Латыши в белорусской истории: биографический справочник
The Latvian Trace in Belarusian History
Tolerance, openness and hospitality are traditional mental traits of the Belarusian people. For centuries, this land near inhabited by representatives of different nationalities that formed the uniqueness of the Belarusian society. But behind these general phrases are real people, whom we often forget, or rather, don't think at all.+
Latvians since ancient times live in the neighborhood with Belarusians. And our people have many common features formed in the course of history. After cancellation of serfdom in the Russian Empire mass migration of the Latvian peasants to other provinces, including the Belarusian has begun. Census of 1897th has shown that in the territory of modern Belarus about 20 thousand Latvians lived. Their number has increased significantly during the First World War, and then began to decline. Census of 1926th recorded in Belarus a little over 14 thousand Latvians (0,3%), which corresponded to the fifth largest national group. Years of "great terror" have considerably changed national structure of the state, it has shown the census of 1939th: in BSSR there were 8 100 Latvians (0,15%; corresponded to the 6th place). In 1970th in BSSR there were only 2 660 Latvians (0,03%, the 9th place), and in 2009 – 1 549 (0,02%, the 17th place).
This edition, we have sought to overcome this current faceless amorphous and try «to return» of specific people. We chose only 33 identity of Latvians origin, which, of course, not limited to «Latvian trace» on our land. Among them there are government officials and diplomatic person, priests, and security officers, artists and scientists, members of the resistance movement and collaborators. Some of them stood at the origins of the modern Belarusian statehood have promoted formation of many government institutions. Others worked on the spiritual field, were Orthodox, Catholics, Lutherans, develop culture, education and science. Some saving people and helping those in need, while others tortured and handed down death sentences. Some almost his entire life devoted to our country, and some only for a time stayed here. But most importantly - they had to leave their trace. At the same time we tried to not share all of them to the good or bad. This makes history. Every nation has its Saints and its Judases. We wanted to show the diversity of spheres of public life, where the Latvian sons and daughters adjusts the effort to create a better world (such as they had seen). We hope the reader will find in this book something interesting for himself that will allow him to better understand our society and our state. And the main thing - to see that the joint work people of different nationalities can lead to creation of strong society and a peaceful state. This is the main point of the Belarusian understanding of tolerance.