The Story of Latvia—A Historical SurveyArveds Švābe. Latvian National Foundation, Stockholm. 1949

A personal postscript...

Sixty-eight years have passed since "The Story of Latvia—A Historical Survey" was published. The Baltics are once again independent and members of the European community.

The Soviet Union is gone, yet, tragically, the Soviet mentality continues in Russia, still preoccupied with the Baltics, still insisting the Baltics joined the Soviet Union willingly and legally, still branding Baltic anti-Soviet heros as "anti-" anti-fascists, that is, Nazis. NKVD agents, freed from Latvian jails for health reasons after being convicted of sending Latvian women and children to their deaths in Siberia remain defiant and unrepentant:

You have to remember that the war was coming, and these people were not simple farmers.
They were spies, and they were dangerous.
—Mikhail Farbtukh, convicted for crimes against humanity

...and receive red carnations in their Riga apartment from the Russian government.

Germany has been held to account for Nazism, has admitted to its past and remains vigilant to insure that past never repeats again. Perhaps even too vigilant. Hindus have complained that their millennia-old use of the swastika is not a glorification of Nazism—neither is it in Latvia. Meanwhile, Russia remains unrepentant for the Soviet murder of tens of millions more under circumstances no less brutal. The Holocaust was unique in its premeditation and industrialization of death; yet the world forgets that in WWII the Jews of Hitler's Germany and conquered territories were not the only people packed in and ushered to their deaths in cattle cars.

Until the past is fully acknowledged and attoned for, and that era of history brought to closure, Arveds Švābe's question to moral world conscience, "To be, or not to be," remains unanswered, its urgency undimmed by the passage of time.

There is no victory over the Iron Curtain
if it is only the wall which has turned to dust.

Indeed, as Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea and eastern Urkaine demonstrates, authoritarian powers which fail to face their past honestly ultimately revisit it upon their neighbors.

...Timeline...Exiles' Calendar 1947Latviesu Trimdinieka Kalendars 1947 (The Latvian Exile's Calendar 1947). Complete facsimile (Latvian) and poetry translations; published in the D.P. camps, 1947 Fischbach Song FestivalDziesmu Diena Fišbachā (Fischbach Song Festival), Kārlis Puriņš. Viktors Puriņš. 1948. Latvians in the Displaced Persons camps of Fischbach and Märzfeld in Nuremberg and environs gather to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the First Latvian Song Festival. Album of 24 pictures, with foreword by composer and Fischbach DP camp elder Jēkabs Poruks. European Unification and LatviaEiropas apvienošanās kustība un mēs (The European unification movement and us), Modris Gulbis, 1948. The necessity of a European Union to the welfare of the European continent and to Latvia Anna Dārziņa Post Card SetLatvian folk costumes, Anna Dāŗziņa. Esslingen DP Camp, Jānis Liepiņš, ca. 1949. Artist Anna Dāŗziņa's illustrations of Latvian folk costumes. Set of 18 postcards. 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.
"The Story of Latvia-A Historical Survey" reproduced by permission.
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