The Uzvaras Monument was dedicated in 1985. The mayor of Riga - Usakovs claims that this monument to the soviet victory over Nazi Germany is somehow sacred. Has this monument truly become a monument that cannot be removed if other viable uses for the space exist exist?
The history of the park dates back to the early 1900 and was intended to commemorate Peter the Great’s occupation of Latvia. Thus, the park has an auspicious beginning in the first instance. According to Wikipedia.lv , “Astoņdesmito gadu sākumā parkā tika nolemts izveidot padomju varu slavinošu monumentālu ansambli, ņemot vērā šādu objektu trūkumu Rīgā un valdošās pieminekļu būvēšanas tendences Padomju Savienībā. 1985. gadā tika atklāts piemineklis “Padomju Latvijas un Rīgas atbrīvotājiem no vācu fašistiskajiem iebrucējiem” un parks atkal tika pārsaukts par Uzvaras parku.”
Although the monument may have a historic basis, is it something that must continue to stand as a symbol of Soviet occupation of Latvia after the Germans were defeated. Does Riga or Latvia need such a monument.
This question is reminiscent of the Peter the Great statue that had been saved after sinking to the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Is there a reason that Peter the Great should be sitting in some prominent location?
Why is Usakovs so attached to this symbol of oppression of the Latvian people? Is this truly a necessary symbol for the Russian population of Latvia today and if so, why? Most of us realize that the majority of Latvians placed a great deal of hope in achieving some sense autonomy if Germany had been victorious based upon the Soviet atrocities of 1940. This by no means excuses the German atrocities, but were Stalin’s atrocities any different? How many millions died under this regime?
Perhaps the Uzvaras piemineklis should be replaced by a monument to those that were killed and deported under Stalin rather than a symbol of Stalin’s victory and his continued oppression.