Riga, 1939-1940 #latvia


Bea <blspabas@...>
 

Not knowing enough, I have begun reading more about Latvia, Riga's Jewish
population, Stalin, and Hitler, for the period of 1939-1940 in particular.

It is possible my ancestors/relatives were not victims of the 1941 Nazi
holocaust, but of the killings and/or deportations by Stalin's regime during
1940-1941, before the Nazis arrived. The family and I just don't know -
yet. All we have to go on is that last letter received >from Riga, dated
January 1940.

I wondered if one's ancestors suffered any of the Soviet's killings,
torture, imprisonment, deportation to Siberia or Asia or elsewhere, if it
has been at all possible to ascertain this in some way by means of archived
Soviet documents that may have only come to light quite recently, and if so
how can one be sure what really happened to their Jewish ancestors of Riga
after the beginning of 1940?

Also, do you think it is now possible, in 2007, to find out if one's
ancestors could have survived after having been deported, and if so, how
would one go about searching for survivors >from Siberia or indeed other
places beyond Siberia? Which organisations would be the ones to contact
first, assuming if there were any family members who survived that until
today nobody knew about or heard any news about them before now? Do you
think the Latvian (Jewish) archives would be able to help with such details
when I write to them, or should I expect them to not know, or, could they,
do you think, be able to confirm last known dates "Mr x who lived at y
address" in Riga was...?

By the way I have already written to the International Red Cross 2 months
ago and hope in due course to get a response whatever it may be.

Thanks for your help again.

B. Shiel (blspabas@btinternet.com)

SILVER, SVIDLER, SVIDLERS


Evelyn Waldstein
 

"Bea" <blspabas@btinternet.com>asked:
is possible my ancestors/relatives were not victims of the 1941 Nazi
holocaust, but of the killings and/or deportations by Stalin's regime during
1940-1941, before the Nazis arrived yet. All we have to go on is that last
letter received >from Riga, dated January 1940.

The answer is Yes (to some extent).
The Latvian Archives published in 1995 several volumes with lists of people
deported or otherwise repressed in 1941-1953 ("Represeto Saraksts,
1941-1953"). I managed to buy the first two volumes relevant to mass
deportation of people on June 14, 1941.

The main information appears in a Table form for each person in the
following order:

1. Number; 2. Family Head Surname and patronymic: 3. Date of Birth; 4.
Address; 5. Date of deportation (14.06.1941); 6. Place of resettlement; 7.
Date of death; 8. Date of release; 9. File number.

Knowing the Surname, it is possible to find whether the person and people
living with him at the same address have been deported >from a certain town
or some other place knowing its geographical location (i.e. district).

To make it easier to use the lists which has not been published in an
alphabetical order, I prepared my own Excel alphabetical spreadsheets
allowing to In find people according to their number on the Tables.

The vol 2. shows the names and fate of 3941 Riga residents. Each person
appears on the list under his own number. People living at the same address
appear as clusters. The nationality has not been defined. Jewish deportees
can be easily sorted out according to their Surname, name and/or patronymic.
For people with a common surname it is advisable to know their address or
family composition.

The data for Jewish residents of Riga are leading to certain conclusions I
do not wish to go into this message. They are interesting on itself and need
a broader discussion.

In addition there are other more recent publications helping to find data
about certain groups of people in Latvia. Again this might be a theme of
another reply at Latvian SIG.

Evelyn Waldstein.
evewa@post.tau.ac.il


bgephart@...
 

The Latvian State Archive at Bezdeligu Street 1 keeps some KGB files.
Their e-mail: lv@lvarhivs.gov.lv (at least it was in 2003). A few
years ago I e-mailed them asking what they had about specific members
of my family.

They sent a list of the files and their size, along with the cost for
copies. I believe there was also a requirement to provide proof of
relationship to the person being researched. But there are documents
available. They are, of course, in Russian and the files can be very
large.

Probably the best way to get to them is to go to Riga personally.

The Latvian Historical Archives also has some documents that cover what
you are asking about. The House registers can be used to trace the
residence of people, and can indicate deportations, I think.

I know that the researcher at the archives was able to give me
deportation dates and locations >from sources that they had. They
have records of Soviet Extraordinary State Commission as well as
several other lists of victims >from that time.

I would recommend writing to them first, as they may very well be able to
confirm a last known address, and may have more information that will
help.

The contact for them is Irinwein@latnet.lv

As far as finding survivors, so far my only success has been through the
Internet. I have genealogical material posted on a website and a =
distant relative living in Israel found it several years ago. He directed
me to his family still living in Riga. This family survived everything, though
several members were killed and others deported, and returned to Riga.
So you could get lucky that way!

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Betsy Thal Gephart
bgephart@comcast.net