Latvia—Our Dream is Coming TrueVilis Lācis. Soviet Booklets, London. 1959.

We admit being conflicted—we'd much rather use Soviet propaganda as kindling for the backyard grill than preserve it on the Internet. Still, we find ourselves doing the latter: here is a sample of Soviet propaganda at its highest, masterfully blending truth and fallacy, obliterating boundaries between fact and fiction.

Vilis Lacis was a well-known Latvian writer; the movie of his book, The Fisherman's Son, released in 1939, was by all accounts an artistic and popular success. As Soviet puppet, on July 31, 1940, he penned the order deporting the commander of Latvian forces, General Balodis, along with all family members. However, his greatest contribution to the welfare of Latvia came on March 17, 1949, when he signed the order for the mass deportations of March 25th, in which 42,133 Latvians—more than two thirds of them women and children—were sent to Siberia, a virtual death sentence.

Visit the Latvia Ministry of Foreign Affairs for
more information on Soviet deportations

Lacis tells of increases in the numbers of schools and "quickly" eradicating illiteracy under the Soviets and fails to mention the Latvian literacy rate was the highest in Europe. Of course, that was literacy in Latvian—not very useful to Soviet Russification.

Lacis tells of vast increases in industrial production and fails to mention Latvia being used as a mere assembly station: visual and verbal imagery conjure an economic force to rival Western Europe, whereas Latvia was nothing but a Mexico assembling piece-parts into an endless line of Volkswagen Things—and when the Soviet Union finally collapsed and parts stopped arriving, Latvia's vaunted "industry" vanished overnight, leaving wastelands of abandoned factory shells looted to the bare walls by the Communist apparatchiki.

Lacis tells of the returning Latvian Australian emigré who is informed, as he receives his new Soviet passport, "You may live wherever you wish and work at whatever suits you," proving anti-Soviet press a "pack of lies." As Lacis parades his poster boy, he fails to mention Latvians who need written approval and "escorts" to visit their own relatives, who carry papers indicating where they can, and cannot, go, who would be arrested on sight at their ancestral home, long since confiscated and converted into a kolkhoz—who sigh guilty relief when agents come for their neighbor, not for them.

Our intent is not to disprove Lacis point by point. Rather, in presenting the Soviet "view," one which Russia vehemently still clings to, we can better inform our understanding of the present through a recognition and understanding of propaganda.

Album of illustrations

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Cover

Vilis Lācis

LATVIA: Area 25,000 Sq. miles. Population 2,094,000

Rame Eihe*, a Latvian State University student, is wearing the traditional headdress and ornament as a performer in the Saulgieji* Folk Theatre in Riga.
* Aija Rāme and Saulgrieži

The State Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Riga.

Latvia has a thriving agriculoture base on six million acres of farmland. The livestock section of the Marupe Collective Farm in the Riga District.

A summer farm for hog-breeding.

Stacking finished units at the Riga Electrical Machinery Factory, Riga.

Latvian fisherman aboard a trawler of the Zveiniex* fishing collective of the Saulkrastsky* District.
* Zvejnieks and Saulkrasti.

RIGA—A view of the city—one of the oldest in Europe—from the October Bridge which spans the River Daugava (Western Dvina). Riga is fast becoming a busy industrial center.
Below: A corner of Riga Beach on the amber-strewn Gulf of Riga—an inlet of the Baltic.

The Latvian national costume is seen in this group acting at the Saulgrieji* Folk Theatre, Riga.
* Saulgrieži

The Meat Pavilion of the Central Collective Farm Market, Riga.

Assembling radio sets at the Popov Radio Factory, Riga.

Electrical workers are assembling an automatic telephone exchange at the V.E.F. Factory, Riga.

A corner of a building site in Daugavpils, which will house workers from the Motovelots Factory.

An automatic transfer production line at the V.E.F. Electrical Engineering Works, Riga.

Map of the U.S.S.R. on back cover.
...Timeline...Pīrāgi & GalertsLatviska un Moderna Virtuve (The Latvian and Modern Kitchen), Fischbach D.P. Camp, Germany, 1949. Traditional Latvian recipes, excerpts and translations The Story of LatviaThe Story of Latvia—A Historical Survey. Arveds Švābe. Latvian National Foundation, Stockholm. 1949. Švābe's concise history of Latvia, from the Balts inhabiting what is today western Russia through the continuation of Soviet occupation into the post-WWII era. First USA Song FestivalThe First Latvian Song Festival in America, various, Chicago, 1953. Mixed choir participants' music. 21 songs, complete Festival of Lithuanian Art and MusicFestival of Lithuanian Art and Music, Washington, D.C., 1953. Lithuanian exile community celebrates the anniversary of Lithuania's original founding with art, a concert, and banquet in Washington, D.C. Festival program. Müürisepp's Soviet EstoniaEstonia, Wonderful Present—Marvellous Future, Aleksei Müürisepp. Soviet Booklets, London. 1959. Career apparatchik and then soon-to-be Estonian SSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Алексей Александрович Мюрисеп waxes eloquently of life under the U.S.S.R., one of a series of propaganda booklets produced about each of the fifteen Soviet Republics. Lācis' Soviet LatviaLatvia—Our Dream is Coming True, Vilis Lācis. Soviet Booklets, London. 1959. Popular author during Latvia's independence and Soviet sympathizer signing deportation orders sending families to frosty death, Vilis Lācis, writes of the materialization of Latvian dreams under the U.S.S.R., one of a series of booklets produced about each of the fifteen Soviet Republics. Abrene Fold-outAbrene Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Abrene women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Augšzeme Fold-outAugšzeme Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Augšzeme women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. Krustpils Fold-outKrustpils Women's Folk Costume. Latvian State Publishing House, ca. 1960.Krustpils women's folk costume illustrated multi-lingual reference fold-out. 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.
"Latvia—Our Dream is Coming True" was published by Soviet Booklets, London, England, in December, 1959,
as part of the series "THE FIFTEEN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS OF TODAY AND TOMMORROW."
We do not endorse the Soviet account of historical events or their circumstances contained therein as factual.

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