Skip to content

{ Category Archives } History

The Meanings of May 9th (2010)

If you check Wikipedia you will find that at least 58 important things have happened on May 9, dating back to 1457 BC. They include a solar eclipse in 1012 BC, a Christopher Columbus voyage in 1502 and the convening of the first Australian parliament in 1927. For many in the world it is also […]

The meanings of March 16th (2010)

The date of March 16 didn’t become controversial in Latvia until the early 1990’s, when several Latvian organisations chose this day to honour Latvian soldiers who fought and died in the Latvian Legion during World War II. The Latvian Legion was created by the Nazi German occupation forces in 1943 as combat divisions called the […]

Desegregating the Latvian school system (2004)

Desegregating the Latvian school system ends a divisive Soviet legacy. Although Latvia has made great strides in rebuilding a fair and democratic society since restoring independence in 1991, not all aspects of the Soviet legacy have been that easy to eradicate. One of those legacies was a segregated school system that divided ethnic Latvians and […]

The Latvian Legion – how should we remember the 100 thousand? (2006)

Each year, since 1998, veterans of the World War II Latvian Legion and their family members, have gone to memorial services in churches and cemeteries in Latvia on March 16 to remember fellow soldiers that died in the war. During the German occupation of Latvia (1941-1944) over 100,000 Latvians were conscripted into combat units that […]

Joining Forces – NATO (2002)

Written for the July 2002 NATO Candidate’s Summit in Riga. Since restoring independence in 1991 Latvia has had three parliamentary elections and nine governments, all of whom have pursued the same foreign policy objectives. Two of these objectives, membership in NATO and the EU, were logical steps in Latvia’s goal of re-integration into Europe. The […]