Historians commission releases 25th volume

The 25th book in a series of titles released by the Commission of the Historians of Latvia (Latvijas Vēsturnieku komisija) is due out Sept. 30, President Valdis Zatlers’ press office has announced.

Titled Okupācijas režīmi Baltijas valstīs 1940-1991, the book will contain 41 articles with new information about the recent history of the Baltics under Nazi and Soviet occupation.

Authors from 10 different countries are represented in the new volume, according to the press office. Among Latvian historians are Inesis Feldmanis, Ainārs Bambals, Argita Daudze, Ritvars Jansons and Antonijs Zunda. Also included is an article by Russian scholar Boris Sokolov, who examines Soviet rule in the Baltics and how Russian scholars view the period today.

The historians commission, which includes scholars from Latvia and abroad, was formed in 1998 under former President Guntis Ulmanis. Its main mission is to study crimes against humanity during the six decades of occupation, which began with the Soviet takeover of Latvia in June 1940. Four different task groups operate under the commission, according to the president’s Web site: one studies crimes against humanity from 1940-1941; a second examines the Holocaust in Latvia from 1941-1944; a third looks at crimes against humanity during the Nazi occupation from 1941-1944; and a fourth researches crimes against humanity under Stalin-era Soviet occupation from 1944-1956.

Okupācijas režīmi Baltijas valstīs 1940-1991 will be for sale in physical format in Latvian bookstores, but in the near future also will be offered for download from the president’s Web site, where volumes 11 (Latvija nacistiskās Vācijas okupācijas varā 1941–1945) through 24 (Baltijas reģiona vēsture 20. gadsimta 40.– 80. fados) already are available for download as Acrobat PDF files. It would be nice if the president’s office would make the first 10 volumes available, too.

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

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