The underground struggle of Soviet people in the rear of the Nazis is a bright page in the chronicle of the Great Patriotic War. The History of Anti-Fascist underground movement on the temporarily occupied territory of the Latvian SSR, which embarked on the path of socialist development as a part of the USSR merely a year before the war, is very important because the partisan movement in Latvia has become widespread only at the end of 1943 - beginning of 1944 due to a specific socio-political environment. During the first two and a half years of Nazi occupation that is from July 1941 until early 1944 the mood of the majority of workers in Latvia (before the coming of the invaders only 2 - 2.5% of residents of the Latvian SSR managed to evacuate into the Soviet Union) has manifested itself in the antifascist underground struggle. Evaluating the impact of that movement in the common struggle of the Latvian people in the rear of the enemy, we must not forget that in the first two years of occupation in Latvia the underground committees of the Communist Party failed to be created (only in Riga in autumn 1942 there existed an underground party organization). Active in 1943 - 1944 years, the clandestine regional and county committees of the CP(b) of Latvia exercised control of primary party organizations of partisan brigades and units only. One reason for this is that in the young Soviet republic, after the two decades of dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, the party organization was still relatively small in number. In the ranks of the Communist Party of Latvia (not including the Communists, who had served in military units on the territory of the Latvian SSR) there were only 5057 people on June 1, 1941 (3059 members of the party and 1998 candidates for the party). (The population in 1940 - 1,886,000 people). In occupied by enemy territory of Latvia around 400 Communists remained, but in the very first weeks of the occupation the vast majority of them were arrested and shot.
Under these circumstances, the CC CP(b) of Latvia, as well as its task force and the underground party committees on the temporarily occupied territory of the republic could rely in their work mainly on the underground organizations and groups, that were anti-fascist by their nature, and by their content - Communist. That is why the reactionary historians and Latvian bourgeois emigrants in the West are trying to falsify the history of anti-fascist struggle, which was led by the Latvian people (and especially its vanguard - the working class) under the leadership of the Communist Party of Latvia against the Nazi occupiers and their henchmen - Latvian bourgeois nationalists. Bourgeois liars literally bend over backwards, trying to convince the world that in Latvia the struggle against the Nazi occupiers was not a struggle for the Soviet power.
On March 1, 1942 Bureau of the CC CP(b)L has decided to train and send the partisan movement and the party underground leaders to the territory of occupied Latvia. With the support of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) and the Soviet government about 700 volunteers (consisting of several units and groups) were trained, armed and transported across the front line.
By 1944 the partisan movement had spread to almost all of Latvia. 24 partisan detachments were established, 33 suborders, as well as many individual platoons and groups. In total about 20 thousand people took part in the partisan movement of Latvia. The Nazis sent against the partisan bases more than 100 punitive expeditions, repressed thousands of people who sympathized with partisans, but were powerless to stop the spreading partisan movement.
The liberation of the territory of Latvia from Nazi troops lasted for the period of 10 months, from July 1944 to May 1945. In these battles took part at different times 19 armies, in which lines stood soldiers of different nationalities. About 150,000 Soviet soldiers died in battles on Latvian soil. 320 soldiers were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
Also Latvian military units (130th Latvian Rifle Corps, 1st Latvian Aviation Regiment, Latvian partisan units) took part in the liberation process of the Latvian SSR.
On July 18, 1944 the units of the 43rd Guards Division crossed the border of the Latvian SSR, and occupied the first settlement on the territory of the republic - Shkyaune. Afterwards the Latvian corps actively participated in Rezekne- Daugavpils, Krustpils, Madona and Riga operations.
On October 16, 1944 the units of 130th Latvian Rifle Corps entered the liberated Riga, being passionately welcomed by residents.
On May 9, 1945 in the village called Plani (by the river Imula) the units of the 43rd Latvian Guards Rifle Division took the surrender of Nazi troops (24th Infantry Division and the units of the 19th Division of Latvian SS Legion).
During the war the population of the Latvian SSR decreased by 450 thousand people (almost 24%), out of which up to 280,000 Latvians appeared to be abroad. In the fight against the Nazis up to 100,000 of Latvian civilians were killed. National economy has suffered a great damage.
The history of the Great Patriotic War clearly demonstrates that Latvian people would be unable to throw off the Nazi yoke and to overcome the giant war machine of Nazi Germany merely by their own efforts. The victory in the war has shown that the irresistible force of the Latvian people is in their loyalty to the community of the Soviet peoples, with whose help Latvians defended the freedom, the national culture, and the possibility of an all-round economic and cultural development.
It is unfortunate now, on the 65-th anniversary of the Soviet people's victory in World War II, to observe the persistence of political forces, which possess power now in Latvia, to "clean up" and justify in any possible way Nazism and its genocidal ideology. Moreover, to observe permissions being given to pro-fascist demonstrators in Riga as well as other towns, the allocation of funds from the state budget for the maintenance of the graves of the warriors from the Waffen SS, the fascist Legion, and the complete lack of funding for the restoration and maintenance of places of mass burial of the Red Army soldiers; a miserable existence of anti-fascist veterans of World War II, and steady increase in pensions and benefits for so-called national partisans – the members of post-war bands, which were fighting against the lawful Soviet power after the war. These facts are the evidence of former Nazis support on state level in Latvia.
It is easy to discern in all this the desire of nationalist forces of the country to give other than given and existent in the world interpretation of the history of the World War II. All this comes at a time when the entire world, led by Russia and the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition celebrated the 65th anniversary of Victory over Nazi Germany.
Socialist Party of Latvia was categorically condemning any attempts (and still continues to do so) by any whatsoever pretext to whitewash and justify fascism, and to downgrade the heroic deed of the winners in the Great Patriotic War. As another challenge from the revenge-seekers, which should be worthy of reply, we accept the verdict pronounced by May 17 by the Grand Chamber of the ECHR on the case of Red partisan Vasily Kononov Makarovych. The struggle continues.