (not) "...der einheimischer Bevölkerung..." a non-existent view among Survivors. And that is the greatest tragedy of WWII, that the Nazis, through skillful planning and organization (including their own "eyewitness" accounts of Eastern European brutality against Jews), conducted a successful campaign which still bears fruit today. Only in the Baltics and elsewhere in Eastern Europe are entire peoples painted as Jew-haters who waited for centuries (despite their nations having nurtured Jewish culture for all those centuries) for the Nazis to arrive to release their pent up desires to bludgeon every Jew to death with the bluntest instrument possible with a brutality not even seen in the Middle Ages. If one were to say, "Every Spaniard hates Jews", you'd be as outraged at such a ridiculous allegation as a Spaniard. If one were to say, "Every Lithuanian/Latvian/Estonian/Ukrainian... hates Jews" you yourself would be one of those with the slow nodding yes. An entire people? My own father in law (a teenager) was sent to warn a family friend about the Nazis when word started to spread about what was really happening. He picked his way across fields littered with bodies only to arrive at her house too late, to find her beheaded. Whatever you believe, whether German soldier or one of a small community of Latvian collaborators, it was the Nazis that planned her death, directed the time and method of her death, and commited the act themselves or by means of a collaborator under their direct supervision. —PētersV (talk) 14:11, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

P.S. One of the reasons Der Spiegel loves to reprint events such as the Kaunas massacre is it holds the Germans blameless. But a another entire topic. The bottom line is that the "Germanless Holocaust" is a meticulously planned operation designed from the outset in Berlin to shield the Nazis from blame for the death of Jews in Eastern Europe, not a spontaneous uprising on the part of half the European continent waking up one day and deciding to kill their neighbors. —PētersV (talk) 14:55, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Peeteris, you have not understood my point: the Survivors DO NOT blame "… die einheimische Bevölkerung..." - that is my point. You have added to my text a (NOT) and that was never intended on purpose; from my posts, by now, you SHOULD KNOW that I would NOT AGREE with those that blame all Latvians for what the Latvian nationalists have done in 1941! I am critical of the role the Jews played in the deportations, I state "Dzimtene ir tikai viena", that there were few leaders and many followers - where did you get the notion that "..you yourself would be one of those with the slow nodding yes.."", velns paaraavis!! Mees esam paaraak taalu lai ticeet vines otram, diemzheel! Yes, I know that too large of a number of my tribesman have this reaction, as I am sure - you know the same is true about your people. But not among the Survivors I know and which returned to Latvia: think about it, why would a Survivor that hates the native population, Latvians, return to Latvia after liberation? Only becasue "Dzimtene ir tikai viena" - a gut level reaction.
I agree with your P.S. , but would you not assume, then, that there are similar trends, among the Latvian elites of today? I am pressed for time now and will add later. I hope this message finds your family in better health. mikhail_drabkin@yahoo.com Mikhail Drabkin (talk) 01:43, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Daugavas Vanagi, Who are They? et al.[edit]

Soviet and Nazi lies have conspired to create the image that Latvians were even more efficient than the Nazis in their eagerness to eliminate Jews. I have obtained a copy of Ezergailis' book on the Holocaust in Latvia--notably, published in conjunction with the U.S. Holocaust Museum. I'll try and remember to put it in as reference, and I will check the other references to see what they are. I can't believe I missed D.V. Who are They? it in the citations list! —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 13:30, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Do we know if D.V. Who are They? is listed as a source by the Encyclopedia Judaica? I can't justify $1,400+ to buy the "plain bond" hard copy (currently published second edition) or $300+ for the CDROM just to satisfy my curiosity ($100-$150 no more than once a year is my upper limit!) —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 14:24, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Sadly, it would not surprise me if this were the case. Respectable Holocaust scholars like Gertrude Schneider and David Cesarani list it in their bibliographies, the latter even claims that "much of the material it presents has been verified independently"(!) (Justice Delayed, 2000, p. 304). — Zalktis 15:27, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes, verified in that, for example, Celmiņš was a Latvian fascist. Or that Tēvija was the main Latvian paper (Nazi controlled during their occupation, represented as Latvian). But nothing to do with DV or what the Soviets called Latvia's "fascist" government which threw Celmiņš in jail for three years for...being a facist! (Is there an inconsistency here?) After I finish up my first big re-publishing project, dealing with this Soviet trash is going to be next big project on the list. I don't see anything coming out of Latvia. sigh —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 02:02, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Not so. Ezergailis's latest book (Andrew Ezergailis, Nazi/Soviet disinformation about the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Latvia: "Daugavas vanagi—who are they?" revisited: E. Avotins, J. Dzirkalis, V. Petersons; Riga: Latvijas 50 gadu okupacijas muzeja fonds, 2005; ISBN 9984961362) is a thoroughgoing deconstruction of DV Who Are They, with regards to both factual content and propagandistic intent. In your area, Pēters, NYPL has a copy. — Zalktis 07:03, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Probably time to spring for Ezergailis' book, which I am aware of. I should have been a bit more clear on my comment, which is that I don't see the Latvian government taking the offensive against Soviet propaganda which--through its endless repetition--is still accepted as fact even by otherwise reputable scholars. Pronouncements that those who matter "already know" are a poor substitute for making sure that even those who don't matter (i.e., those who make up the perception of Latvia's public image--haven't heard of Latvia, if they have, only that they are Nazis per Liz Holtzman--heard it in person-- et al. and that their country is a great spot for stag parties) know the truth. —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 18:57, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

What is the date of the latest edition of Encyclopedia Judaica? Works of this sort inherently require a bit of time to catch up with research. Prior to Ezergailis, there was hardly any serious history of the Holocaust in Latvia. Vestermanis was doing research, but during the Soviet period was very restricted in what he could publish. The result is that what was available until about 15 years ago was Soviet propaganda, together with the "eyewitness" accounts (which often delve into things of which the author was *not* an eyewitness, and as a result often contain misinformation), and a few articles by Dov Levin, always worth reading but dealing only with a few of the relevant topics. So there was simply not an adequate basis for any encyclopedia article on the topic, and if EJ references DV-Who Are They?, it is almost miraculously up-to-date. Of course, we all know that those Jews are pushy :) (Please, please, don't anyone take that literally--it's a *parody* of an anti-Semitic stereotype that I find ridiculous.)

The Wikipedia article at this time (19 October 2007) is not bad; I take it that Peteris is the person to thank? One thing that still needs attention is the brief treatment of what became of the criminals after the war--it could easily be read as a smear of the DPs in general, in the manner of the notorious _DV--Who Are They?_. Stephen.r 03:05, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not to thank, (un)fortunately. Either way, it does miss basic items, such as Stalin deporting, proportionately, more Jews than any other ethnicity, eliminating the Jewish community's civic, political, and economic leadership. Haven't decided yet whether to put in work here or to work on putting up reference materials on the topic on our site. I'm considering tracking down a copy of D.V. Who Are They, reproducing and debunking it all, based on Ezergailis' and other reputable materials on the topic. That would me a huge undertaking, however. PētersV 14:53, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Just for the sake of clarity, you forgot to mention that Stalin saved big part of "the Jewish community's civic, political, and economic leadership" by deporting them before WWII. Not that he had this in mind, but he did save them nonetherless. Survival rate among deportees was ininitely more than among Jews who stayed in Latvia. RJ CG 21:15, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
No, that the Nazis inflicted the Holocaust is already in the article. My point was it doesn't mention Stalin's contribution while he was still in partnership with Hitler. An odd way to save Jews, since Stalin, a rabid anti-Semite (Khrushchev's words, not mine), made sure Jews not only suffered proportionally more than any other ethnicity but, once deported, subjected them to a harsher treatment than any ethnicity. Far fewer survived than you are implying. I'm sorry, but what point are you [RJ CG] trying to make by using "saving"? That Stalin was accidentally benevolent? Jews survived Hitler too.
   By your logic, Stalin saved Hungarians and Czechs by deporting them, thereby, if they survived long enough--twenty year deportations were a norm--avoiding his successors killing them while suppressing independence movements.
   Do you have anything more constructive to suggest for the article? PētersV 00:58, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Frankly speaking, I don't think Stalin was too concerned inserted by RJ CG 13:39, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
P.S. And you [RJ CG] have reputable sources examining the unintended consequence/phenomenon of Stalin "saving" Jews by deporting them? PētersV 01:13, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Haha, that joke never gets old. It's widely known fact that the soviet authority was as much antisemitic as nazis in their ideology. The propaganda claim "Saving people by deporting them to siberia" is always fun, specially in cases when someone takes it seriously. :) Suva Чего? 12:38, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I am sure you would not have a single problem providing proof for your claims that "the soviet authority was as much antisemitic as nazis". I mean, you would have to show Soviet analogs of Nuremberg Laws (may be not on paper, as Commies were great masters of "unwritten policies", but peer-reviewed sources showing that Jews were alienated as much by the Soviet system as they were by the Nazis, including 100%-enforced race-based prohibition of ownership, certain professions and so on), gas chambers and ghettos, to start with. RJ CG 13:39, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, RJ CG, did anyone here say those words in your quotes? No, they did not. This is only about you contending that Stalin "saved" (the word you did use) Jews by deporting them. Don't ask for "proof" of something ("'the soviet authority was as much antisemitic as nazis'") which no one contended--which by your mere request makes this a debate over whether Hitler or Stalin was the more genocidal maniac. It's an insult to the victims and survivors of both to argue who was more evil or more bent on exterminating millions of lives.
   Again, if you have encyclopedic reputably sourced information to add to the article, please discuss and contribute. Otherwise consider showing some respect for the dead. PētersV 14:19, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry, but I seem there's misunderstanding here. I quoted Suva's message from 12:38, 24 October 2007 and you can't see "anyone here say those words in your quotes". I would call it rather selected blindness. I am sure you will not have a problem apologizing for you baseless attack. And I see no point in debate over whether Hitler or Stalin was worse to Jews. I think six millions of Jews murdered by the Hitler's regime (all Jews he could kill) and approximately 1-2 millions of Jews who survived under Stalin's regime make your repeated attempts to equate fate of Jews under Hitler (and his local cronies) and Stalin rather sacrilegious. Fact that you have gall to call for respect for the dead in the same discussion just adds cherry to the top. RJ CG 14:34, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Just in case, I remind everyone the arbcom editing restriction on Eastern Europe related topics. Suva Чего?

Just in case, you still doesn't provide proof for claim that "the soviet authority was as much antisemitic as nazis". RJ CG 16:11, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I was possibly mistaking, I withdraw my claims. Sorry. Suva Чего? 16:19, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Read it twice and missed it, comment struck. However, RJ CG, I am not "equating" anything. If you read my original comment it was that the current article completely omits Stalin's actions against Jews. Addressing an omission is not "equating". It is you who are making the leap that I am making some sort of comparison or equating here and then getting on your moral high horse about it. My "repeated attempts to equate"? Please! (Even comments by others that Stalin was as anti-Semitic as Hitler does not equate the actual actions taken.) Since we're apparently both in agreement (and this is all a terrible misunderstanding) over the moral reprehensibility of debating evil, I believe we're done here. PētersV 14:48, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

P.S. I would trust that the recent ArbCom editing restriction allows us to assume that taking note of missing content is a good faith observation that information needs to be added, not that there is some sinister plot to debate levels of evil. To RJ CG, again, if you have reputably source information to add, please contribute. However, postulating that Stalin saved Jews by deporting them is, as we've seen, sure to provoke needless and nonconstructive debate. Let's stick to presenting reputably sourced materials, not our personal postulations--on which I rather expect RJ CG and I are bound to disagree. —PētersV 16:37, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Each time I look it's just sad[edit]

Passed through today, this time noticing "In addition to the above, the Jewish population was subjected to a heavy burden of taxes[citation needed]." What is the article (original source) saying? That Latvia had an ethnic-based taxation system? And who "expelled" Jews to the interior during WWI? This sort of passive tense mumbo-jumbo confuses more than informs. Oh the long list of things to rewrite. —PētersV (talk) 00:07, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Some sentences[edit]

1. There aren't no word about that by % jews from Latvia take big casulties in deportations to Soviet Union in june of 1941. From all deported to Siberia they was 13%, but in Latvia to that year lived about 5% jews, so soviets make first strike to those poeple. 2. There is words After liberation. It wasn't no liberation in 1944., it was second ocupation of Latvia... in 1949. year was deportode about 42 000 people to Siberia. --Kurlandlegionar (talk) 22:10, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Yes, proportionately more Jews were deported than any other ethnicity under Stalin, and to even worse conditions. PetersV       TALK 17:21, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

"Wrong and smells like Nazism" and somesuch[edit]

Sorry, Stalin got to the Baltic first and spared no one. PetersV       TALK 00:30, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

LEGU[edit]

It would probably be relevant to include some information on LEGU: Latvijas Ebrei - Genocida Upuri; Holocaust Survivors' Organization of Latvian Jewry. -- Deborahjay (talk) 08:42, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Infobox created[edit]

I hope the selection of people I did was good enough!

Mark Rothko • Mikhail Tal • Mischa Maisky
Philippe Halsman • Abraham Isaac Kook • Rogatchover Gaon

Feel free to suggest more ideas here! Guitar hero on the roof (talk) 19:42, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

In December 1941 was promoted to Obersturmführer Kurt Krause, a former Berlin police officer and previously Commander of the camp in Salaspils, the ghetto of Riga. SS-Unterscharführer Max Gymnich, a Gestapo man from Cologne was his assistant and driver.[18] Krause, called by prisoners "the ogre" and Gymnich big dogs were to give their command emphasis. The Latvian Jew Joseph Berman, who survived the Holocaust, described Gymnich in 1947 as responsible person for deportation to the death ("suicide squad"). In the ghetto, he had been responsible for countless murders.[19][20], source: de.wiki, Riga Ghetto.Valleyspring (talk) 04:24, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Limiting family size of Latvian Jews prior to WWII[edit]

Hi. I'm looking for citation on this sentence:

The causes of this decline were emigration by part of the younger generation and a decline in the natural increase through limiting the family to one or two children by the majority.[citation needed]

Does anyone know of a source that confirms Jews were limited to one or two children, and any details? Thank you.

JonBaile (talk) 14:00, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

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