Latvijas Okupācijas muzejs

  • Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991

History

In February 1993, Paulis Lazda, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, proposed to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia for establishment of a museum dealing with the period 1940–1991, when Latvia was an occupied country. In the spring of 1993, 11 persons founded the Occupation Museum Foundation (OMF; now the Occupation Museum Association (OMB)) to establish, administer, and finance the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. As a private museum, the Museum of the Occupation is financially and politically independent. The support of each donor is important to maintain the Museum as an independent institution.

Records Management and Collecting Policies

The Museum has as its mission:

• to identify, research, elucidate, and commemorate the wrongdoings committed by the foreign occupation powers against the state and the people of Latvia from 1940 to 1991;

• to preserve historical memory of the Latvian people about the occupation period;

• to inform and educate the people of Latvia and of other nations about the history and consequences of the occupation period so as to strengthen the Latvian state and its place amongst the free and democratic nations of the world.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Collection Department

The Museum's collection includes documents, photos, written and oral material evidence, artefacts and keepsakes. These items document the occupation period, as well as the events leading up to it and the consequences of the occupations. Additions to the collection are usually gifts and bequests from individuals and organizations.

The Audio-Visual Archive is an integral part of the Museum's collection and contains testimonies about the occupation period in the form of films, photos, and audio and video recordings. The staff collects and records narratives of persons whose lives were affected by the Soviet and Nazi occupation policies. The Museum has produced 9 documentaries based on eyewitness stories. These can be purchased at the Museum or ordered through the online shop.

Holocaust-relevant sources at the Museum: The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia holds materials about Jews and the Holocaust. These materials are written or spoken memories about the period of the Second World War. The museum does not hold survivor testimonies but does have accounts written by rescuers or their relatives, as well as one rescuer’s video interview/testimony; other video testimonies present information related to the Holocaust.

Sources