in may-June 1941 in the instructions of the Reich Minister of the occupied Eastern territories A. Rosenberg stated: “the aim of the Imperial Commissioner in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus should be the creation of a German protectorate in order to turn this region into an integral part of the great German Empire by suitable Germanization of racially elements, the colonization by representatives of the German race and the destruction of undesirable elements. The Baltic sea must become a Germanic inland sea under the protection of the great German”1.

Next, Rosenberg stressed: “as for the process of Germanization or resettling, the Estonian people have Germanized 50 percent Danish, German and Swedish blood and can be considered as a kindred nation. In Latvia the population suitable for assimilation, significantly less than in Estonia. In this country should be a stronger resistance and can predict the eviction2 in much big scales”3.

on 9 December 1941 in the General Commissariat “Ostland”, where as the General districts entered Latvia and Estonia abolished the land reform of 1940, in the Fall of 1941 Estonian peasants were obliged to hand over 90 thousand tons of rye, which was impossible. Delivery was reduced to 45 thousand tons, which was the seed for 64% of the gross harvest of rye. It was even worse with the obligatory supply of meat. In 1942 the number of cows in Estonia decreased from 480 thousand to 356 thousand heads. Levying deliveries began in the spring months, when compliance with the peasants were forced to give pregnant cows, besides depleted due to the lack of feeds4.

28 April 1942, by order of the head of the General district “Latvia”, it was forbidden to bring into the city battered poultry, eggs, meat and dairy products. The peasants had to surrender all their products exclusively to the occupants at a fixed and low purchase prices different from the prices of the black market dozens of times[5]. In 1944 the acreage in the 13 counties of Latvia decreased by 30%. The number of cattle has decreased by 55%, pigs – by 61%, sheep – by 67%, horses – 40%6.

Latvians were taken away to work in Germany, and sent in the General Okrug “Estonia” (the mines, factories, in agriculture, the construction of front line fortifications). To work drove under police escort, sometimes used a stick. More Germany, the Latvians were afraid to get on the Estonian oil shale mines, where working conditions were particularly severe. Under the guise of theft in the County Estonian residents were sent to the construction of fortifications at the front near Leningrad7. 20 Feb 1942 in Tartu for the Estonian railway has been introduced corporal punishment8.

For information p��of tritia the actions of the Nazis in the looting of Latvia and Estonia during the whole period of the occupation used the slogan of liberation from Soviet power, “Moscow imperialism”, he speaks of the “terror of the Bolsheviks and the Jews”9. The fact of the existence of the Latvian units in the red army was also used in Nazi propaganda. A resident of Pasuma from the Latvian village of Panovo said: “When the Germans went away, then said, “you are not afraid of us, the Germans, and afraid of their Latvians who come to Latvia together with the red army. The Latvian part will deal in these parts brought together the most cruel, merciless Latvians”10.

From 14 September to 24 November 1944, the Red army held a successful Baltic offensive, during which they liberated Estonia and most of Latvia (except for Courland). The commander of the 1st Baltic front Bagramyan stressed, in the liberation of the Baltic countries participated and national connections, including the 130th Latvian rifle corps, 8th Estonian rifle corps and guerrilla units11.

the Restoration of Soviet power, before the war has not lasted in the Baltic States and years, many locals greeted as a deliverance that is actively reflected in the archival documents. So, in the Latvian village Halaku resident Indane said: “During the withdrawal the Germans said the Russians come, will they mock us…the Residents of our town were very scared and left in the woods where afraid to go. I was convinced that the Russian attitude to our citizens is very good, now let’s go to the forest and tell everyone and all will return”12.

national emergency commissions for investigation of atrocities of German-fascist invaders and their accomplices was started immediately after the liberation of Latvia and Estonia,13. Commissions have faced many difficulties – not the rare participation of the local population in the crimes of the Wehrmacht and the SS has hampered the investigation of the devastating effects of occupation. Self-censorship not allowed to talk about the role of the local people in the destruction of the Jewish population of the14, Komsomol and Communist asset, Soviet prisoners of war15, the employment of mercenaries from the territory of the RSFSR and Soviet prisoners of war in private households, Latvia and Estonia,16. On August 25-26, 1944 at the first Plenum of the CC CP(b) of Latvia in the liberated areas in Ludza it was noted that local people knew about the extermination of the Jews, the cruelty of the Germans, but tried not to talk about, and part of the population “believed all the crimes in the order of things”17.

it is significant that in 1944, in documents of the plenums of the Communist party(Bolsheviks) of Latvia, it was noted that representatives of party and Soviet bodies at placesOh, very quickly ceased to mention the destruction during the German occupation in their reports, was not enough to help the Republican Commission. Instead, they pointed to some facts of the tactless behaviour of individual soldiers, often not even checking the facts themselves18. Leaders Madona County of the LSSR even sent to the Republican Commission acts in which in one column was specified, how much damage each individual farm of the German army, and second – how many Red army19. For the safety of documents of the extraordinary commissions in Riga and Tallinn were forced to establish a round-the-clock armed guard20.

In these difficult conditions in the first months after liberation, the Soviet government had made efforts to solve the most pressing problems remaining after the expulsion of the Nazis. This is eloquently publish below excerpts from the documents of the party’s assets in Latvia and Estonia in 1944-1945 Texts emphasize the seriousness of destruction of damage to agriculture (see Doc. No. 1), reflect the efforts of the Soviet authorities for the restoration of power (see Doc. 2)21. threat of epidemic situation.

Terrible was the epidemic legacy of occupation (see Doc. 3). In the liberated territories were actively spreading typhoid and typhus, diphtheria, and venereal disease. For example, in 1940 Latvia was 25 cases of typhus, in the fourth quarter of 1941, when Germans were 770 cases in 1942 – 1944 , in the first half of 1945 – 2717; diseases of typhoid fever in 1943 – 2963, in the middle of 1944 – 7521; patients with tuberculosis (active form) – 12 30022.

the Documents reflect the consequences of the mining area during the retreat of the Wehrmacht (see Doc. 4)23. Minefields, unexploded ordnance, bombs in Latvia and Estonia met everywhere. The density of mines was so great that when he tried to fell trees, the explosions occurred in 3-4 places. In November 1944 13 released Latvian districts hospitals were overcrowded surgical patients, it was trapped in the mines residents. Assistance in the village was hampered by the fact that urban doctors do not want to go to the village. Saved invited doctors from other Soviet republics.

For mine were involved in the military unit of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Baltic fronts; the Soviet officers trained demining teams, made up of local residents. In 1945, the only mine in the territory of the Latvian SSR awards were presented to 101 people; to the merit badge of rasener 108 people. The best fighters are cleared for 500 m24.

[…] From the first days of occupation, the Germans stripped 75 thousand farm laborers, poor peasants and middle peasants of the farms the right to use land they received from the hands of the Soviet Vlasti in 1940. More than 600 thousand hectares of land were forcibly taken from farmers for transmission to the fists and plantations […] large landowner of German households[25]. Created during the Soviet era to aid farmers 5 machine and tractor stations and 500 vehicles-horse hiring stations with the presence of 500 tractors and many other complex agricultural machinery and draft power completely defeated and destroyed. […] only 5 liberated counties[26], the peasants lost 65 thousand heads of working horses, 190 thousand head of cattle, 320 thousand sheep, 170 thousand pigs, burnt and plundered 4245 houses and a huge number of agricultural outbuildings. Looted 30 state farms and large farms. Destroyed 15 agricultural schools, including the richest Malawski agricultural College, destroyed all experimental breeding station […].

Original. Typescript, signature – autograph of the Secretary of the Central Committee(Bolsheviks) of Latvia J. E. Kalnberzin.

RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 856. L. 3-7.

“On priority measures for the provision of electricity to industry and domestic institutions of Riga”.

October 24, 1944

the German fascist invaders during their retreat, destroyed the power base of the Latvian SSR27 […]. Absolutely destroyed by the thermal power plant “A” and “K” with a total capacity of 45 megawatts; incapacitated the main power plant of the Latvian SSR “Kegums” with a capacity of 52.5 megawatts (blown up all hydrogenerator units, the gates of the dam and turbotimer, etc.). Completely destroyed or severely damaged also the largest thermal and electrical installations of industrial enterprises of the city of Riga. […]

Bureau of the Central Committee of KP(b) of Latvia and the Council of people’s Commissars of the Latvian SSR decides:

1. Immediately begin to rebuild hydroelectric plant “Kegums” as the main and economically most cost-effective source of electricity for the industries of the city of Riga and the entire national economy of the Latvian SSR. […] to ask the State defense Committee

a) by 1 November 1944 to send a Commission of experts for consultation on issues of HPP “ķegums” as well as a comprehensive team of designers Gidroenergoproekt for preparation of design estimate documentation;

b) allow import from Sweden in the 1st quarter of 1945, one set of hydroelectric generator with a capacity of 17.5 MW and HV / mV transformer with a capacity 20 mgwa complete with high voltage equipment and also provide a full set of technical documentation for HPP “ķegums” from the company Vottenbygnadsbyran (Sweden), necessary for rehabilitation of hydroelectric power;

C) to oblige Narkomstroy of the USSR (tov. Ginzburg) onto bespecial to 1/II -1945 G. fabrication and installation of metal structures of the bridge and the dam gates specialized organization of Narkomstroy of the USSR;

d) to request the Chairman of Gosplan Voznesensky N. And. all bids on materials, equipment, tools and materials required to restore hydroelectric power station “Kegums”, to consider and grant out of turn; […].

Original. Typescript, signing autographs J. E. Kaverina and Chairman of the LSSR CPC V. Latsis

RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 44. D. 859. L. 93-98.

N 3. Protocol No. 83 of meetings of the Central Committee of the Communist party(Bolshevik) of Estonia

26, 28, 29 November and 2 and 4 December 1944.

having Heard the report of the people’s Commissar of health of the Estonian SSR, comrade. Hion, of the Central Committee of the CP(b)e noted that as a result of the Nazi occupation of deteriorated General sanitary-and-epidemiologic condition of the country and health services. Along with decreasing fertility and increasing mortality, widespread infectious disease. The mortality rate increased from 15.1 (in 1939) to 19, 9 (1942), a thousand of the population. The mortality rate of children up to one year for the same period increased by 22%. Widespread diphtheria (in 1943, according to incomplete statistics, 6321 case), typhus (in 1942, 2924 cases), typhoid fever (1943 631 case). Dramatically increased the incidence of tuberculosis. Fascist barbarians before his departure for the dissemination of the epidemics were forced out infectious patients from hospitals, thereby disseminated the infection among the population. Significantly increased incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. In some townships noted a mass disease scabies (Vidumsky, Varanasi and other counties).

Cities and towns during the occupation were in unsanitary condition: the sump was not cleaned for over a year, in the courtyards and the streets were piles of garbage and sewage in the floodplains of the cities of Tallinn, võru and Narva was arranged landfills, latrines, stables and produced the burial of corpses. Along with this the medical-sanitary network was given in a state which made it impossible to fight against epidemic diseases and normal health services. Almost all medical and sanitary institutions were plundered, and many of them were destroyed. Completely destroyed 74 medical institutions and a large number of them received significant damage. Sharply reduced the number of medical workers: doctors in 1941 it had 861 – left 267, dentists were 195 – remained 26; pharmacists with higher education [was] 418, left – 173; nurses was 1192 – left 600. […]

On 20 November this year the Republic deployed 31 hospital for 3,000 beds, one maternity hospital, 3 psychiatric hospitals, leprosarium, 2, 3 infant, 2 TB sanatorium, 21 children’s and women’s consultation, 16 nurseries for 495 beds, 139 outpatient clinics and outpatient clinics, 2 dairy kitchens, 160 pharmacies.

at the expense of surviving in the Republic of health workers, as well as by medical workers, who came from the evacuation and directed the people’s Commissariat of the USSR, provided medical personnel primary health care facilities in the cities and in most rural medical sites.

[…] Bureau of the Central Committee of the CP(b)e notes a number of major disadvantages […]:

a) the health of cities and towns continues to be unsatisfactory […]

b) […] the Number of beds in infectious diseases hospitals is not enough for hospitalization of infectious patients […]

g) […] not adjusted supply of medications in the peripheral hospitals, and pharmacies; […]

e) in the Republic scientific cadres of health workers not yet involved in the restoration of health in the Republic […].

a) To eliminate foci of diphtheria and reduce mortality within a month to complete immunizations against diphtheria children 12 years and younger […].

b) to strengthen measures against the diseases typhoid, ensuring early detection, timely hospitalization of all patients, required identifying sources of disease and extensive research on germ-carriers persons contact with the sick and ill informed. In 2-monthly term to carry out research on germ-carriers of all employees of the food industry canteens and catering;

C) to prevent diseases typhus strengthen sanitary monitoring of hostels, baths, hairdressing and other institutions. To establish a procedure for compulsory hospitalization of all temperaturewhich patients with unclear diagnosis;

d) deploy within one month of additional infectious hospitals […];

d) […] to complement all vacant posts of epidemiologists and sanitary inspectors […]

e) in the three months to organize 15 sanitary-epidemiological stations with the sanitary-chemical and bacteriological laboratories and disinfection equipment […];

a) to rebuild the work of tuberculosis dispensaries and paragraphs, ensuring timely detection of TB cases and implementation of measures to prevent infection among persons living together with the sick. Enter in all the TB dispensary and Turunchuk positions nursing […] not later than January 1, 1945;

b) to renew from January 1, 1945 vaccination, the Calmette in all maternity hospitals;

C) dove��T. in 1945 the number of beds for hospitalization of TB patients up to 700 by expanding the existing tuberculosis hospitals and offices, as well as opening new;

d) to renew by 1 April 1945, work children’s tuberculosis sanatorium and the tuberculosis sanatorium for adults […].

the fight against sexually transmitted diseases

a) during December 1944 to deploy and venereal diseases dispensaries and the offices of all district centers and cities of Republican subordination, as well as in the village of Kohtla-järve. To provide early detection of sexually transmitted diseases and identify the sources of these diseases;

b) to provide an early and mandatory hospitalization of all patients with infectious symptoms of syphilis;

C) to allocate in hospitals special departments for the treatment of venereal patients.

within a month to send in Vierumaki and Wyremski counties teams of doctors and nurses to organize scambiatore and the elimination of massive morbidity of scabies.

maternal and child

a) deploy in 1945 advanced maternity hospitals and maternity wards in General hospitals for 435 beds;

b) provide by July 1, 1945 dairy kitchens in all district centers and cities of Republican subordination; […]

d) to organize the may 1, 1945 children’s sanatorium in the goat Locati type “Artek” […].

Original. Typed text, signatures – autographs of the Secretary of the(b)e N.G. Karotamm and head. a special sector of the CC KP(b)e A. Pavlov.

RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 2028. L. 106-117, 123-125.

28 Feb 1945 Tallinn

About the organization of continuous mine action and salvage on the territory of the Estonian SSR in 194529

the resolution of the State Committee of defense of the USSR NN 5216 6564 and on the organization of solid mine clearance and the collection of trophies, as well as the relevant decisions of the CPC and the Communist party(Bolshevik) of Estonia from 1.X, 24.X, 17.IX. 1944 are unsatisfactory. These solutions were tasked to inspect completely the entire territory of the Republic (forests, meadows, fields, shrubs, marshes, gardens, etc.), to detect and neutralize and collect all anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, shells, unexploded bombs, grenades and other explosive means to provide the population the opportunity to quietly carry out their normal business activities, to avoid any possible accidents.

Until now, the County Executive committees are not made up of project plans, the size of the demining teams and collect trophies not determined30 and training teams began absolutely not in most counties.

On the territory of the Republic already has a significant number of dead and wounded among the local population, affected by the explosion of mines, shells, CAnat and other explosives scattered all over the place in all counties. Only in Virumaa County after the end of hostilities, according to the incomplete statistics, there were 76 incidents, 41 of them fatal.

2. Most operational leadership for these works to be created every time the County Executive Committee, the headquarters for the clearance of: Deputy Chairman of the County Executive Committee, head of the military division of the Ukoma KP(b) of Estonia, the Chairman of the County Council osoaviahima and representatives from the military Commissariat and County departments of the NKVD. […].

13. To ask a Military Council of the Leningrad front:

a) to send for a permanent job in CA osoaviahima of the Estonian SSR two officers, engineers, able to manage clearance and salvage on the territory of the Republic;

b) for the period from 28.02.45 on 1.05.45 to send to the CA osoaviahima of the Estonian SSR 13 officers and 22 men non-commissioned officers to work in County teams.

C) there are two platoon of dogs for mine clearance in CA osoaviahima of the Estonian SSR for the period from 1.04.45 on 01.06.45 for work in County teams.

d) to allocate for the CA osoaviahima 8 copies of topographic maps in scale 1:50 000 (or 1:100 000) of the territory of the Estonian SSR to maintain accurate accounting and reporting performed by the commands work.

15. To offer the NKVD of the ESSR in conjunction with the Prosecutor’s office to organize accurate records of all occurred incidents among the local population, mines, grenades, shells, etc. explosive means.

Continue on each occasion to organize a thorough investigation. The materials of the investigation immediately to present to the CPC of the ESSR.

16. Control over execution of the present decree to assign to the military Department of the CC CP(b) of Estonia.

Chairman of the ESSR CPC Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party(Bolshevik) of Estonia

A. Weimer, N. Karotamm

Copy. Typescript.

RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 2600. L. 176-180.

Published documents are stored in RGASPI (F. 17) and are printed with contractions.

Publication was prepared by the Marina Datsishin, candidate of historical Sciences, chief specialist RGASPI.

1. CIT. by: Nazi occupation in Estonia. A collection of documents and materials. Tallinn, 1963. C. 18.

2. Eviction – the euphemism used by the Nazis to denote destruction, out in the Outback, imprisonment in camps, etc.

3. Nazi occupation in Estonia. C. 18.

4. Ibid. C. 28, 30, 31, 40.

5. RGASPI. F. 625. Op. 1. 13. L. 29-30.

6. RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 857. L. 33.

7. RGASPI. F. 625. Op. 1. 13. L. 34-34 Ob.

8. The German-fascist��raising occupation. P. 23.

9. Ibid.

10. RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 856. L. 28.

11. See more: Bagramyan I. H. So we walked to Victory. M., 1977.

12. RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 856. L. 28.

13. RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 44. D. 858. L. 117-118.

14. The anti-Semitism of the local population allowed in a short time to create a police battalions of the representatives of the non-Jewish population and actually destroy the beginning of 1942, the entire Jewish population in several Baltic cities, including Riga. “While the local population helped the Germans to kill the Jews and the Communists, occupiers slowly introduced “new order”, rename the street in the German way […] It began to hurt the national feelings of the Latvians, however, those already stuck in the brutal killings”. – RGASPI. F. 625. Op. 1. 13. L. 24-42; read More about the crimes of the collaborators see: From nationalism to collaboration: the Baltic States during the Second world war. Documents. Vol. 1-2. M., 2019.

15. RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 1121. L. 91.

16. Regulations of the Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist party(Bolsheviks) of Latvia as of October 2, 1944 “On the return of citizens of the Kalinin, Leningrad and Velikie Luki areas”, see RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 44. D. 858. L. 228-229; on 30 November 1944, “On measures for the repatriation of Soviet citizens from the Latvian SSR”, see RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 44. D. 860. L. 19-21.

17. See more: RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 856. L. 40.

18. RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 856. L. 29.

19. RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 857. L. 8.

20. RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 45. D. 1121. L. 90-91.

21. So, at the end of October 1944, the Latvian SSR of the 12 factory power plants 4458 kilowatts was launched only two small power stations with a total capacity of 140 kilowatts. – RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 859. L. 99.

22. RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 45. D. 1117. L. 113.

23. See more: RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 856-860, 2026-2029.

24. RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 44. D. 857. L. 190-191, RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 45. D. 1117. L. 254-257.

25. The decision of the CPC of Estonian SSR and the CC KP(b)e N 189, dated 16 October 1944 “On the return of land to the peasants of the Estonian SSR”. See: RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 44. D. 2028. L. 28-32.

26. Ludza, Rezekne, Abrensky, Daugavpils, Ilukstsky counties.

27. In Riga was destroyed water, power, telephone and Telegraph station, a quarter of the Old town, the bridges over the Western Dvina river, station, and several factories. See more: RGASPI, F. 17. Op. 44. D. 857. L 9.

28. A similar situation was in Latvia. In January – March 1945 in the Latvian SSR it was 1049 cases of diphtheria, 394 – typhoid, 196 – typhus. Especially unfavorable situation was observed in Jelgava, Valmiera and Rezekne districts. In schools and vocational schools (Riga, Ludza, Rezekne) was observed up to 80% forVselennoi students. – RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 1121. L. 155.

29. On the progress of demining in Latvia, see RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 858. L. 225-227; RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 859. L. 122-124.

30. The membership of all County (city) demining teams and collect trophies in the ESSR was identified 2860 people. See: RGASPI. F. 17. Op. 44. D. 2600. L. 181.