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IZVĒLNE

Searching for relatives

How to research information on relatives who were soldiers during the Second World War or were refugees (DPs) in the West?

This information was prepared with input from Jānis Tomaševskis of the War Museum of Latvia (Latvijas Kaŗa Muzejs). Daugavas Vanagi thanks Jānis for his help in preparing this document.

Information from DV publications

  • The Daugavas Vanagi books: ”Latviešu kaŗavīrs otra pasaules kaŗā” have lists of the fallen, descriptions of battles, histories of individual units (regiments, battalions etc) and many individuals are named. These books have been scanned and can be searched for individual and place names. The books can be found here: http://www.dvcv.org.lv/latviesu_karavirs_otra_pasaules_kara_laika
  • The Daugavas Vanagi books: ”Laiks, telpa, ļaudis” chronicle Daugavas Vanagi activities across the globe in the period 1945-1991. and many individuals are named. These books have been scanned and can be searched for individual and place names. The books can be found here: http://www.dvcv.org.lv/laiks_telpa_laudis

Information about service in the Latvian Legion, POW camps and Soviet filtration camps

  • The History Archive of the Latvian State Archive (LNA LVAA) contains details about service in the Latvian Legion. There is also information about legionnaire passes and legionnaires in POW camps in the West.
  • The State Archive also contains information on prisoners in Soviet filtration camps and those who stood trial.

Information from German military archives

  • The German Federal Archive in Berlin (what was Deutsche Dienststelle) – contains information about those who served in German units and the fallen. Link: https://ej.uz/Dienststelle
  • The Military Archive of the German Federal Archive contains unit and other information. Link: https://ej.uz/Freiburg_MA

Information from LCK archived data

  • The Latvian Central Committee (Latvijas Centrālā Komiteja – LCK), was founded in refugee times and coordinated Latvian refugee activities. Though the organisation no longer exists, information about the LCK can be found here: Baltijas bēgļu nometnes Vācijā (archiv.org.lv).
  • At least some of the available information from the LCK archive can be found in the Latvian State Archive (Latvijas Valsts arhīvs: lvarhivs.gov.lv), or the History Archive (LNA LVAA see details above).

General information about refugees

Searchable information from historical publications

Various sources of historical archive information

  • It’s often possible to get information about Latvian Legionnaires from the War Museum (see below). They have access to DV materials and also a database that has been developed by a private individual, Udo Sietiņš, with more than 100 000 legionnaires’ names. It is hoped that this database will eventually be more widely available (the DV has offered to help). Here is an article that references the work of the War Museum and archives Vēsturnieks Jānis Tomaševskis: 16. martu nedrīkst paslaucīt zem paklāja – Dienas Ziņas (dienaszinas.lv)
  • The archive of the 15th Division of the Latvian Legion, and also information from the LCK, are contained in the Hoover Institute in Stanford University, in the USA (Hoover Institute). Most of that information has to be accessed in person (you need the permission of the USA DV to access the Legion archive). Eventually, the DV would like to make this material more easily accessible.
  • If your relative travelled to the UK from the refugee camps (many travelled on further to the USA or Canada via the UK), you can look for naturalisation documentation or other paperwork at the UK’s National Archive. It’s worth remembering that names and place names might have been spelled differently in British documents to Latvian ones.

The list of sources of further information, below, has been prepared by Jānis Tomaševskis:

Information about people from Latvia who served in various military units of Nazi Germany (the Latvian Legion and others).

1) THE LATVIAN WAR MUSEUM (including part of the Daugavas Vanagi Latvian Legion archive)

Address: Smilšu iela 20, Rīga

Phone: (+371) 67 228 147

E-mail: administracija@karamuzejs.lv

Web: http://www.karamuzejs.lv

 

2) THE LATVIAN NATIONAL ARCHIVE

The Latvian State History archive (LNA LVVA) – re service in the Latvian Legion

Address: Slokas iela 16, Rīga

Phone.: (+371) 67 613 118

E-mail: lvva@arhivi.gov.lv

Web: https://www.arhivi.gov.lv/lv/strukturvieniba/latvijas-valsts-vestures-arhivs

Online search tool (Search LNA): https://eresursi.arhivi.gov.lv/CoreBusiness/DescriptionUnits/F.PRP.VNB.A.MKL.aspx

Useful collections:

P-180. fonds – Waffen SS administration "Ostland" services (social insurance documentation for those mobilised into the Legion etc)
296. fonds - 15. Waffen SS Grenadieru Division (latviešu Nr. 1) HQ (the collection includes information on various persons, mostly officers)
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