“TheCeļotājs” –
 “Beginning of the 1941 Terror Against the Jews in Riga Latvia”
 

Introduction

Come join “TheCeļotājs” journey through time, as we journey back to the year 1941 and the beginning of the terror of the Jews in Riga Latvia. Starting in the month of June 1941 the Jewish terror began with the Soviet Union’s Deportation of prominent Jews. With the Nazi Army entering the City of Riga Latvia on 1 July 1941 the Jews terror and horror starting on the night of 3 July.
 
It all began on 16 June 1940 and with its occupation the 17 June 1940 with the Soviet Red Army invasion of the Latvia Territory. Latvia’s terror started at once with the mass arrests murders or deportations of its leaders to far regents of the Soviet Union.
 
Then in June 1941 Latvians and Latvian Jews terror again starting on the night of 13 June and 14 June 1941, where thousands of Latvians and Latvian Jews were deported to far regents of the Soviet Union or were outright murdered. Starting on the night of 13 June and 14 June 1941 Latvians and the Latvian Jews terror began with the Soviet Union’s Deportation of prominent Latvians and Latvian Jews. With the Nazi Army entering the City of Riga Latvia on 1 July 1941 the Jews terror and horror starting on the night of 3 July 1941.
 
First we will journey back to Moscow and the year 1939, were all this terror and horror really started with the signing of The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
 
    
 
Vyacheslav Molotov signs the German–Soviet non-aggression pact. Standing behind him Joachim von Ribbentrop and Joseph Stalin
 
     Nazi Germany – Soviet Union Leaders and their Foreign Ministers 

                    

                 Adolf Hitler                   Joachim von Ribbentrop              Joseph Stalin                         Vyacheslav Molotov

The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, colloquially named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939. It was a non-aggression pact between the two countries and pledged neutrality by either party if the other were attacked by a third party. It remained in effect until 22 June 1941 when Germany implemented Operation Barbarossa, invading the Soviet Union.
 
In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence, anticipating potential "territorial and political rearrangements" of these countries. Thereafter, Germany and the Soviet Union invaded their respective sides of Poland, dividing the country between them. Part of eastern Finland was annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War. This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bessarabia.

                                                                                                                                                                                       

                          Flag Nazi Germany                                                                                                                                                                                                              Flag Soviet Union                

After first extracting Latvian agreement under duress, Stalin personally threatened the Latvian foreign minister, in Moscow during negotiations, to the stationing of Soviet troops on Latvian soil, the Soviet Union invades Latvia on 16 June 1940.
 
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and its Secret Protocol.
 
Following completion of the Soviet-German trade and credit agreement, there has arisen the question of improving political links between Germany and the USSR.
 
On 22 August 1939, one day after the talks broke down with France and Britain. Moscow revealed that Ribbentrop would visit Stalin the next day. This happened while the Soviets were still negotiating with the British and French missions in Moscow. With the Western nations unwilling to accede to Soviet demands, Stalin instead entered a secret Nazi–Soviet alliance. On 24 August 1939 a 10-year non-aggression pact was signed with provisions that included: consultation; arbitration if either party disagreed; neutrality if either went to war against a third power; no membership of a group "which is directly or indirectly aimed at the other."
 
    
Joseph Stalin and Joachim von Ribbentrop at
the signing of the Pact.
 
Most notably, there was also a secret protocol to the pact, revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945, according to which the states of Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence". In the North, Finland, Estonia and Latvia were assigned to the Soviet sphere. Poland was to be partitioned in the event of its "political rearrangement"—the areas east of the Pisa, Narev, Vistula and San rivers going to the Soviet Union while Germany would occupy the west. Lithuania, adjacent to East Prussia, would be in the German sphere of influence, although a second secret protocol agreed to in September 1939 reassigned the majority of Lithuania to the USSR. According to the secret protocol, Lithuania would be granted the ethnic Polish city of Wilno, which was a part of Poland during the inter-war period. Another clause of the treaty was that Germany would not interfere with the Soviet Union's actions towards Bessarabia, then part of Romania; as the result, Bessarabia was joined to the Moldovan ASSR, and become the Moldovan SSR under control of Moscow.
 
At the signing, Ribbentrop and Stalin enjoyed warm conversations, exchanged toasts and further addressed the prior hostilities between the countries in the 1930s. They characterized Britain as always attempting to disrupt Soviet-German relations, stated that the Anti-Comintern pact was not aimed at the Soviet Union, but actually aimed at Western democracies and "frightened principally the City of London “i.e., the British financiers” and the English shopkeepers."
 
On 24 August 1939, Pravda and Izvestia carried news of the non-secret portions of the Pact, complete with the now infamous front-page picture of Molotov signing the treaty, with a smiling Stalin looking on “located at the top of this article”. The news was met with utter shock and surprise by government leaders and media worldwide, most of whom were aware only of the British–French–Soviet negotiations that had taken place for months. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was received with shock by Nazi Germany’s allies, notably Japan, by the Comintern and foreign communist parties, and by Jewish communities all around the world. So, that day, German diplomat Hans von Herwarth, whose grandmother was Jewish, informed Guido Relli, an Italian diplomat, and American chargé d'affaires Charles Bohlen on the secret protocol regarding vital interests in the countries' allotted "spheres of influence", without revealing the annexation rights for "territorial and political rearrangement".
 
Time Magazine repeatedly referred to the Pact as the "Communazi Pact" and its participants as "communazis" until April 1941.
 
Soviet propaganda and representatives went to great lengths to minimize the importance of the fact that they had opposed and fought against the Nazis in various ways for a decade prior to signing the Pact. Upon signing the pact, Molotov tried to reassure the Germans of his good intentions by commenting to journalists that "fascism is a matter of taste". For its part, Nazi Germany also did a public volte-face regarding its virulent opposition to the Soviet Union, though Hitler still viewed an attack on the Soviet Union as "inevitable".
 
Concerns over the possible existence of a secret protocol were first expressed by the intelligence organizations of the Baltic States scant days after the pact was signed. Speculation grew stronger when Soviet negotiators referred to its content during negotiations for military bases in those countries.
 
The day after the Pact was signed, the French and British military negotiation delegation urgently requested a meeting with Soviet military negotiator Kliment Voroshilov. On 25 August 1939, Voroshilov told them "[i]n view of the changed political situation, no useful purpose can be served in continuing the conversation." That day, Hitler told the British ambassador to Berlin that the pact with the Soviets prevented Germany from facing a two front war, changing the strategic situation from that in World War I, and that Britain should accept his demands regarding Poland.
 
On 25 August 1939, surprising Hitler, Britain entered into a defense pact with Poland. Consequently, Hitler postponed his planned 26 August 1939 invasion of Poland to 1 September 1939. Britain and France responded by guaranteeing the sovereignty of Poland, so they declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939.
 
Texts of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and its Secret Protocol
 
- Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Secret Additional Protocol, 23 August 1939.
 
- Secret Additional Protocol of 28 September 1939 Amending the Secret Agreement of 23 August 1939.
 
- German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of 28 September 1939; Confidential Protocols Concerning Repatriation and Political Subjugation of Poland; Declaration of the German Reich and the Government of the USSR
 
- German-Soviet Protocol of 10 January 1941 Concerning Transfer of the Rights to the Suwalki Strip to the USSR
 
GERMAN CORRESPONDENCE ON THE PACT, OCTOBER 1939
 
- The German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Schulenberg. 
 
- The German Minister in Kaunas Informed of the Secret Protocol; Zechlin Reports on Lithuanian Reaction.
 
- Ribbentrop Tells German Envoys in the Baltic About the Secret Protocol.

      

    Text of the secret protocol “in German”

 
    
Planned and actual territorial changes in Central Europe 1939–1940

Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics desirous of strengthening the cause of peace between Germany and the U.S.S.R., and proceeding from the fundamental provisions of the Neutrality Agreement concluded in April 1926 between Germany and the U.S.S.R., have reached the following agreement:

Article I

Both High Contracting Parties obligate themselves to desist from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other either individually or jointly with other powers.

Article II

Should one of the High Contracting Parties become the object of belligerent action by a third power, the other High Contracting Party shall in no manner lend its support to this third power.

Article III

The Governments of the two High Contracting Parties shall in the future maintain continual contact with one another for the purpose of consultation in order to exchange information on problems affecting their common interests.

Article IV

Neither of the two High Contracting Parties shall participate in any grouping of powers whatsoever that is directly or indirectly aimed at the other party.

Article V

Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions.

Article VI

The present treaty is concluded for a period of ten years, with the proviso that, in so far as one of the High Contracting Parties does not denounce it one year prior to the expiration of this period, the validity of this treaty shall automatically be extended for another five years.

Article VII

The present treaty shall be ratified within the shortest possible time. The ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin. The agreement shall enter into force as soon as it is signed.

Done in duplicate, in the German and Russian languages;

Moscow, August 23, 1939.

 For the Government
 of the German Reich:

 With full power of the
 Government of the U.S.S.R.:

 v. Ribbentrop

 V. Molotov

                               

      Last page of the Additional Secret Protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

Secret Additional Protocol

On the occasion of the signature of the Nonaggression Pact between the German Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the undersigned plenipotentiaries of each of the two parties discussed in strictly confidential conversations the question of the boundary of their respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. These conversations led to the following conclusions:
 
1. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States “Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania”, the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilnius area is recognized by each party.
 
2. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narew, Vistula, and San.
 
The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish state and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments.
 
In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.
 
3. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinterestedness in the areas.
 
4. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.

Moscow, August 23, 1939.

 For the Government
 of the German Reich:

 Plenipotentiary of the
 Government of the U.S.S.R.:

 v. Ribbentrop

 V. Molotov

Secret Additional Protocol of 28 September 1939

The undersigned plenipotentiaries declare the agreement of the Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. upon the following:
 
The Secret Additional Protocol signed on 23 August 1939, shall be amended in item 1 to the effect that the territory of the Lithuanian state falls to the sphere of influence of the U.S.S.R., while, on the other hand, the province of Lublin and parts of the province of Warsaw fall to the sphere of influence of Germany (cf. the map attached to the Boundary and Friendship Treaty signed today). As soon as the Government of the U.S.S.R. shall take special measures on Lithuanian territory to protect its interests, the present German-Lithuanian border, for the purpose of a natural and simple boundary delineation, shall be rectified in such a way that the Lithuanian territory situated to the southwest of the line marked on the attached map falls to Germany.
 
Further it is declared that the economic agreements now in force between Germany and Lithuania shall not be affected by the measures of the Soviet Union referred to above.

Moscow, September 28, 1939

 For the Government
 of the German Reich:

 By authority of the
 Government of the U.S.S.R.:

 v. Ribbentrop

 V. Molotov

 
    
"Second Ribbentrop–Molotov Pact" of 28 September 1939.

Map of Poland signed by Joseph Stalin and Joachim von Ribbentrop adjusting the German–Soviet border in the aftermath of German and Soviet invasion of Poland

German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, 1939

The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. consider it exclusively their task, after the collapse of the former Polish state, to re-establish peace and order in these territories and to assure to the peoples living there a peaceful life in keeping with their national character. To this end, they have agreed upon the following:

Article I

The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. determine as the boundary of the respective national interests in the territory of the former Polish state the line marked on the attached map, which shall be described in more detail in a supplementary protocol.

Article II

Both parties recognize the boundary of the respective national interests established in Article 1 as definitive and shall reject any interference of third powers in this settlement.

Article III

The necessary reorganization of public administration will be effected in the areas west of the line specified in 1 by the Government of the German Reich, in the areas east of the line by the Government of the U.S.S.R.

Article IV

The Government of the German Reich and the Government the U.S.S.R. regard this settlement as a firm foundation for a progressive development of the friendly relations between their peoples.

Article V

This treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin as soon as possible. The treaty becomes effective upon signature.

Done in duplicate, in the German and Russian languages;

Moscow, September 28, 1939

 For the Government
 of the German Reich:

 By authority of the
 Government of the U.S.S.R.:

 J. Ribbentrop

 V. Molotov

Confidential Protocol

The Government of the U.S.S.R. shall place no obstacles in the way of Reich nationals and other persons of German descent residing in the territories under its jurisdiction, if they desire to migrate to Germany or to the territories under German jurisdiction. It agrees that such removals shall be carried out by agents of the Government of the Reich in cooperation with the competent local authorities and that the property rights of the emigrants shall be protected.
 
A corresponding obligation is assumed by the Government of the German Reich in respect to the persons of Ukrainian or Belorussian descent residing in the territories under its jurisdiction.

Moscow, September 28, 1939

 For the Government
 of the German Reich:

 By authority of the
 Government of the U.S.S.R.:

 J. Ribbentrop

 V. Molotov

Secret Additional Protocol

The undersigned plenipotentiaries, on concluding the German-Russian Boundary and Friendship Treaty, have declared their agreement upon the following:

Both parties will tolerate no Polish agitation in their territories which affects the territories of the other party. They will suppress in their territories all beginnings of such agitation and inform each other concerning suitable measures for this purpose.

Moscow, September 28, 1939

 For the Government
 of the German Reich:

 By the Authority of the
 Government of the U.S.S.R.:

 J. Ribbentrop

 V. Molotov

German-Soviet Secret Protocol

The German Ambassador, Count von der Schulenburg, Plenipotentiary of the Government of the German Reich, on the one hand, and the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the U.S.S.R., V.M. Molotov, Plenipotentiary of the Government of the U.S.S.R., on the other hand, have agreed upon the following:
 
1. The Government of the German Reich renounces its claim to the strip of Lithuanian territory which is mentioned in the Secret Additional Protocol of September 28, 1939, and which has been marked on the map attached to this Protocol;
 
2. The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is prepared to compensate the Government of the German Reich for the territory mentioned in Point 1 of this Protocol by paying 7,500,000 gold dollars or 31,500,000 million reichsmarks to Germany.
 
The amount of 31,5 million Reichsmarks will be paid by the Government of the U.S.S.R. in the following manner: one-eight, that is, 3,937,500 Reichsmarks, in nonferrous metal deliveries within three months after the signing of this Protocol, the remaining seven-eights, or 27,562,500 Reichsmarks in gold by deduction from the German gold payments which Germany is to make by February 11, 1941, in accordance with the correspondence exchanged between the Chairman of the German Economic Delegation, Dr. Schnurre, and the People's Commissar for Foreign Trade of the U.S.S.R., A.I. Mikoyan, in connection with the "Agreement of January 10,1941, concerning reciprocal deliveries in the second treaty period on the basis of the Economic Agreement between the German Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of February 11, 1940."
 
3. This Protocol has been executed in two originals in the German language and two originals in the Russian language and shall become effective immediately upon signature.

Moscow, January 10, 1941.

 For the Government
 of the German Reich:

 By authority of the
 Government of the U.S.S.R.:

 Schulenburg
 (Seal)

 V. Molotov
 (Seal)

The German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Schulenburg

Telegram

Very urgent

Strictly secret
No. 497 of October 4

Berlin, October 5, 1939—3:43 a.m.
Received Moscow, October 5, 1939—11:55 a.m.

Referring to today's telephonic communication from the Ambassador;

The Legation in Kaunas is being instructed as follows:
 
1) Solely for your personal information, I am apprising you of the following: At the time of the signing of the German-Russian Nonaggression Pact on August 23, a strictly secret delimitation of the respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe was also undertaken. In accordance therewith, Lithuania was to belong to the German sphere of influence, while in the territory of the former Polish state, the so-called four-river line, Pissa-Narew-Vistula-San, was to constitute the border. Even then I demanded that the district of Vilnius go to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government consented. At the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty on September 28, the settlement was amended to the extent that Lithuania, including the Vilnius area, was included in the Russian sphere of influence, for which in turn, in the Polish area, the province of Lublin and large portions of the province of Warsaw, including the pocket of territory of Suwalki, fell within the German sphere of influence. Since, by the inclusion of the Suwalki tract in the German sphere of influence a difficulty in drawing the border line resulted, we agreed that in case the Soviets should take special measures in Lithuania, a small strip of territory in the southwest of Lithuania, accurately marked on the map, should fall to Germany.
 
2) Today Count von der Schulenburg reports that Molotov, contrary to our own intentions, notified the Lithuanian Foreign Minister last night of the confidential arrangement. Please now, on your part, inform the Lithuanian Government, orally and in strict confidence, of the matter, as follows:
 
As early as at the signing of the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of August 23, in order to avoid complications in Eastern Europe, conversations were held between ourselves and the Soviet Government concerning the delimitation of German and Soviet spheres of influence. In these conversations I had recommended restoring the Vilnius district to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government gave me its consent. In the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, as is apparent from the German-Soviet boundary demarcation which is published, the pocket of territory of Suwalki jutting out between Germany and Lithuania had fallen to Germany. As this created an intricate and impractical boundary, I had reserved for Germany a border correction in this area, whereby a small strip of Lithuanian territory would fall to Germany. The award of Vilnius to Lithuania was maintained in these negotiations also. You are now authorized to make it known to the Lithuanian Government that the Reich Government does not consider the question of this border revision timely at this moment. We make the proviso, however, that the Lithuanian Government treat this matter as strictly confidential. End of instruction for Kaunas.
 
I request you to inform Mr. Molotov of our communication to the Lithuanian Government. Further, please request of him, as already indicated in the preceding telegram, that the border strip of Lithuanian territory involved be left free in the event of a possible posting of Soviet troops in Lithuania and also that it be left to Germany to determine the date of the implementing of the agreement concerning the cession to Germany of the territory involved. Both of these points at issue should be set forth in a secret exchange of letters between yourself and Molotov.
 
Ribbentrop

The German Minister in Kaunas, Zechlin, to the German Foreign Office

Telegram

Most urgent
No. 175 of October 5
Kaunas, October 5, (1939)—7:55 p.m.
Received October 5—10:30 p.m.

With reference to telegram No. 252 of October 5 (4)
 
[Deputy Prime Minister Kazys] Bizauskas sent for me today even before I could ask for an appointment with the Foreign Minister as instructed in telegram No. 252; he first made excuses for Mr. Urbšys, who was completely occupied today with continuous discussions in the Cabinet and therefore unfortunately could not speak with me himself. He then informed me that Molotov had told Urbšys that Germany had laid claim to a strip of Lithuanian territory, the limits of which included the city and district of Naumiestis and continued on past the vicinity of Mariampolė. This had made a deep and painful impression on Lithuania, and Urbšys had flown back to Kaunas partly because of this information, which he had not wished to transmit by telephone.
 
The Lithuanian Government has instructed Škirpa to make inquiries in Berlin.
 
I told him that in the Moscow discussions on the delimitation of the German and Soviet spheres of interest, the Reich Foreign Minister had advocated giving the Vilnius area to Lithuania and had also obtained the Soviet Government's agreement in the matter. While Lithuania had the prospect of such a great increase in territory a difficult and impracticable boundary in the vicinity of the Suwalki tip had come into existence because of the German-Soviet border division. Therefore the idea of a small border rectification at the German-Lithuanian frontier had also emerged in the course of these negotiations; but I could inform him that the German Government did not consider the question pressing. Bizauskas received this information with visible relief and asked me to transmit the thanks of the Lithuanian Government on his score to the Reich Government. Furthermore he asked on his part that the matter be kept strictly secret, which I promised him.
 
I might add that since the fixing of the German-Soviet frontier became known, political quarters here have had great hopes of obtaining the Suwalki tip from Germany.

Zechlin

  The German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, to the German Ministers in Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki

Telegram

Most Urgent
(1) To Talinn, N. 257
(2) To Riga, No. 328
(3) To Helskin, No. 318

Berlin, October 7, 1939

Exclusively for the Minister personally:
 
Supplementing our telegrams No. 241 to (1), No. 303 to (2) and No. 305 to (3), I am communicating the following to you in strict secrecy and for your personal information only:
During the Moscow negotiations with the Soviet Government the question of delimiting the spheres of interest of both countries in Eastern Europe was discussed in strict confidence, not only with reference to the area of the former Polish state, but also with reference to the countries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. At the same time the delimitation of the spheres of interest was agreed upon for the eventuality of a territorial and political reorganization in these areas. The borderline fixed for this purpose for the territory of the former Polish state is the line designated in article 1 of the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28 and publicly announced. Otherwise, the line is identical with the German-Lithuanian frontier. Thus it follows that Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland do not belong to the German sphere of interest in the sense indicated above.
 
You are requested to refrain, as heretofore, from any explanations on this subject.

The Foreign Minister

    
Kārlis Augusts Vilhelms Ulmanis
 
Most of the Baltic Germans left Latvia by agreement between Kārlis Ulmanis government and Nazi Germany after the conclusion of the Molotoc-Ribbentrop Pact. In total 50,000 Baltic Germans left by the deadline of December 1939, with another 1,600 remaining to conclude business and 13,000 choosing to remain in Latvia. Most of those who remained subsequently left for Germany in the summer of 1940, when a second resettlement scheme was agreed upon. On 5 October 1939, Latvia was forced to accept a “mutual assistance” pact with the Soviet Union, granting the Soviets the right to station between 25,000 and 30,000 troops on Latvian territory. 
 
                                                                   
Soviet and German invasions, annexations and alliances in
central and eastern Europe 1939-1940
 
    Latvia Mass Deportation 13 June and 14 June 1941
 
               
     Railway Transports used for the Mass Deportation of Latvian people in the night between 13 June and 14 June 1941
 
Instructions on how to carry out mass deportations were prepared in the autumn of 1939 for the newly-annexed regions of western Ukraine by the head of the Ukrainian SSR NKVD “later known as KGB”, General Ivan Serov.  They were approved in Moscow and later used in the Baltic States as well.  As the USSR Commissar for State Security, Serov signed the orders on 21 January 1941.
 
In the night between 13 June and 14 June 1941, about 15,500 Latvian residents, among them 2400 children younger than ten were arrested without a court order to be deported to distant regions in the Soviet Union.  Targeted were mainly families who had members in leading positions in state and local governments, economy and culture.
 
People to be deported were awakened in the night and given less than one hour to prepare for the journey.  They were allowed to take with them only what they could carry, and everything left behind was confiscated by the state.  The unfortunate were herded into already prepared cattle or freight railroad cars, in which they spent weeks and months.  Many died on the way, especially infants, the sick, and the elderly.  Men, totaling some 8250, were separated from their families, arrested, and sent to GULAG hard labor camps.  Women and children were taken to so-called "administrative settlements" as family members of "enemies of the people".
 
No word of these events was mentioned in Latvia's Soviet-censored newspapers. Loved ones had no way of knowing what had become of those deported. None of the institutions including the militia provided information or help. Scattered along the railroad tracks were farewell notes written by the deported to their families few of them ever reached their intended recipients.
 
Conditions in the hard labor camps were inhumane. The inmates lost their identities, and were terrorized by the guards and criminal prisoners. Food rations were meager, and did not replace the calories expended through work.  People grew weak, and were crippled by diarrhea, scurvy, and other illnesses. Winters were marked by unbearable cold, and many did not survive the first one. Only a small part of those deported in 1941 later returned to Latvia.  The families in forced settlement had to fend for themselves in harsh conditions; the death rate among the very young and the elderly was likewise high. 
 
When the Soviets executed the first round of mass Baltic deportations, on the night of 13 June and 14 June 1941, where thousands of Latvians and Latvian Jews were deported. Of all the ethnic groups so deported, Jews suffered proportionately more than any other, and were deported to especially harsh conditions, many to camps at Solikamsk, Vyatka, and Vorkuta. Some estimate the Soviets deported from 5,000 to 6,000 Jews during the first occupation. These deportations of Jewish Civic Leaders, Rabbis, Members of Parliament, the Professional and Merchant Classes, left the Jewish community ill-prepared to organize in the face of the subsequent Nazi invasion of Latvia and its terror and horrors to follow.
 
Finally, on 26 June, four days after France sued for an armistice with the Third Reich, the Soviet Union issued an ultimatum demanding Bessarabia and, unexpectedly, Northern Bukovina from Romania. Two days later, the Romanians caved to the Soviet demands and the Soviets occupied the territory. The Hertza region was initially not requested by the USSR but was later occupied by force after the Romanians agreed to the initial soviet demands
 
It is estimated that of the 1,900,000 Jews who came under Soviet control as a result of Hitler's and Stalin's pact dividing Eastern Europe, about 400,000 were deported to Siberia and central Asia.
 
 
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