Latvia and the Latvians Frederic T. Harned, Harvard University (part of a larger M.I.T. study), 1973

Peters' parents and generation in particular—born in the 1900's or shortly thereafter—were lucky enough to have come to adulthood and prospered in that first all-too-brief flowering of twenty years of Latvian independence. To understand the birth of that independence, the impact of half a century of occupation, the path to the Latvia of today, we've been exploring the past through materials contemporary with their times. Our greatest challenge has been in finding objective "windows" into the Soviet occupation—that is, not written from the viewpoints of either the occupier or the occupied.

We were quite excited when we came across "Project: Attitudes of the Major Soviet Nationalites"—a study by the Center for International Studies at M.I.T., published in 1973. It's a 5-volume, seven inch thick typewritten "slice of life" of the Soviet Union from the viewpoint of its ethnic constituencies.

The study is a treasure trove that was lost even to M.I.T.—they needed two weeks to find a copy when we first inquired about permission to reproduce it! We intend to eventually republish it in its entirety over time. As our first step, we present: "Latvia and the Latvians" (section two out of Volume II, The Baltics), prepared by Frederic T. Harned of (at the time) Harvard University.

Our grateful appreciation to Prof. Harned for reaching out to us to express his thanks for bringing his scholarship to a new generation.


The work reported in this document was conducted under contract between the U.S. Information Agency and the Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The distribution of this paper does not indicate endorsement by the United States Information Agency, nor should the contents be construed as reflecting the official opinion of that Agency.

Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
retains all rights to "Project: Attitudes of the Major Soviet Nationalites"


Project: Attitudes of the Major Soviet Nationalities: Latvia and the Latvians
Adobe Acrobat format (413 KB), 50 pages
preserves essential formatting of the original except for font and footnote sequencing

...Timeline...Latgale Fold-outLatgale Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Latgale women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Nīca Fold-outNīca Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Nīca women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Along Latvia's RoadsPa Latvijas Ceļiem (Along Latvia's Roads), ca. 1960. Soviet era postcards ala "See the USA in your Chevrolet." (Soviet) RīgaRīga, ca. 1960. Soviet fold-out of post-card sized images of Rīga. Captioned in eight (!) languages and extolling the benefits, virtues, and accomplishments of the Soviet occupation "era." Smiltene Fold-outSmiltene Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Smiltene women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Latvia and the Latvians"Attitudes of the Major Soviet Nationalities, Latvia and the Latvians", Frederic T. Harned, 1973. Part of a wider set of studies on all the peoples of the Soviet Union. The study was a project of M.I.T.'s Center for International Studies. Soviet Aggression Against the Baltic StatesSoviet Aggression Against the Baltic States. Augusts Rumpēters. The World Federation of Free Latvians, New York. 1974. Augusts Rumpēters (1899-1978) served in the Supreme Court Senate of the Republic of Latvia. His cogent and superbly annotated dissertation provides pertinent counterpoint to those who continue to insist the Baltics joined the USSR willingly and legally. How Stalin Got the Baltic StatesHow Stalin Got the Baltic States—The Search for Historical Truth. Dr. Vilnis V. Šveics, 1989. Professor Vilnis V. Šveics' concise and revelatory monograph on the descent of the Baltic states into Soviet domination conclusively documents that the image of France, Britain, and the United States as champions of Baltic independence is a post-WWII fiction. Brief History of Latvia"A Brief History of Latvia". Latvian Foreign Ministry. 2000.  A short summary highighting key aspects and events in Latvian history.
Materials from "Project: Attitudes of the Major Soviet Nationalities" reproduced by permission.
Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building E38-600, 292 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 retains all rights.

Site contents copyright © 2017, S.A. and P. Vecrumba. All Rights Reserved. Wikipedia™, external site and Google Translate™ links are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement of, affiliation with, or responsibility for such content.

We use cookies to assist in context-sensitive navigation. By accessing our site, you agree to the placement if this type of cookie on your computer or mobile device. We do not share user information with third parties.

Please Email us at contact@latvians.com with comments or questions. We look forward to your feedback.

Center for Baltic Heritage is a LATVIANS.COM project.