Spiritual resistance

Spiritual resistance
Young people, who had obtained their primary education in independent Latvia, were the most active in expressing resistance to the Soviet regime. Some demonstrated their attitude by avoiding any involvement in Soviet propaganda activities and in communist youth organisations. The more active ones formed resistance groups in education institutions, or acted individually. Their ideal was an independent Latvia. Such groups existed in most Latvian secondary schools, as well as in other educational institutions. The youths prepared and distributed flyers, leaflets and underground newspapers. On 18 November (the Latvian Independence Day) and on 15 May (anniversary of the government coup by Kārlis Ulmanis) Latvian national flags were raised at many locations.

A number of youth groups in rural regions maintained contacts with and supported the national partisans. They collected weapons and medicines, and provided information about expected actions against the partisans and their supporters.

The state security agencies uncovered many of these youth resistance groups and arrested their members. The sentences meted out ranged from 5 to 25 years incarceration, in some cases – execution. The youth resistance did not significantly affect the consolidation of Soviet power, but it did keep alive the idea of an independent Latvia.

Intellectual life in the post-war years was totally subjugated to Soviet ideology. Writers, artists, professors and teachers had to praise the Communist regime. The literature and achievements in humanities of independent Latvia, as well as much of the world literary classics, were prohibited as being contrary to Soviet ideology. Not only did the Communist Party specify guidelines in art, music and science, but also enforced adherence to them by means of censorship.

To intimidate the creative intelligentsia, in 1951 the Soviet security agencies held a show trial in the fabricated „French group" case. Thirteen intellectuals, labelled „bourgeoisie nationalists", were arrested and accused of illegal meetings, and translation and distribution of a prohibited French book. A special meeting in Moscow sentenced them in absentia to incarceration for 7 to 25 years.