I recently asked Karlis, in Latvia, to describe the process that led to Russia withdrawing from Latvia because I doubt any of that was covered in the American press or media at the time, or ever. I found out in my travels that there’s a huge amount of important news that never gets reported in my benighted country and it’s only gotten worse, lately.
I hope you’ll be as touched by these reports as I was. I decided not to edit because, like most Americans, I rather appreciate foreign accents and usages as little glimpses into others’ interesting cultures.
That time was very excited, breth-taking. Soviet order was marginally
rotten, it would to happen earlier or later, only it may be very bloody.
There was a prophet before war, quite popular between people. He said,
where are stolen things, missed people, who is murderer etc. There is a book
- his life-story, too. It was well-documented, that he said, – after the war
Latvia will have hard times. Latvia will be free again in the year, witch
reads equally from both sides (in fact, 1991, next possible be 2002). The
will start to go better, when a woman will become a leader (our President
Vaira Vike-Freiberg). All as he said.
A movement started with Gorbachov’s perestroika, before this, a wrong
may be a cause for way to Siberia.
VIA BALTICA was an activit of all three Baltics’ Peoples Fronts’ headship,
as action against Moscow’s (Russian, no American) unappreciated existence
of maleficent Molotow-Ribbentropp pact, throwing all Baltics to Russia.
The date was 23th August, 1989.
I didn’t find enough stuff in English. Now there opened new site in
http://www.latvija.com , about a week ago. Temporarily there is few stuff, but
will be more, a history, too. My writing in English is extremaly slow
with frequent looking in dictionary. I’m poor source.
I’m quoting a part of one my essay, made about a year ago. It helps to You
to understand a Latvian spirit for a little.
Via Baltica was massive-translated by foreign jornalists, too. Moscow’s
reaction was beastly hysterical, but there wasn’t any crime in peoples
Latvia is a nation who sings. Soviets crushing time is called “Singing
Revolution”. 1991. Barricades. Agonizing Soviet troops. Some victims. It may
be much more of them, but there were many journalists from Western
mass-media. Every event was hot-online translated (via satellite channels)
to their agencies. Communists were afraiding international scandals. But
people were singing everywhere, indoors and on streets.
There are tens and hundreds amateur choirs, many of them of
professional-quality. It is worth to tell you about one phenomenon – 130
year old tradition, what exists only in Baltics, nowhere other in the world.
This is so called Song-festivals. (This translation isn’t adequate, sooner
it may be named Song-rithuals). Hundreds of choirs troughout the land are 5
years hard working to get up and polish a special repertoire of songs. Then
follows competition and selection the best. The result is choir with about
20,000 voices, well-trained and full of spirit. About the same number are
folk-dancers. There are a special place in Riga (in Vilnius and Tallinn,
too), with giant scene and public places. The main event lasts 3 days,
exclusive of arrangement.
Imagine late still summer evening, after the sunset. It is dark. 20,000
lighting candles in singers’ hands. Deep silence, then the choir quietly
starts singing “The Prayer”. What an egregor is raising upwards to Heaven!
It had been a success to defend this tradition in socialism, only the
repertoire was different – glory to Stalin, glory to Party, Russian and
brother-republics’ songs, and only some Latvian classic songs. Every five
If I’d have a success in searching this material in English, it will be
to give it to You.
I have a bit to say about underground bases and antenna arays, but it is
much for today.
All the best – Karl.