Retrospective Narratives of the Exile Latvians: Stories of the Displacement


In the result of the Second World War, Latvia not only lost its statehood, but also several hundred thousand of its inhabitants, part of whom fled to the West fearing the return of Soviet rule. At the end of the war, most part of these people did not consider it possible to return to Latvia, but found refuge in the different host countries instead. There they defined themselves as an exile community with a common goal and shared memories. After Latvia regained its independence, Latvian National Oral history archive started to collect exile Latvian’s life-stories. As the displacement marks a turning point (biographical disruption) in the lives of the exiles, they tend to recall this period in great detail in their life-stories. However, during the prolonged exile period, these stories have been shaped according to individual’s course of life, as well as a wider social and cultural context. Within this framework, the proposed paper will analyse the impact of the collective memory of the Latvian exile community on the stories of displacement of the individual exiles told more than fifty years after the events. The paper is prepared within the Project «Strengthening of the capacity of doctoral studies at the University of Latvia within the framework of the new doctoral model», identification No.

Dec 1, 2022 — Dec 2, 2022
Helsinki (Somija)
Maija Krūmiņa
vadošā pētniece

Vēsturniece, Latvijas Universitātes Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūta pētniece