The Ghastly Year
Book: “Baigais Gads” (“The Ghastly Year”)
Authors: Paula Kovalevskis, Oskars Noritis, Mikelis Goppers
Publication date: 1942
This book “Baigais Gads” or “Latvia: Year of Horror” (alt. “The Ghastly Year”) is about the year, from June 1940 to June 1941, when the Soviets occupied Latvia. The Bolshevik communist government of the USSR massacred the citizens, including by deportation – transportation methods were designed to kill the deportees, and committed atrocities, such as torture, on the residents of Latvia, for showing any sign of dissent, posing any kind of threat to the Bolshevik communist leadership, or just being suspected of such. The book was published in 1942 in Riga, Latvia. It was written by Latvian authors (Paula Kovalevskis, Oskars Noritis, Mikelis Goppers), and was translated from Latvian.
“Latvia: Year of Horror is a collection of photos and documents covering the communist rule in Latvia from June 17, 1940 to July 1, 1941. This book shows communism as it was in reality – cloaked in deception and lies, filled with inhuman cruelties, revelling in torture and blood, sadistic in its delight in the lamentations of sufferers, and infinite in revenge and destruction. An unfathomable darkness, a madness, a mockery of honour and a rejection of all virtue sought to annihilate nothing less than the soul of the Latvian nation, a people for more than 4,000 years. …”
Pages reproduced below come from the website:
The pdf file of the original book (translated into English) can be downloaded from:
Translator’s note 1: “The term ‘Bolshevik’ was employed throughout the book. In Latvia at that time, the use of this term instead of ‘Communist’ was a deliberate attempt to show dislike, contempt and disrespect and the portrayal of such persons as uneducated brutes as opposed to political idealists.”
Translator’s Note 2: “In Latvian, there are two possible words which can be used for ‘Jews’. Ebrejs, translated as ‘Hebrews’ or ‘Jews’ is considered the proper polite term by Latvian Jews. Žīds ‘Yids’, translated as ‘Jews’ is generally regarded by Latvian Jews as impolite and offensive.
There are also some in Latvia who continue to argue that Žīds is perfectly proper, having simply evolved from the language common to European Jews, and should simply be understood as “a speaker of Yiddish”.
The most widely-used Latvian-English dictionary now in use translates Žīds simply as “Jew”, without further comment.
Throughout the text, the term Žīds was used, therefore the translators have preserved accuracy by using ‘Yid’ and ‘Yiddish’, but readers are reminded that Latvian Jews themselves would find its use improper and offensive.”
To understand the nature of the Bolshevik communist government of the USSR, visit this site:
The book is archived at ArchiveOrg
From the website BaigaisGads
Baigais Gads “The Ghastly Year”
Page 1 – Preface
The republishing of «The Ghastly Year» is not only praiseworthy and to be congratulated but also necessary. «The Ghastly year» in the life of the Latvian people refers to events which can not be kept hidden. «The Ghastly year» is the first and, at the given moment, the only documentation of events of 1940, precise evidence from that time without any connections to be made with present events within Latvia. This book can not be accepted as an invitation to a specific action or as blame upon some nationality. It is evidence left by history on events in 1940 within Latvia so few of which are documented or depicted. It was a period of time filled with tragedy, and the misrepresentation of actual historical events in order to serve present needs is unacceptable.
This historical, unedited republication of the «The Ghastly Year» , unexpurgated for the current political state of affairs, has the blessing of God, and there are no grounds to consider this to be anti-Semitic literature.
Clergyman Kārlis Zuika
“The Ghastly Year”
shows Bolshevism the way it really was: hidden under deceit and lies, filled with the mercilessness of a witch, hungry for anguish and blood, hungry for the moans of martyrs, immeasurable in vengeance and calamity, inconceivable in depravity, derision for mind and honor, blasphemy for virtue – a sign for all of this which was achieved by mankind through many thousands of years of labor and struggle.
“THE GHASTLY YEAR”
tells of the horror and misery which in 1940 and 1941 once more befall the Latvian people, which from time immemorial is standing guard for Europe against the East, over which, ever subsiding, during the passing of the Ages was lashed by the waves of the attacks of Tartar hordes, sores from the curse of the Black Plague, even the killing charcoal fumes of Bolshevism coming from that fire made for the burning of the entire world and who by its unshakable faith is responsible for the greatest danger and the greatest misfortunes: “We must rise from this land, we must hold our heads up again!”
This Summer time won’t follow ancient path,
the flowers will be sad, bee’s honey will be bitter.
The steed will not be harnessed to go to distant haunts,
and branchy jasmine in the May won’t blossom.
Without reward will the Sun remove the darkness of the days,
and on Midsummer Night Joy won’t come even begged.
The blossom picked now will fade forever,
the glade will ghastly be, and every bush hides fear.
The wind will blow red fog across the fields.
Inopportunely, the trees will drop their fruit.
The burden will become that which exists and does not.
And even bowels of the Earth, when asked, won’t respond,
because the springs of water will be turned
into a wormwood by your own betrayal.
The Earth’s sap was being drawn in to young shoots and buds; life was striving to release its primalforce.
The gates of extermination flew open. Poison flooded the soil of Latvia. It soaked into the ground, it saturated the air, it shrouded the Sun with a bloody vapor that the newborn child sucked in with it’s mother’s milk, that the woman shall lose the strength in her arms and the glory of her virtue, that the man in the very prime of life shall shrivel and his honor and intensity of mind become like a dead branch which is not able to raise new shoots nor bear its own weight.
The human hand desires to build a monument to an extinguished life, and life itself leaves footprints through the living. But the one who decided to destroy, he eradicated so completely that even a stone could not testify as to where and how long was this battered life. So where the paths of anguish are stained with blood and ruins, there is not even one witness remaining because there should be no one to tell about those to whom belonged this blood, what sort of mind has built those houses smashed now into ruins.
Such a destiny was the condemnation of the Latvian people.5
Who was this monstrosity capable of accumulating such a poison and drenching the soil of the Latvians?
Anyone who from ambush stalks a victim is a villain, anyone who from beneath the cover of the darkness of the night attacks life with a dagger in the back is called a murderer. Yet there does not exist a name to describe this terrible power which left behind skeletons and ruins – in the same way how can a name not be found for all this, the dreadful existence of which is not able to reach the borders of consciousness and mind. This horror, this hunger for blood and the distress brought by an unknown power that neither mankind nor the gods had ever divined or seen.
The martyrs and deportees keep silent, the anguish fades with death, the moans of pain are heard only by the Sky, but the injury, humiliation and shame which screams for the bared lips of the corpses in their black grave holes will never fade. Their blood will forever crave retribution and covering their dust, the Earth will never keep silent until Justice, Nature and God shall take away those pains of soul and body which were suffered by the fettered, disarmed and humiliated Latvian nation in the hour of its trial by anguish.
The Earth opened. It gave back the victims and disclosed the horror, the depth of the disaster and the suffering the Ghastly year had been hiding. The words are dumb, the lips are helpless even to tell about this abyss of inhumanity on the brink of which the Latvian nation, poised for ruin was standing.
The pictures and the evidence which this time has bequeathed to us shall speak for themselves. And the words which they say, calling for retribution, shall never disappear from the consciousness of the Latvian people.
In the beginning…
On June 15 and 16 of 1940, Latvians came together for the song festival in Daugavpils. This was the last song festival of the Latvian people: the invasion of the Bolsheviks on the night of June 14 of that same year into Latvia started its road of anguish.
A carnival of blood began. That night “the Great Eastern Neighbor”, after a terrible silence of twenty-three years, took the first step in a dance of death on Latvian soil. These are the visiting-cards with which the Bolsheviks were announcing themselves to ensure the fulfillment of the USSR – Latvian Mutual Assistance Pact signed in 1939.
Fatal incident in frontier area
Lta. Riga, June 15. In the dawn of Saturday morning, the quarters of our border guards in Masļenki (Abrene6 district along the Latvian – Soviet Union border) was found burned. At the same place were found the dead bodies of two border guards and one woman, as well as another seriously injured woman and similarly injured 14 year-old boy. 11 border guards and several residents of this area have disappeared. A special investigation commission under the management of the commander of the Border Guards Brigade, General Bošteins, went to the place of the incident in order to investigate this fatal occurrence.
The burned quarters of border guards in Masļenki Augšpils rural district.
Scorched corpse of border guard Macītis.
Corpse of Hermine, the wife of the border guard Puriņš.
Corpse of the border guard Beizaks.
There was no escape from death for the son of border guard Puriņš, who died from serious injuries at the hospital, and border guard Cīmoško, who fell simultaneously with Beizaks. Bolsheviks drove back across the border those forty-three border guards and residents of the vicinity who were trying to extinguish the burning border guard quarters…
This happened at exactly the same time as the Bolshevik press was reporting that…
“…THE SOVIET UNION HAS BEEN CONDUCTING AND IS CONTINUING TO CONDUCT DEFINITE PRO-LATVIAN POLICIES FAVORABLE IN THE HIGHEST DEGREE…”
The cynicism and atrociousness with which the Soviet Authority demonstrated itself seemed unbelievable. The hypocrisy and falsifications of the truth seemed incomprehensible. Yet for all that, it was the truth.
The explanations and answers of the official institutions of Latvia were not able to change anything. Moscow was doing as it had decided. An it had decided much.
On morning of June 17, Latvia was quickly flooded by immense hordes of armed Asians.
Bolsheviks entering Riga over the Iron Bridge. Afternoon of June 17, the scene at the Central Market.
Disorders staged by a crowd at the Prefecture of Riga.
… But from the secret underground, feeling they had friends in the Bolsheviks, the “Oppressed People” – a few dozen hooligans, recidivists and tramps, and the Yids (9) – “the Chosen People” as a community, were rising in order to attack the Latvian police which were attempting to maintain order on streets flooded by the arriving Soviet armed forces.
The Red Army, which had arrived “to ensure the implementation of the USSR – Latvian Mutual Assistance Pact”, took the mob under its protection (center). By that act the Soviet Authorities indicated to whom it wished to provide “mutual assistance”: it was certainly not to the Latvian people.
Grimly keeping silent, the Latvians were watching the drama from the sides of the streets, the final scene of which they could not even guess.
Attacks upon the police, soldiers and officers of the Latvian army were happening all through the capital and throughout the entire country. Stones were hurled at the police.
After the mob was dispersed the entire square at the station and the Prefecture of Riga was littered with stones.
Latvian institutions, not knowing the morals of the Bolsheviks, still were trying to act according to the existing laws and being certain that the instigators of the disorders would surely be punished.
This was a bitter delusion. The Soviet embassy explained that it was more or less satisfied with the welcoming of these units of the Red Army into Riga.
The surnames of those punished indicate to which nationality the major number of brawlers belonged.
All those events found their protectors. A new government, such as Moscow wanted, was founded. To the left: the Prime Minister, Professor Kirchenšteins, giving a speech to the mob, with the Ministers Pēteris Blaus and Jūlijs Lācis. The demonstrators demanded and achieved the legalization of the Latvian Communist Party. In the center: the watchful ear of the party, the First Secretary Kalnbērziņš-Zaķis, who was very carefully listening to the “legitimate demands of the nation” – in reality orders from Moscow.
WHICH NATION WAS THIS? The language of the slogans and the nature of the demands demonstrate it very clearly.
The organizer of all events decided by Moscow, the deputy of the chairman of the Council of National Commissars of the USSR, Comrade Višinskis (left), was “warmly” greeting demonstrators, expressing the belief that in the future the flags of the Soviet Union and Latvia will be flying side by side in friendly fashion. This future proved just how outrageous were his lies and how cynical intentions were hiding behind them.
On June 21 Latvian workers and civil servants were driven under compulsion out onto the streets for a “joyous demonstration”, that they together with the Yids will cheer their eventual murderers. The Soviet Authorities once having taken under its protection the mob of hooligans, released from the prisons those imprisoned for anti-government activity. Certainly, it never came to the mind of the Latvian government that the USSR wants to found its “pro-Latvian policies” based upon the enemies of the Latvian state … By this act the first demonstrations in Riga started and from this core were later formed the bulwarks of Soviet authority.
Mob of Yids waits for political prisoners to be released from the Central Prison in Riga.
The first Prisoners March.
Prisoners, followed by a mob of Yids and demonstrators driven out by compulsion were coming into the streets.
A prisoner giving a speech to the crowd during the demonstration. His face is stamped with hatred and the urge to destroy
On this matter the prisoners and the Yids’ mob understood each other; they were looking for the right friends in the right place when they came together at the Embassy of the Soviet Union on Antonijas Street ,where local hirelings of the Bolsheviks were executing the plans dictated by Moscow. The vast majority of people had no idea about their character. Many of them even thought that during those 23 years Bolshevism had changed to become better.
But Yids cheer this (right). Their “blazing greetings to the liberators”
CAME TO BE UNDERSTANDABLE ONLY LATER…
The scene at the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Riga.
Deported or escaped anti-governmental Bolshevistic elements returned from Sweden. Needless to mention, the majority of those were Yids (right).
Former voluntary fighters of the Red Front in the Spanish Civil War were greeted by Yid officials (right and below)
At the same time soldiers of the Red Army were organizing performances and shows in the parks and squares of the city, demonstrating their own “culture” and turning the attention of the people away from the road of misery down which the Latvian people were being driven. Everything was taking place according to plan.
EVERYONE WHO CARED ABOUT KILLING THE LATVIAN NATION AND PEOPLE, THE DESTRUCTION OF THE LAND AND THE SQUANDERING OF VALUABLES, MET TOGETHER.
WHEN THE POWERS WERE JOINED, THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EXISTING SYSTEM, ORDER AND WEALTH COULD BEGIN. WITH A CONFIDENT HAND A KNIFE WAS STABBED INTO THE BACK OF THE MOST TRUSTWORTHY, LARGEST AND MOST WELL ORGANIZED BULWARK: THE LATVIAN ARMY WAS BOLSHEVISED. MANAGEMENT OF THOSE ACTIVITIES WERE DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF THE YIDS.
To the left you can see one of the new officials of the Authority, the Yid, Abrams Genkins. He was a soldier in the Latvian Army, did service in the labor (punishment) command of the Kurzeme Division in Liepāja and was arrested for anti-government activity. During the Bolshevik period, he was appointed as “politruk – political leader” of a separate artillery division and wore the uniform of an officer of the Latvian Army.
Political leaders “politruks” were brought into the Latvian Army. People who had neither military, nor much of the time not even elementary education, but instead of this frequently had a criminal past, overnight became Captains and Colonels in the Latvian Army. Political leaders of the Bolsheviks were training those whose first basic rule was – the Army may not be non-political.
A break in maneuvers for “Political Education” in a unit of the Latvian Army. To the left – the “politruk”.
The work of destruction continued feverishly because the will of the people needed to be falsified in order for those events, for which to happen, no reasonable being would ever give approval. On July 15th and 16th, in the Saeima elections, the people were forced to vote for one single list and driven to the ballot boxes by compulsion. Those who did not have an election mark in their passports were considered traitors to the state. Various campaign posters in the Russian language as well as the entire election system clearly demonstrated how purposeful, persistent and inflexible were the intentions of the Bolsheviks.
A demonstration, from the workplace to the polling station, organized by compulsion.
The pre-determined sitting of the “newly elected” Saeima10 on July 21, 1940 in which the destiny of Latvia was decided: the Latvian Soviet Socialistic Republic was founded.
T O M O S C O W !
Official statistics indicated that despite the compulsory character of Saeima elections a significant part of those who had voting rights abstained from voting. Therefore the Soviet Authority, by simply creating facts, rounded the number of participants in election up almost to almost 100% of voters. The deputies elected to the Saeima by the compulsory and constrained elections, after the proclamation of Soviet Latvia stepped one step further, delivering their fatherland to a terrible destiny: it was decided to join Latvia to the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics.
The acting president of the state, Professor Kirchenšteins, received the task to beg for Moscow’s mercy for the implementation of this decision.
Now everything was done. Anything which interfered with the Bolsheviks’ purposes was destroyed.
What it really meant was proven most by the joy of the Yids. The Latvian people were aware that the hardest moment of their trial had set in.
Professor Kirchenšteins with the ambassador of the USSR to Latvia, V. Derevjanskis at the Riga railroad station upon leaving for Moscow.
Yids escort the delegation.
In Moscow the process of events planned villainously reached its culmination: THE LATVIAN NATION WAS DRIVEN BY FORCE TO A THRESHOLD WHERE BY ONE STEP IT WAS DECIDED TO ERASE IT FROM THE LIST OF LIVING NATIONS FOREVER.
Yids were cheering. The demonstration of August 5 turned into a national celebration for the Yids.
It was no secret to anybody what would be the result of the trip of Professor Kirchenšteins – this was the last act in a cleverly-staged drama which needed to demonstrate to the rest of the world that the Latvian people, on their own “badly want to join the Union of Soviet Nations”.
The demands of the demonstrators to join Latvia to the Soviet Union were announced in Moscow that same day, where Kirchenšteins was already present. But without them and prior to them, Moscow already knew what it wants and what shall be done.
Yids demanding the joining Latvia to the soviet Union.
Everything was happening as expected: on August 5 the fate of Latvia was sealed.
ON THIS DAY THE STATE OF LATVIA CEASED TO EXIST
Lines from “Izvestija” of August 6 read like a mockery:
“Yesterday the Supreme Council of the USSR, voting separately in chambers resolved unanimously to satisfy the request of the Saeima of Latvia, and to accept the Latvian Soviet Socialistic Republic into the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics.
Long live the Latvian SSR – an equal Republic in the fraternal family of the nations of the Soviet Union.”
The following days the Yids were cheering again. The cheering had no limits. But the Latvian people, driven out for “thanksgiving” demonstrations on August 7, were grimly shuffling down the streets. From this moment it did not have free will, its destiny was completely placed into the hands of Moscow. Only one way was left for the Latvian people – it drew closer and with proudly raised head, inspired by a love to the fatherland, went to meet its destiny of martyrdom.
Acting President of the Latvian state and Prime Minister, Professor A. Kirchenšteins.
This man, in order to make the crudely falsified will of the Latvian people believable, lied hypocritically: “The Latvian working people were suffering from unemployment, were living half starved… for every attempt to acquire for itself the right to human life and to become the ruler of its own destiny it paid with its suffering and anguish, with imprisonment and drudgery for its best sons and daughters… only joining the composition of the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics ensures real sovereignty for our state, real prosperity for our industry, our agriculture, our national culture, a bright and powerful increase of the material and cultural welfare of the Latvian people…”
A new Authority was established. All that remained was to arrange for trustworthy guards and bulwarks for it. Already working was an institute for additional help to the police, the “PD” (right). With rare exceptions, the dregs of society flowed into it: thieves, burglars and swindlers and from this the People’s Militia was later created. The organizing and management of new security institutions was entrusted to the Yids and hardened criminals.
The organizer of the Worker’s Guards and the People’s Militia in Riga, repeat offender and Yid Izaks Bučinskis (below)
The duties of the Police were assumed by the newly-founded People’s Militia, but not for fighting criminals – this word had lost its meaning after the criminals were released from the prisons and the management of the state security institutions was delivered into their hands. The Militiaman needed to know how to shoot in order to turn against their countrymen at the proper time.
People’s Militia’s training in shooting
Arms were given to workers and the Workers’ Guard was founded. Its ranks were joined also by women who needed to become thorough rifle-women.
Not knowing how to properly read or write they examined documents of people on the streets, searching for enemies of the new Authority. Any decently dressed intelligent-looking citizen was considered as such.
Militiaman examining the documents of passers-by on the streets of Riga
Workers’ Guard in line when seeing-off a delegation to Moscow.
In order to avoid suspicion and for their own personal protection many Latvian workers who did not have any connection with Bolshevism were looking for escape within the Guard.
In order to find an excuse for such an armed organization, the Bolsheviks created horror stories about saboteurs and wreckers. The Guards were protecting factories from a concocted ghost.
Continued in Part II