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Occupation Museum of Latvia

The Occupation Museum of Latvia presents the history of fifty-year occupation of Latvia (1940-1991): the first Soviet occupation (1940–1941), National Socialist German occupation (1941–1944/45) and the second Soviet occupation (1944/45–1991).

Museum exhibition tells about life in Latvia during these three occupations: about power politics, about Soviet and Nazi terror, about the destruction of Latvia's economy, about Soviet and Nazi totalitarian ideologies with regard to culture policy, about the Latvian residents’ opposition to the occupation regimes until Latvians regained their freedom in 1991.

Museum visitors may become acquainted with historical documents, pictures and items testifying occupation power politics in Latvia. Many items tell about power terror against Latvian residents (keepsakes from custody and deportation places).

Others – about nation’s resistance to foreign powers (guerrilla struggles, activities of national resistance groups, preservation of Latvian culture values).

The first section of exhibition tells about the events that led to Latvia’s occupation: cooperation between the Soviet and Nazi regimes when entering into Molotov-Ribbentrop pact on 23 August 1939 and dividing Eastern Europe into spheres of influence. Further on, museum visitors may learn about the history of Latvia during the first Soviet occupation (1940-1941), German occupation (1941-1944/45) and the second Soviet occupation (1944/45-1991). The final part of exhibition shows nation’s struggle to renew independence of Latvia at the end of the 1980s and reclaim its sovereignty in 1991. Museum exhibition also pays tribute to Latvians living abroad during occupation period (about 200,000 Latvians fled West to escape the terror of occupation regimes), their cultural life and contribution to the struggle for a renewed independent Latvia.

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