Who resisted and how?

Who resisted and how?
In 1940-41 a number of resistance organisations appeared in Latvia. They published underground leaflets, sabotaged the orders of the occupying powers, and readied themselves for armed struggle to regain an independent Latvia. The largest such organisations were the New Latvians, the Latvian National Legion, the Combat Organisation to Liberate Latvia and the Guards of the Fatherland.

Young people were involved in the resistance movement. They formed underground groups that organised meetings and published anti-Soviet leaflets. On 13 May 1941 there was a coordinated action as some 5,000 anti-Soviet leaflets were simultaneously distributed in Riga, Jelgava, Cēsis, Bauska, and in other towns. The singing of patriotic songs and celebration of the former Latvian state holidays were also considered as anti-Soviet activities.

The Latvian people also expressed dissatisfaction with the new regime in the 12 January 1941 elections of the Supreme Council. Voting was obligatory; failure to vote could get you labelled as „anti Soviet" with subsequent reprisals. Nevertheless, there were people who did not vote, or who crossed out the ballots and wrote anti-Soviet slogans on them.

Due to their inexperience and to the effectiveness of methods used by the Soviet security apparatus, most members of resistance groups were arrested and sentenced to death or to several years of incarceration in distant USSR regions. Only a few survived such incarceration. Nevertheless, the resistance movement demonstrated the people's negative stance against the incorporation of Latvia into the USSR, and contributed to the collapse of the Soviet occupation authority at the start of the Germany-USSR war.