Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, Riga

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 Reviews

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  • Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
    Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
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    Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Latvian Occupation museum

    by Raimix Updated Feb 25, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Exhibition - Soviet Union soldier

    This one museum shows Latvian history period in occupation by Soviet Union and Germany. Lot of interesting documents, guns, example of killing lager room, occupation coins and banknotes, stories of Latvian people about that period and much more.

    This museum is with a free entrance, if you want, you can give donation. This occupation period of 20th century is a period, mostly common to all Baltic States, and you can find such museums in Estonia and Lithuania as well.

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    Museum of Occupation

    by MalenaN Written Jan 9, 2009

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    Museum of Occupation
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    The Museum of Occupation is situated next to the House of Blackheads in a bunker like building. The museum was founded in 1993 and the exhibitions give an insight in the life of the Latvians during the Nazi and Soviet occupations between 1940 - 1991. In the exhibition there are many photos and documents and also different artefacts. There are some signs in English and a booklet for each part is available in English, German, Latvian and Russian. When I had spent some times in the museum I noticed that some of the visitors were using audio guides. They are probably available from downstairs, by the entrance.
    There was no admission.
    The museum is open between 11 - 17 on Tuesdays - Sundays. It is closed on Mondays.

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  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo

    History of Latvia

    by Toshioohsako Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Museum of Occupation gives a very good review of the Lativia's history from 1918 to present. It is hardly possible to know about this country and its future with out knowing the history of occupied Latvia. You will see the struggles and pains this country went through this period, as well as its striving energy for the future as an independent member of the international community. One needs to spend at least 2-3 hours in this museum in order to read and see all the historical events - both unbelievably tragic happenings and citizen's hard work and political struggles which led Latvia to an independent and free state .

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Occupation Museum: a litany of Latvian oppression

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jun 17, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    (work in progress)
    One the most interesting - but not necessarily the most pleasant - things to do in Riga is to visit the Occupation Museum, which is a moving tribute to the oppression that the Latvians have endured under successive waves of invasion and occupation throughout the 20th century. The sheer statistics on the percentage of the population that were killed by the Germans and particularly the Russians are terrifying - all the more so because the outside world is largely ignorant of the genocide that took place. In particular, I found it utterly chilling to see warrants of execution issued where the crime 'committed' is listed as no more than "being Latvian".

    The museum is housed in what can only be described as a hideous concrete bunker of a building. Inside, the exhibit is well thought out and provides a 'user friendly' perspective on a very sorry period of history that is accessible even to those with little or no knowledge of Soviet or Baltic politics. It is also admirable that the material is presented in English as well as Latvian. For me, the most sobering exhibit was a reconstruction of the interior of a barrack in an internment camp under Soviet occupation, and, in particular, the portable barrel-like toilet used by literally dozens of men (many of whom would have been suffering from diarrhoea and other stomach disorders). It reinforced the harshness of the 'living' (or should that be, 'dying'?) conditions and the lack of even basic privacy, which would have served to further dehumanise an opposed people. Depressing stuff.

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  • cbeaujean's Profile Photo

    st mary's cathedral and square

    by cbeaujean Written Oct 6, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    cathedral square and the dom

    all streets lead to this square as a focal point.
    in fact,created in 1936 when they demolished many buildings to give the oportunity to prime minister to speak to the people from a balcony....
    st mary,the dom,with a nice red brick structure and a gable like a hanseatic merchant's home and a bulbous dome...
    inside,a very interesting 6768 (!) pipes organ...

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Museum of the Occupation of Latvia

    by angiebabe Updated Dec 18, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the secret pact btwn the Soviets and Nazis
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    A MUSEUM MUST SEE....Of all the horror museums, such as HOlocaust museums and sites at Dachau and Auschwitz, the museums about the Burmese railway and immense cruelty inflicted by the Japanese and as much reading and docuementaries and films etc, I actually had to go and hide in the ladies loos and sob at the end of my visit here such I guess the impact at the enormity of the suffering and endurance needed to get through the cruelty dished out through the years to the peoples of this country....and in the end they got free by getting out in vast numbers and singing!

    An impressive museum giving account of the Soviet and Nazi occupations of Latvia and the impressive determination to reach eventual independence in 1991.

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  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    VISIT THE MUSEUM OF OCCUPATION OF LATVIA

    by DennyP Written Sep 22, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    THE MUSEUM OF OCCUPATION OF LATVIA...RIGA
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    I decided to view this museum as I had previously visited the Freedom Museum in Estonia..The museum was Established in 1993 to show what happenend here in Latvia during the years of Occupation from 1940 till 1991 firstly by The German Army and then The Soviet Occupational Forces. Life for Latvians living under the jackboot of these two regimes was relentless and extremely difficult for the local people to endure.These two talitarian regimes commited various crimes and attrocities from transportation and extermination to persecution or imprisonment to the peoples of Latvia and this museum goes some way in explaining these periods of Occupation.
    There are many various exhibits here that are showcased and there are Archive collections, some audio visul archives containing films and various testimonies, Photographs, artifacts,Uniforms,weapons etc...many Education programmes are in place for visiting local schools. and there is also a Travelling Exhibition called "Latvia Returns to Europe" and travels in Canada,Australia, and many European cities..

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  • mcblacktiger's Profile Photo

    Museum of Occupation

    by mcblacktiger Written Feb 23, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Poem Quotation from the museum

    Excellent free museum(donations suggested) about the Nazi and Soviet occupation of Latvia. Quite detailed and informative.

    Also very unusual for Eastern Europe the exhibits have been translated into English, along with Latvian and Russian.

    Becareful when you enter, there are many school and tourist group tours there and if start at the wrong time(like I did) you may be overrun and forced to speed up or slow down if you want to actually read anything.

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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Museum of Occupation

    by antistar Updated Nov 27, 2013

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    Voting slips for Soviet
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    The Museum of Occupation is a grim, but fascinating, portrayal of life under the different, and often brutal, occupiers this country has suffered. It mostly focuses on the crimes of the Soviet Union, but that's more recent so it isn't surprising. There's also a good amount on life under the Nazis, who many Latvians saw initially as liberators, only to discover they were no different to the Communists.

    In the Museum I found these voting slips (pictured) from Soviet elections. There's only one candidate. Some real Latvian slips were on show, with the single candidate's name crossed out, and replaced by handwritten entries like "comedy" and "long live free and independent Latvia." There was also a poster (pictured) about Churchill saying that the independence of the Baltic states was inviolable. Shortly later he signed the Yalta Accords giving them to Stalin.

    Probably the most memorable item was the "walk-in" Soviet prison cabin, where you could see exactly the conditions that Latvian prisoners, many of them political, had to suffer. There's a great piece on the history of the special Soviet "toilet made from a steel barrel", with the unpleasantness and indignities that imposed on Latvians, whose culture makes that kind of exposure especially unpleasant.

    It's all housed in the suitable stark and gloomy Museum of Occupation on the main square.

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    The Occupation Museum of Latvia

    by WanderingFinn Written Mar 6, 2007

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    Going to the Occupation Museum of Latvia
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    The Museum of the occupation of Latvia (1940-1991) is a very interesting place and a must for those Riga visitors who are interested in history.

    The museum was established in 1993 e.g. to provide information about Latvia and its people under two occupying totalitarian regimes from 1940 to 1991.

    Also it is there to remind the world of the wrongdoings committed by foreign powers against the state and people of Latvia.

    And last but not least, to remember those who perished, suffered and fled the terror of the occupying regimes.

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  • bonio's Profile Photo

    Occupation Museum of Latvia

    by bonio Written Jul 27, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Telling the history from 1940 until independance. Many photos of life under the Soviet and German occupations. Tells the story of resistance fighters too. A moving and unforgettable visit, recommend a visit. Entrance is free, donations well received though.

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  • lalikes's Profile Photo

    The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia

    by lalikes Written Oct 8, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Outside the museum

    Wonderful, small yet informative museum. Entrance fee is a voluntary donation. Hours vary but in general:
    May - Sept 11.00- 18.00
    Oct - April 11.00-17.00
    Closed Mondays

    Visitors are introduced to 51 years of occupations of Latvia in terms of the first Soviet occupation, the National Socialist occupations, followed by the second Soviet occupation. Filled with historical documents, artifacts, photos and personal keepsakes.

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  • Acirfa's Profile Photo

    Museum of Latvian Occupation

    by Acirfa Written May 1, 2008

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    The building that now houses the Latvian Occupation Museum has a completely different history. The Soviet building in the Square was erected in 1970 to house the Museum of the Latvian Riflemen, however from independence it has been used to display the atrocities of the double occupation from Latvia by Nazi Germany and later Communist USSR.

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  • kit_mc's Profile Photo

    Occupation Museum [Okupācijas muzejs]

    by kit_mc Written Mar 25, 2008

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    Latvijas Okupācijas muzejs, Riga
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    This museum is free and located in the heart of the Old Town. You'll notice it from the outside, a black cuboid building that is so ugly it is actually quite impressive.

    Housed in an old Soviet building the museum narrates Latvia's 20th century history of occupation and oppression, first at the hands of Soviets, then the brief but brutal Nazi occupation during World War II and then Latvia's forced re-integration into the Soviet Union.

    The exbition itself is rather good, with a great deal of detail. However, it's rather low on detail during the Nazi era, including Latvian's role in the Holocaust as well as just how autocratic early independence Latvian governments were - the museum is highly politicised and emotive.

    This isn't surprising given the circumstances - the matter of Latvian independence is a serious one here. The ever present strong arm of Russia is still a very real fear for many who can remember the attempts of Russian armed forces to stall the independence movement in 1991.

    All in all, a must see if you want to even begin to understand something of this small fiercely indepenent nation.

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    Museum of Occupation

    by Airpunk Written Aug 4, 2007

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    Museum of Occupation

    Perhaps, this is the “Odd man out” at town hall square. Standing, close to the House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads and the Town Hall, this is by far the most ugly building on the square. I think, it would even wind any competition within Riga hands down. Anyway, what makes it so special is not its mid-20th century architectural style, but its exhibition. That deals with the time of occupation, first by the Nazis and then by the Soviets. Surely, a difficult matter as the wounds from this time are quite fresh. I must admit that I haven’t visited the museum, but this is surely a place you have to visit, if you are interested in younger latvian history.
    By the way, before 1993, the museum was dedicated to the Latvian Riflemen – another controversial point in latvia-russian relationship.

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