Remembrance
Latvia
 

Latvia under Totalitarianism

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

On August 23, 1939 the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Non-aggression Pact in Moscow. An integral part of this Pact was a secret supplementary protocol or Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that was directed against the independent nations – the independent Baltic countries. In this Pact, the leaders of the great powers agreed to split the East-European countries into the spheres of interest. The Non-aggression Pact by the Soviet Union and Germany gave the green light to the World War II and genocide against the Latvian nation.

The Treaty of October 5, 1939

V.Munters – the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia – succumbed to Stalin’s and Molotov’s pressure in October 1939 and signed the Mutual Assistance Pact between Latvia and the USSR. It meant that the Soviet Union had the right to form military bases in Latvia. At the beginning the imported soldiers behaved discreetly and were not seen outside their bases. After the initial fuss things calmed down a bit and people went back to their routines; later, however, various restrictions were introduced, for example, for food and industry and citizens’ foreign passports were cancelled. This opened people’s eyes – the country’s independence was lost.

Occupation and Annexation of Latvia

An ultimatum by the USSR government was released on June 16 in which the resignation of the government of Latvia was demanded in an unconditional tone, formation of the new government with specially selected people was ordered, admission of unlimited numbers of Soviet troops in Latvia was required, informing that it all had to be done until 23.00 o’clock, otherwise the Soviet Red Army would enter Latvia without any permission and take over, suppressing any opposition. By this time, the Red Army had already occupied Lithuania and performed a similar operation in Estonia.

Timeline