Latvian Association of Victims of Political Repression appeals to all Latvians in Latvia and overseas to commemorate the victims of Soviet terror on June 14, 1998.

On June 17, 1940, disregarding peace treaties, all human rights, and Christian morals, Latvia was invaded and occupied by the Empire of the Red Terror - the Soviet Union, led by the Communist Bolshevik Party.

The following bloody "Year-of-Terror" was the beginning of a half-century long period of occupation of our land. During this period, the Latvian nation, land and people suffered catastrophic losses which, to this day, have never been justified. We do not have a list of the representatives of the Soviet Empire or our own traitors who committed criminal acts during the occupation of Latvia. But, we can present documented, true testimony to all those who are attempting to force us to forget and ignore the occupant's criminal behavior in Latvia, the consequences of which hinder our progress today and will continue to prevent the normal development of a democratic, prosperous and free nation.

The "masters" in Latvia and beyond our borders - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

With each breath, we shall continue to remind the whole world and, especially our youth, that without a true knowledge of the past we can not securely expect a better future. All humanity has to know that the criminal acts, brutally and systematically committed during 70 years by the Communist Party's KGB in Latvia, in the Baltic's, in Eastern Europe, and in Russia itself, which greatly surpass the crimes of Hitler's regime during World War II.

Today we commemorate the 14,194 Latvia's citizens who were victims of the Communist regime's first mass deportation on June 14, 1941. Among the unfortunates were 11,418 Latvians, 1,771 Jews, 742 of Latvia's ethnic Russians, 36 Germans (who had not complied with Hitler's invitation to repatriate to Germany), and 227 of other nationalities. They include 1,614 children under the age of seven, 2,137 children from ages 7 to 16. Also, 50 individuals over the age of 80. All were forced into cattle-cars with barred windows. The 7,077 males deported on June 14, 1941, were separated from their families and assigned to slave labor camps under extreme conditions. Only a few survived to return to Latvia after many, many years of exile.

Today, we also commemorate the many citizens of Latvia, whom the KGB arrested before and after June 14, who were condemned to death or died in extremely cruel conditions. Our last President, Karlis Ulmanis, was among the unfortunate who died in Soviet prisons.

The Communist Party's genocide against Latvians, started during the "Year-of-Terror", which was interrupted by the invasion of the German army in July, 1941. The KGB terror again raged throughout our land during the years after the war. On March 25, 1949, the second mass deportation, 42,133 people were deported from Latvia to the East in 33 box-cars with barred windows. Many thousands who opposed the Communist occupation were arrested and condemned to death or to many long years in exile in slave labour camps.

For all the many injustices and cruelties against Latvia's citizens during the Soviet occupation, so far, only one KGB agent, Noviks, has been convicted. Other former KGB members, have effectively used the press for selfjustification, even inventing accusations against the victims of KGB terror.

We wish to warn politically responsible individuals in Latvia and the rest of the world that allowing the Soviet Communist Party to evade responsibility for the past and ignoring the reappearance of the methods of Nazism/Communism currently in Russia and Latvia, again brings a serious threat to Western civilisation. It is vitally important for all nations, including Russia, to forbid the revival of this evil empire.

To yield to the former Soviet Empire's revenge seekers, is to betray freedom, democratic and Christian ideas, and once again condemn the Latvian nation to extinction.

We pray that the Latvian Government and foreign leaders may gain strength, endurance and unity, political wisdom, common sense, and a sense of responsibility toward the Latvian nation and all peoples.

Latvian Association of Victims of Political Repression

to: Crimes against Humanity