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Mr. Dinbergs. I am charge d'affaires of Latvia in the United
Mr. Kersten. Where is the Latvian Legation located ?


Mr. DiNBERGS. The address is 4325 iTtli Street NW.

Mr. Kersten. Has that Legation been in Washington continuously
for some years ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Not at that address. We have changed it several

Mr. Kersten. But in Washington, has the legation been located
at various places continuously?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. For how long ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Since 1923, with an interruption.

Mr. Kersten. And the flag of Latvia still flies over that legation?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is correct.

Mr. Kersten. You have succeeded the previous Latvian repre-
sentative who recently died ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Will you state the facts of that?

Mr. DiNBERGS. IMinister Feldmans, who was here sin.ce June 1949,
died just last August, and I assumed the charge of the Latvian Lega-
tion, as the ranking diplomatic representative of Latvia, pending-
the appointment of the new charge d'affaires.

Mr. Kersten. And the United States Government has afforded
diplomatic recognition in your case ?

Mr, DiNBERGS. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Have you a prepared statement ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. I have.

Mr. Kersten. Will 3^011 proceed with it?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Mr. Cliairman, and members of the committee, I
wish to tliank you for this opportunity to meet here with you, and
on behalf of the Latvian Nation, to acquaint you Avith the events
that brought about Latvia's loss of independence and made her one
of the first victims of Soviet imperialistic aggression.

Latvia is one of the oldest nations in Europe. Its written history
dates back to 1207, when it was proclaimed a principality of the
Holy Roman Empire. In the course of its history, Latvia has been
subject to many an invasion and foreign domination.

In the 18th century, during the imperialistic expansion period of
Czarist Russia, Latvia was gradually annexed by the Russian Em-
pire, the eastern part in 1721 by the Treaty of Nystad, the western
part, the independent Duchy of Curlancl, in 1795. However, the
Latvian people wei-e never entirely submitted to the Russian rule.

In spite of Russian attempts to absorb and Russify the people,
they maintained their national consciousness, preserved their cultural
heritage and language, and finally, at the close of the First World
War, emerged as a free and democratic nation and proclaimed
Latvia's independence on November 18, 1918. The first 2 years of
independence were spent in an almost continuous struggle against
Soviet invasion and also in repelling aggression of adventurous Ger-
man military formations. Only after the military liberation of their
country and the consolidation of their independence by conclusion
of a peace treaty with Soviet Russia could the Latvian })eople at
last devote their energy to create a solid foundation for cultural,
economic, and social life.

On February 15, 1922, the Latvian Assembly adopted a democratic
constitution upon which its political life was based. Previously, on


September 16, 11)20, the constituent assembly had passed a sweeping
agrarian i-eform. Vast tracts of manorial estates, formerly owned
by small, Baltic-German landlords, were divided into moderate farm-
ing plots. These were allocated to more than 100,000 new farmers.
Since Latvia was predominantly agricultural, this reform caused a con-
siderable increase in Latvia's agricultural production. In the short
period of its independent existence, Latvia achieved remarkable eco-
nomic progress.

Latvia's international position was consolidated through recogni-
tion of her national sovereignty by the major European powers on
January 26, 1921, and her admission to the League of Nations on
September 22, 1921. Recognition by the Unitecl States — July 28,
1922 — and other nations of the civilized world followed in swift

Formal relations between the independent Latvian Hepublic and
Soviet Russia were based on the treaty of peace signed between the
two countries at Riga on August 11, 1920. Pursuant to article II
of this treaty :

Russia unreservedly recognizes the independence, self-subsistency, and sov-
ereignty of the Latvian state and voluntarily and forever renounces all sovereign
rights over the Latvian people and territory.

On February 9. 1929, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Rumania signed
with the Soviet Union a protocol providing for immediate enactment
of the Treaty of Paris of August 27, 1929, regarding renunciation
of war as an instrument of national policy, better known as the Kel-
logg-Briand Pact.

In addition, Latvia signed on February 5, 1932, a treaty of non-
aggression with the Soviet Union. Article I of this treaty provided :

Each of the high contracting parties undertakes to refrain from any act of
aggression directed against the other and also from any acts of violence directed
against the territorial integrity and inviolability or the political independence
of the other contracting party, regardless of whether such aggression or such
acts are committed separately or together with other powers, with or without
a declaration of war.

The above treatv was on Api'il 4, 1934, extended until December 31,

A convention relating to conciliation procedure between Latvia
and the Soviet Union was signed at Riga on June 18, 1932. Article I
of this convention provided :

The high conti'acting parties mutually undertake to submit for amicable
settlement in the Conciliation Commission, in accordance with the provisions of
the present convention, disputes of all kinds which may arise between them
on account of circumstances occurring after the coming into foi'ce of the treaty
concluded at Riga on February 5, 1932, between Latvia and the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics, and which cannot be settled through the diplomatic channel
within a reasonable time.

Latvia and the Soviet Union were cosigners of the "convention for
the definition of aggression," signed at London July 3, 1933.

Finally, after the start of World War II, and under menacing
Soviet armed pressure, Latvia concluded on October 5, 1939, a so-
called pact of mutual assistance with Moscow for a period of 10 years,
granting the Soviet Union militarv, naval, and air bases on its terri-


tory. In return, the Kremlin, according to article V of the pact,
agreed that :

The carrying into effect of the present pact must in no way affect the sovereign
rights of the contracting parties, in particular their political structure, their
economic and social system, and their military measures.

By signing the above agreement in good faith, even though under
duress, Latvia had underwritten the door of her liberty, unaware of
the fact at that time that the fate of the Baltic Republics had already
been sealed in the Stalin-Hitler agreement of friendship and non-
aggression of August 23, 1039. This secret protocol stated :

In the event of a territorial and political rearmament in the areas belonging
to the Baltic States, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the northern
boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence
of Germany and the U. S. S. R

Shortly afterward, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia concluded a
supplementary secret agreement by which Lithuania also was de-
livered to the sphere of Soviet seizures.

While the secret Nazi-Soviet bargaining about the division of the
spoils was in progress, Soviet Foreign Commissar Molotov, on Octo-
ber 31, 1939, declared before the Supreme Soviet of the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics, that :

The pacts with the Baltic States in no way imply the intrusion of the Soviet
Union in the internal affairs of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as some foreign
interests are trying to have it believed.

As far as the exact and honest fulfillment of the mutual agreement
on the part of the Baltic States was concerned, as Molotov had stated,
he was quite right.

However, on June 17, 1940, only 7 months later, without the slightest
provocation on the part of Latvia, the armed forces of the Soviet
Union crossed the Latvian frontier and occupied the country in breach
of the above-mentioned treaties, conventions, and solemn promises
of the Soviet leaders, thus destroying the sovereignty of the Latvian

It must be emphasized that Latvia was then a member of the League
of Nations, in good standing, while the Soviet Union had been expelled
from that body for her unprovoked attack on Finland.

The illegal Soviet invasion was preceded by an ultimatum dated
June 16, in which the Kremlin put forth the following "absolutely
indispensable and urgent" demands :

1. Immediate establishment in Latvia of a government capable of and ready
to insure the honest execution of the Latvian-Soviet pact of mutual assistance;

2. To insure without delay the free entry of Soviet troops into Latvian terri-
tory, to be placed in the most important centers of Latvia, in *!uch numbers as
to secure the realization of the Latvian-Soviet pact of mutual assistance, and
to prevent provocateur agents against Soviet garrisons in Latvia.

The above ultimatum was based on charges that Latvia had failed
to cancel a treaty of alliance with Estonia ; that she had entered in
alliance with both Estonia and Lithuania; and that the Latvian
Government had tolerated the issuance of a maga/ine in Tallin,
the Revue Baltique, publislied by the Estonian-Latvian-Lithuanian

The charges of the Moscow ultimatum were not only unsubstan-
tiated, but advanced, obviously, for the sole purpose of justifying
Soviet aggressive designs in the Baltic in the absence of more con-


vincing evidence. The Latvian-Estonian alliance had been concluded
as early as 1923 for purely defensive purposes, and had been dulj'
registered the same year with the League of Nations.

The Soviet Union had been aware of this defensive alliance for 17
years and had never before raised any objections against it.

The so-called Baltic entente concluded between Latvia, Estonia,
and Lithuania in 1934: was a j)acifi€, cultural agreement without any
military complications, equally well-known and not objected to by
the Soviet Union for years.

The Revue Baltique was a private publication, the first issue of
which had appeared in February 1940, mainly devoted to advocating
Baltic cooperation and friendship with the Soviet Union.

The charges of the Molotov ultimatum reveal, in themselves, the
crude design of aggressiveness belnnd them. Indeed, a few weeks
after tlie lied Army had occupied Latvia, Soviet-style elections were
held with only one slate of candidates, hand-picked by Moscow. The
results thus obtained were exploited to absorb Latvia into the Soviet

If the Kremlin had expected the West to enforce its fraudulent
presumption of the Baltic countries having joined the U. S. S. R.
voluntarily, such expectations were shattered by the United States
declaration of July 23, 1940, which emphatically censured Moscow's
seizure of the Baltic Republics. On this declaration is based, up to
the present day, the continuous independence of Latvia in the sense
and spirit of international law and justice.

The refusal of the United States Government to recognize the Soviet
annexation of Latvia has greatly bolstered the hope of the Latvian
people for ultimate liberation, and their will of resistance against
Soviet ideological encroachment and material enslavement.

There was, however, a time when it seemed that the fate of the
Soviet-enslaved Baltic nations might be sealed by indifference and
forgetfulness on the part of the more fortunate peoples of the free
world. This danger seems now eliminated through the initiative of
the United States Congress in creating this Select House Committee
for Investigation of the Seizure and Annexation of the Baltic Repub-
lics by the Soviet Union.

Being privileged to represent the people of Latvia in the United
States, I avail myself of this congressional investigation to accuse
the Soviet regime of flagrant aggression against Latvia, the unwar-
ranted annihilation of her independence, continuous illegal occupa-
tion of her territory, and perpetration of criminal acts of genocide by
having deported and annihilated countless thousands of Latvian

I am convinced that the congressional Baltic Committee, having
gathered ample documentary evidence, and being prepared to question
numerous eyewitnesses from the Baltic countries, now residing in the
free world, will lind my accusations against the Soviet Union well

I am confident that the investigation w^ill not only bring to light
Soviet acts of aggression and of criminal violence of the Baltic Re-
publics, but will also contribute to making the American and other
free people conscious and alert of Soviet conspiracy, aimed at world
domination, which makes it imperative for all freedom-loving people
to meet the Communist menace by determined united action.


Thank you.

Mr. Kersten. Thank you.

Now, Mr. Counsel, do you have any documents you want to intro-
duce at this time in connection with Latvia ?

Mr. McTiGUE. In connection with your testimony, you referred
to the Mutual Assistance Pact and other treaties.

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is right,

Mr. McTiGUE. Do you happen to have in your possession, now,
copies of same ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Yes. I would like to submit photostatic copies of
the treaties I mentioned, which were violated by Soviet aggression in

Mr. McTiGUE. Will you identify those, please, so that we can mark
them for identification and enter them as exhibits ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. I have, first, the Treaty of Peace between Latvia
and Kussia, done at Moscow, completed and signed at Riga, August 11,

Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 3-A."

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 3-A." See p. 490.)

Mr. DiNBERGS. Then, there is Treaty of Non- Aggression between
Latvia and the Union of Soviet Socialist Eepublics, signed at Kiga
February 5, 1932.

Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 3-B."

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 3-B." See p. 499.)

Mr. DiNBERGS. The next is the convention relating to conciliation
procedures between Latvia and the Union of Soviet Socialist Repub-
lics, signed at Riga, June 18, 1932.

Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 3-C."

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 3-C." See p. 501.)

Mr. DiNBERGS. Next is Economic Agreement between Latvia and
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, signed at Moscow, December
4 1933.
' Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 3-D."

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 3-D." See p. 505.)

Mr. DiNBERGS. The next is Pact of Mutual Assistance between Re-
public of Latvia and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, signed
at Moscow October 5, 1939.

Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 3-E."

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 3-E." See p. 506. )

Mr. DiNBERGS. There is the Convention for the Definition of Ag-
gression, signed at London July 3, 1933.

Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 3-F."

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 3-F." See p. 508.)

Mr. McTiGUE. Before you leave the stand, Dr. Dinbergs, will you
identify the source of your documents, please ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. I think we will have to go back, because they come
in chronological sequence.

First, is the Treaty of Peace between Latvia and Russia done at
Moscow, completed and signed at Riga, August 11, 1920. That will
be the first document.

Mr. McTiGUE. What is the source?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Tliose photostats were taken from the League of Na-
tions treaty series, and also all subsequently submitted copies.


Mr. McTiGUE. That will be sufficient identification for the source of
all the documents. They have been photostats taken from the League
of Nations series.

Mr. Kersten. However, the documents pertaining to Latvia are
identified by proper marks.

Mr. McTiGUE. You will pick up Dr. Dinbergs' pact that he put in,
Mr. Reporter, in sequence form, after we identified the Lithuanian

Mr. BrsBEY. Dr. Dinbergs, would you agree with me that the rape
of the Baltic countries follows a definite pattern for the rape of other
countries, as well as the Baltic countries of the Red Marxist-Facists
of Soviet Russia ?

Mr. Dinbergs. I quite agree with you, sir. Since the Baltic States
were the first victims of the Soviet aggression — at least in Western
Europe — they established this pattern.

First of all, it can be clearly seen in connection with the acts in the
three respective Baltic countries in themselves. They followed ex-
actly the same pattern.

Of course subsequent Soviet aggression in Europe very clearly
showed also the same trends and patterns.

Mr. Busbey. Thank you. That is all.

Mr. Madden. Have you any knowledge as to approximately the num-
ber of people from Latvia wdio were taken from the country and
deported to labor camps or prisons ?

Mr. Dinbergs. We have quite precise information for the period
of first Soviet occupation of Latvia, which lasted for 1 year, namely,
from June 1940 to July 1941, and during that time we have lost close
to 35,000 people, of which in one single night 15,000 were deported.
That was shortly before the Soviet-German War started.

Mr. Madden. Have you any knowledge where they were deported

Mr. Dinbergs. We have documents showing various destinations
in remote parts of Russia, but we do not have definite confirmation in
details, although those labor camps are known.

Mr. Madden. Were those mostly prisoners of the intelligentsia, or
political prisoners, so to speak? Leaders?

Mr. Dinbergs. In the beginning this trend was noticeable. How-
ever, the deportations hit all walks of life of our population and no-
body could be saved.

For instance, there were cases where elderly people over 80 years old
were depoited, where newly-born children were taken with their moth-
ers, separated from them, and deported to various places of destination.

Mr. Madden. Did any of the Russian Communist officials infiltrate
into Latvia and supervise local officials and local units of government
in Latvia ?

Mr. Dinbergs. Yes: from the very beginning. The next day after
the Soviet invasion — that is on the 18th of June, 1940 — Mr. Vishinsky
arrived in Latvia, in Riga, and from the Soviet Legation he directed
all the work regarding putting into force the new puppet government,
and all other acts.

Mr. Madden. Was the policy of genocide inaugurated in Latvia by
the Soviets — that is, separating families, the wives from husbands, and
the children from the parents, and these people sent into various
different localities, away from the family unit?


Mr. DiNBERGS. Yes. That was the established pattern, to separate

Mr. Madden. And that pattern is continuing, now? That same
pattern ? Is that process continuing by the Soviet leaders ?

Mr, DiNBERGS. I am sure it is continuing to a certain extent also now.
We do not have more detailed information as far as the present sit-
uation is concerned, but there are continuous deportations being
carried out, now.

Mr. Madden. And is it the purpose of that policy of genocide to
eventually eliminate the Latvian people as a nationality and gradually
have them disappear as a nationality ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That would appear to be their intent.

Mr. Madden. That is all.

Mr. Bentley. Dr. Dinbergs, you have been charge d'affaires with
the Latvian Legation since 1949 ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. No, since August 1953.

Mr. Bentley. Since last August ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. I also was in charge in 1948-49, when our minister
died and Minister Feldmans arrived here. Almost a year.

Mr. Bentley. How long have you been connected with the Latvian
Legation in the United States ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. I came to the United States, first to New York, and
in 1941 I came to Washington.

Mr. Bentley. When did you come to New York?

Mr. DiNBERGS. In 1937.

Mr. Bentley. You have not been in Latvia since that time ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. No, I haven't.

Mr. Bentley. You have been connected with the Latvian consulate
and legation in this country, then, since 1937 ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is right.

Mr. Bentley. Can you tell the committee what other countries be-
sides the United States extend diplomatic recognition to Latvia?

Mr. DiNBERGS. The majority of countries do.

Mr. Bentley. Tlie majority still extend recognition?

Mr. DiNBERGS. We did not have diplomatic relations for our Lega-
tions established in all countries, not in such a number as you have
it here in the United States.

Mr. Bentley. When did the official connections between your Lega-
tion here, or your representatives here, and the government of Latvia,
cease ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. I couldn't give you the exact date. However, the
exact date our Legation repudiated this new puppet regime was be-
fore the elections, on July 13, 1940, and also before that it was dif-
ficult for us to make a clear statement, as we didn't receive any in-
formation from Latvia from shortly after the invasion.

Mr. Bentley. Since that time you have had no official connection
with the Government of Latvia, either during Russian or German
occupation ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is right.

Mr. Bentley. Today, the official status of Latvia is also that of a
Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union, am I correct?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is what the Soviet Union claims it to be.

Mr. Bentley. Have there been any attempts on the part of the


Soviets to take over assets or property belonging to the Latvian Gov-
ernment in this country ?

Mr. DiNBERGs. There were numerous attempts to do that and there
were properties involved regarding Latvian ships that were in the
Western Hemisphere. The Soviet representatives in the United States
claimed, in the United States court, ownership of those ships.

Mr. Bentlet. What was the time or the date the Soviet military
forces first entered Latvia?

Mr. DiNBERGS. June 17, 1940.

Mr. Bentley. There were no forces before then in Latvia under the
terms of the treaty ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. There were under the Treaty of Mutual Assistance,
October 1939.

Mr. Bentley. There were Soviet forces in Latvia long before June

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is right.

Mr. Machrowicz. You stated that the United States Government
and most of the free governments, with a few exceptions, still recog-
nize the Embassies of Latvia, the prewar Embassies of Latvia ; is that

Mr, DiNBERGS. Yes.

Mr. Machrowicz. Is there in existence a so-called free government
in exile, of Latvia ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Technically speaking, we do not have government in
exile. However, the last Latvian Government, prior to tlie Soviet
invasion, issued emergency powers, state powers, to our Minister in
London, who has the right to act for the Latvian Government in
defending the interests of Latvia, and he is also in charge of all our
diplomatic representations abroad.

Mr. Machrowicz. But there is no central body in exile that dictates
a form of government?

Mr. DiNBERGS. No, sir.

Mr. Machrowicz. Is the Latvian nation represented in the United
Nations ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. No, sir; it is not.

Mr, Machrowicz. That is despite the fact that most of the free
countries still recognize your embassies ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Yes. We have not been accepted in the United

Mr, Machrowicz, Just one other question concerning Mr, Busbey's
question: As a matter of fact, isn't it true that the subjugation of
Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, actually stems from the Molotov-
Ribbentrop agreement ?

Mr, DiNBERGS, That is right,

Mr, Machrowicz, Just as the subjugation of these other countries,
like Poland, also stem from that same agreement?

Mr, DiNBERGS, Yes.

Mr, Machrowicz, So these other countries, their subjugation is com-
menced with the same agreements under which your own nation
became subjugated?

Mr, DiNBERGS, I would say so; yes.

Mr. BoNiN. Doctor, in the past experience of your nation, do you
believe other free nations can rely on the solemn agreements of Com-
munist Russia ?

52975— 54— pt. 1 3


Mr. DiNBERGS. I must say emphatically ; no, sir.

Mr. DoDD. Was there any Conimnnist Party in Latvia prior to the
annexation by Soviet Russia ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. There was. I do not recall the year, but it was pro-

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