Documentary ties Soviet Union to Holocaust

A documentary film by a Latvian director that claims “the Soviet Union helped Nazi Germany instigate the Holocaust” will see its premiere April 9 at the European Parliament in Belgium.

The documentary, The Soviet Story, is directed by Edvīns Šnore, who spent 10 years gathering information and two years filming in several countries, according to the film’s Web site,

The English-language documentary runs 85 minutes. It is produced by Rīga-based SIA Labvakar.

Among those interviewed in the film are Western and Russian historians, as well as survivors of the Soviet Gulag.

The chief sponsor of the production is the conservative alliance Union for Europe of the Nations, whose members include four members of the European Parliament from Latvia, all members of For Fatherland and Freedom (Tēvzemei un Brīvībai / LNNK). Also supporting the film are the Rīga City Council and the magazine Tēvijas Sargs.

The premiere is scheduled at 18:00 hours April 9 in Room 5B001 in the PHS Building of the European Parliament in Brussels.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

13 thoughts on “Documentary ties Soviet Union to Holocaust

  1. Although my grandparents have long passed here in Canada, I remember their stories of old Latvia and how they thought Russia was involved.

  2. The premise of this film should not be surprising, either to historians or to the general populations of the world. The underhanded and reprehensible Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939 between Germany and the Soviets handily displayed the willingness of Nazi Germany and Russia to act in concert regarding the Baltic States and the countries of northern Europe and others. Why would anyone doubt that they played a hand in the holocaust as well? To this day, anti-semitism continues to plague the Russian political scene. One wonders if this film will be released world-wide or will the Russians vigourously attempt to suppress it? Much of the brutality that can be directly attributed to the Soviets was kept hidden for years while world leaders like Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin repositioned the political and geographical boundaries of Eastern Europe. The world’s eyes were covered with rose-coloured glasses then, but with the advent of this film linking the Soviets to the halocaust, will they become any clearer now?

  3. In response to Jame’s remarks, it should be pointed out that the use of the word “some’ should be corrected to mean one or two individuals of Latvian descent who might have particpated in such an occurrence but to become an apologist and sycophant of the Soviets is what many still today find abhorrent. It is not appropriate to denounce a whole nation or its people for the wrongful actions of only a handful of persons. Before the Second World War, Latvia was held up as a nation to emulate by the now defunct League of Nations (replaced by the United Nations after the War )for the way in which Latvia provided for its ethnic minorities. They had their own schools , churches or synogogues and lived in harmony. If one or two individuals reacted in inappropriate anger to the perceived allegations that persons of Jewish heritage were in positions of high command in the Red Army and were helping the Soviets in the Baltic States execute the deportations of June 14, 1941 to Siberia and the subsequent massive slaughter of clergy, scout leaders, academics and politicians, women and children included,then why should anyone be surprised at some sort of retaliation.It does not make it right, but it does make it understandable and no nationality should be accused of complete horrific collaboration unless it is proven fact. The Soviets have consistently revised history to suit its own purposes and it has always had willing participants who have unjustly and deceitfully collaborated with them to manifestly accuse whole nations and their people of atrocities. The Soviets have never looked at the plank in their own eyes and it’s highly unlikely that they ever will. To do so, would require a very deep admission of wrongdoing, repayment and massive reparations for all of the desecration and destruction they have caused. When has Russia ever accepted any responsibility for its atrocious actions? Now, or in the past. Nazi Germany at least ackowledged its reprehensible acts and paid reparations and has been atoning and making amends ever since. The Jewish people have much in common with Balts and Eastern Europeans et al. We all proclaim the right to say, Never forget! Never again!

  4. Hey, James, Didn’t your parents teach you when they were bringing you up that two wrongs don’t make a right? What you say may or may not be true. It’s simply beside the point. What is important is that it is not an argument. Oddly, it is the method of (non-)argument beloved of commies and their fellow-travellers: The Soviets deported Tatars en masse to death and other horrors in Siberia and Kazakhstan? Response: so what, America lynched blacks… It goes without saying that talking to you is a waste of time and effort, but there is some interest in noting that this method of false argument is that preferred by crypto-commies and nazis wherever they may be and can therefore be used as an indicator of the sort of person who is speaking.

  5. It is important to consider that the crimes of a regime can not be blamed on a people. German is not always synonymous with Nazi, but in the same way Latvian is not always synonymous with victim. According to the Okupācijas Muzējs (Occupation Museum of Latvia), almost half of Jews murdered in the holocaust were killed by divisions of Latvian Nazis, the rest by German Nazis. As Latvians, it is just as important to dispel historical misconceptions stemming from Nazi or Soviet dogma as it is to objectively consider our own history without bias, recognizing even the crimes of Latvians.

  6. There we go again. Even a Latvian? likes to obfuscate about the truth. A division in the military is comprised of between ten to twenty thousand men. According to your posting, Arvid, you are claiming several divisions of Latvians, which let’s say numbered about 60,000 armed personel, killed three and a half million Jewish people if one uses the figure of seven million during the Second World War. What a crock! And, who are you kidding? Were you a victim or a perpetrator of atrocious brutality that Balts endured including enslavement for over fifty years? Your highmindedness might be admirable if there was a mustard seed of truth accompanying it.

  7. I apologize, I made a mistake by not specifying that half of Latvian Jews killed in the holocaust were killed by Latvian Nazis, not all Jews in all of Europe. This brings the number from 3.5 million down to several thousand. My point was more about taking the blame off a nation or a people (whether it is Latvians or Germans or Russians etc.)and putting it on the individuals that committed the crimes, and considering history as objectively as possible. I don’t wish to lessen the value or importance of the atrocities of the holocaust in any way. Even the documentary “Soviet Story” points out the crimes perpetrated by a Latvian. It is a very powerful film that is important to see, however difficult to watch. Again, please forgive my mistake.

  8. I can tell you what James probably did not learn growing up, because I’m an American. American textbooks are very outspoken about Nazi Germany and Hitler because we fought against Germany in the war. But they say very little about our alliance with Russia and the creation of the Soviet Union. This is a mistake our historians have tried to sweep under the rug. (“Oh ____! We didn’t know that would happen! Quick! Let’s write about something else until the Berlin Wall comes down!”) I think most Americans today really don’t understand the history. I disagree with James’ remark. When a country is simultaneously attacked by two giant powers, it’s natural for the people to side with one against the other to try to protect themselves. That’s not the same as condoning the Holocaust. (If this is what he’s referring to.)

  9. And I apologize too if James knows more about history than I do. My comment is a reflection of my general disappointment in trying to talk to American teenagers today about the history of the Soviet Union. There seems to be something lacking in their understanding.

  10. On a more positive note, Happy Summer Solstice, Latvija. I can’t wait to see your beautiful country. Es esmu driz ieksa Riga- pilseta no mana sirds.

  11. According to historical research,during wwII approx. 26000 of the 85000 civilians who perished in Latvia were killed by Viktors Arajs and his unit of Latvian Jew Killers (approx. 1200 men). If there were any Latvians that were considered to be completely “guilty” of war crimes it would be members of the Arajs Kommando. As I learned in Latvian school, it is very clear and obvious that Latvians suffered greatly under the Nazis and the Soviets. However, Latvians need to do a better job of accepting some responsibility for the mass murder of Jews in our country. I never had a “vestures” class where the holocaust in Latvia was addressed ( I wonder why? ). We need to use the German approach—acknowledge the guilty as horrible societal menaces, and then distance ourselves from them. And yes, I am a proud and patriotic Latvian-American. I participate in Latvian functions and am extremely proud of my heritage. But I am not naive in thinking that we are perfect.

  12. I totally agree with Andris. To come back to the topic: Sorry, but this Film is just poor propaganda. Compared to the arguments in this Film, M. Moore is a reliable news source. It’s a very bad mixture of wrong interpreted statements, put in the wrong context, most experts are just spokesmen of non-scientific ideoligical organisations. Too bad, since the topic itself deserves a serious scientific coverup. And there are already serious works about anti-semitism in the USSR.

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