Jaunā Gaita nr. 230, septembris 2002

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JG 230

We publish the conclusion of the play The Destroyer (Postītājs) by Raimonds Staprāns in this issue. The play takes place during the Soviet deportation of farmers from Latvia to Siberia in 1949.

Laimonis Mieriņš, a long-time contributor to this journal, discusses the major exhibition of nudes from the Victorian era (1839-1901) in the Tate Gallery in London this year. Voldemārs Avens describes the exhibition of large-format drawings by Edgars Jēriņš at the Tatistcheff Gallery in New York. Jēriņš is a member of the Association of Latvian Artists in America (ALMA).

A fascinating Soviet-era document is reprinted in this issue: the 1975 report of the Latvian SSR Ministers' Council Committee for the Protection of State Secrets to the Secretary of the Latvian Communist Party's Central Committee. The report describes in' detail many works that had been submitted to the censors for approval but had been rejected because they were clearly subversive. Among the authors whose works were criticized are Imants Ziedonis and Vizma Belševica.

Books and journals reviewed in this issue cover much of Latvia's history during the 20' century. We start with a sympathetic but objective biography of the current president of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, by Ausma Cimdiņa, reviewed by Gunars Zvejnieks. Ildze Kronta reviews Sandra Kalniete's story of how her family was persecuted by the Soviets with arrests and deportations. Kalniete herself, one of the leading participants in the Latvian Third Awakening that led to the collapse of the Soviet occupation of Latvia, was born during her mother's second exile in Siberia. Kronta appropriately points out that the story of Kalniete's family's persecution is only one of thousands of such stories. At about the same time as Sandra Kalniete's family was deported to Siberia for the second time, Latvian refugees in Germany were leaving Europe for their eventual homes in North America and Australia. Biruta Sūrmane reviews Emīls Dēliņš' memoir of Latvian refugees traveling to Australia and their first years there in 1947-1949. Sūrmane also reviews a book about the Latvian oral history project currently underway in Latvia and abroad. Juris Vīksniņš discusses prof. Gundars Ķeniņš-King's new book on modern business practice, while prof. King discusses the latest issue of the Journal of Baltic Studies (2002,1) published by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. The editorial seat of the Journal is now in Estonia at the University of Tartu, with prof. Andress Kasekamp as its editor. Benedikts Kalnačs reviews the latest issue of the Latvian literary monthly Karogs, while Rolfs Ekmanis, our editor-in-chief, examines a new journal in English called Latvian Literature, edited by Pauls Bankovskis. Andrievs Ezergailis reviews a short memoir of events in 1939/1940 by Mavriks Vulfsons, a member of the Latvian communist underground at that time.

Poetry in this issue is by Lolita Gulbe, Sarma Muižniece and Pauls Birznieks. Poet Jānis Elsbergs describes his trip to, and participation in, the Taras Shevchenko literary festival last year in the Donbass region of Ukraine. He concludes that the outcome of the current contest between Russian dominance and Ukrainian nationalism over the future of Ukraine is difficult to predict, since the two sides appear evenly matched. However, he predicts that probably soon Latvia will be able to advise others on how to overcome Russian influence.

Frank Gordon contributes a short article on the possibility that the Western Allies might have invaded the USSR after the end of World War II. Apparently such an invasion was not only considered, but encouraged by people such as American General George Patton. One of the reasons it did not happen was the fear that Russia might invade Turkey and Iraq and cut off access to the Iraqi oilfields. Indulis Ronis of the Latvian Institute of History discusses several factual errors that have been widely cited in the historical literature on the Holocaust in Latvia. Juris Žagariņš contributes a discussion of the ethnic composition of the city of Daugavpils (Dvinsk) from the Internet group Sveiks. Pēteris Cedriņš, who lives in Daugavpils, points out that it has never been a "Latvian" city. Jānis Krēsliņš describes a new documentary film about the Latvian Legion during World War II.

We are featuring an oil painting by Valda Oestreicher (p. 24) and a work by the photographer Vidvuds Ingelēvičs (p. 45). The cover is by Ilmārs Rumpēters

Ilze Valdmanis

Jaunā Gaita