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 23645 - The Tragic Irony of Joseph's Commitment to an Independent Post-World War I Latvia $10.95   
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Eric Benjaminson

My paternal cousin Joseph was born in Latvia in 1900. Before his 19th birthday, the Courland Province of the Russian Empire was wracked by the devastation of the First World War, the forced emigration of many Jews to the Russian interior as suspected German collaborators (ironically), and the Latvian War of Independence that was triggered by the upheavals of World War One and the Russian Revolution. Joseph enlisted in the Latvian National Army to defend his homeland, fought in a pitched battle in Liepaja, and lost friends. He served for 3 more years after the victory of Latvian Independence, moved to Riga, married, had a daughter, and was killed in Riga's Central Prison in 1941 by Nazis and the very Latvians whose nationhood he had defended. This presentation will focus on the archival records that allowed Joseph's story to emerge and on the wider history of that troubled Baltic state.


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