The Rise and Fall of the Latvian National Communists
Chapter 1. Russophiles and Culture: The Early Years of Occupation, 1946–1953
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RUSSOPHILES AND CULTURE
The Early Years of Occupation, 1946–1953
In these days of doubt, in these days of painful brooding over the fate of my country, thou alone art my rod and my staff, O great, mighty, true and free Russian language! If it were not for thee, how could one keep from despairing at the sight of what is going on at home? But it is inconceivable that such a language should not belong to a great people.
Lebedev and Titov: Russian Nationalists
IVAN LEBEDEV AND FYODOR TITOV were typical of the cadres sent to Latvia after the Second World War. They were Russian products of Stalinism and the victorious Great Patriotic War, occupying a transient position. Before the war, they probably knew little of the tiny republic, and their tenure in Latvia lasted less than a decade.1 First Lebedev, then Titov, held the post of Latvian second secretary. While the first secretary was theoretically a higher position and held by a Latvian, the second secretary wielded the real power in the republic. The Soviets viewed Latvians as Nazi collaborators and partisan terrorists, so this post was crucial to monitoring the republic and its Party.2 ← 9 | 10 →
Soviet leaders had reason to worry about Latvian loyalty. While Latvians despised the Germans, who for centuries had dominated the region’s economy, the horrors of the first Soviet occupation managed to...
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