Polish National Minority in Latvia. Brief Description and Activities



Poles in Latvia are one of the historical minorities of the land that have been dwelling beside Latvians for many centires and whose histories are closely intertwined. In different periods and depending on political and military conditions in the Baltic region the attachment and relations of the Polish nation with the Latvian lands was subject to changes. From the 16th through the 18th century, these relations were seen as “the relations of a lord to his conqered country”. On the other hand, in the interwar period of the 20th century Latvia and Poland enjoyed deep neighbourhood relations based on equal partnership. This was of primary import for the condition and awareness of Polish residents in Latvia.

Within the Latvian territory the area most connected to the Polish culture and identity as well as with Catholicism is Latgalia (former Polish Lovonia) – in particular its southern part where until the 20th century Poles had been represented by the aristocracy (as in northern Latgalia) but also among the peasantry. After the Polish-Swedish truce in 1629, the area in question had been retained in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until the First Partition of Poland in 1772 when it was incorporated into Russia. Nevertheless, the Polish landowners had sustained their influences until the January Insurrection of 1863 and even further until the promulgation of independent Latvia in the 20th century. The genealogy of Polish landowners in Latgalia is very interesting for some famous families (the Platers, Manteuffels, Reutts, Mohls and others) descend from entirely Polonized German nobility.[1]

At the outset of the 19th century, south Latgalia, which bordered with Russia and Belarus, was the area of considerable influx of Orthodox peasants to the estates of Polish and Russian landowners. They arrived from the aforesaid lands and settled next to Latvian farmers and Russian Orthodox Old Believers, who had come to this land back in the 18th century. The existing language cicumstances caused the nationality-unconscious Latvian peasantry to adopt Belarusian. On the other hand, a number of them spoke Polish. There are many records of this phenomenon also in Polish historical writings. For instance, an outstanding socialist, Bolesław Limanowski, who spent his childhood in southern Latgalia in the 1840s and 1850s, reported that in the villages located in the vicinity of his father’s estate “older people used to talk Latvian, while the younger generations tend to switch to Belarusian”. The houses of the nobility and the church was the arena of indiputable domination of the Polish tongue.[2]

The 1863 Insurrection entailed Russian repression of Polish landowners. However, the authorities’ endeavours brought an adverse effect – Catholic peasantry opposed the nuisance of the Orthodox religion and sought shelter in the landowners’ estates where their children were offered semi-legal Catholic education. This is how the Polinization of some of the peasantry continued.

A closer look at the condition in the 19th century Latgalia provides a clue to the issue widely discussed in the 1920s and 1930s in Latvia which concerned the ethnical roots of the Polish minority in Latvia. Some Latvian authors maintained that the figures related to the Polish population in Latvia as given by the statistics could not be trusted because they included Polinized Latvians and Belarusians. They further argued that Poles, as opposed to Russians, had never arrived in Latgalia – which no doubt was a Polish region in Latvia – on a large scale. This argument was not air-tight (in fact, the landowners brought large number of peasants to some communes – also from Poland; this being corroborated by the consecutive population censusi of 1897) but reflected certain rule. Among the Poles arriving in Latgalia there were mostly priests, teachers, officials, craftsmen, etc. An exception to this rule was the influx of a large number of Poles to the Ilukste Poviat of the Courland Province (where Poles were not bound by the land purchase ban issued after the 1863 Insurrection) at the end of the 19th century. This thesis is supported by the a peculiar occurrence of the inhabitants changing their nationality between the subsequent censuses. For example, the Kraslava Commune in 1925 was inhabited by 984 Poles, in 1930 by 1,266, and in 1935 by 647 Poles; the Posin Commune in 1925 was home of 1,124 Poles, in 1930 1,814, and in 1935 of 863 Poles.[3] By contrast, the representatives of the Polish political and social organisations represented that the number of Poles was falsely reduced – this claim was in fact well-grounded (in particular after the 1934 coup when the government launched a far-reaching Latvianization of all the spheres of country’s life). As a matter of fact, the majority of nationality-wavering inhabitants are often referred to by the Polish historians of the Eastern Borderland as “the locals”. They were easily influenced by external pressure with regard to the definition of nationality. As far as the locals in Latvia are concerned, their national affiliation was almost impossible to define, since it combined the Polish, Russian, Belarusian and Latvian elements.

To encapsulate, at the turn of the 19th century, Latgalia ceased to be the only Latvian land inhabited by Polish communities. Industrial revolution attracted Poles along with Lithuanians from neighbouring provinces (Vitebsk, Vilnius, Kovno) to Riga and Liepāja. In 1897 the Polish population in Riga reached 13,415 (in 1913 – it was 45,562) and in Liepaja 6,015 (65,056 in the entire territory of today’s Latvia).[4] In 1878 with the establishment of the Catholic Charity Society of Riga, Polish social activity was initiated. It continued through a number of other organisations of different character – mutual assistance societies, educational associations, students’ associations in Riga Technical University, etc. Riga was the base for few private elementary schools and two junior high schools. Yet, the Great War played havoc with everyday lives of Latvia’s inhabitants. Plants, schools, state and private institutions were relocated to Russia followed by droves of Poles replaced at home by war refugees from Poland and Lithuania.

On 18 November 1918 Riga was the scene of the proclamation of the independent Latvian Republic. However, the Provisional Government gained control over the country as late as in summer 1919 and the years after they managed to free the country from German, Soviet and White Army troops. Poles were a considerable minority in the new state. They were the fourth (third after the relocation of Germans in autumn 1939 – under a German-Soviet agreement) most numerous community after Russians, Germans and Jews.


Table 1. The nationalities in the Latvian Republic (19181940)






























































Source: Latvijas statistikas gada grāmata, 1929, Rîga 1930, pp. 35; Latvijas statistikas gada grāmata, 1936, Rîga 1937, pp. 811.


All the minorities in 1934 enjoyed almost unrestrained freedom in the development of political and social activity, education, press, etc. Germans, Jews, Russians and Poles had their representatives in the Latvian parliament – the Saeim. Some changes were instituted after the May 1934 military coup when Prime Minister K. Ulmanis used the Aizsargs organisationa and the army as well as the arguments against the democratic system in Latvia to suspend the sittings of the parliament and institute authoritarian rule. One of his endeavours was the Latvianisation of all spheres of state’s and citizens’ activity, including minorities which, however, were permitted to continue their educative and social activity.

Russians comprised a more numerous minority. They were mainly Latgalia peasants and low classes in large towns (Riga) although there was an prominent group of pre-revolution and anti-Bolshevik Russian intelligentsia of considerable influence over the peasantry. Riga became one of the most popular destination for Russian political dissidents in Europe. Yet, if compared to other minorities, Russians had were the least educated.

Germans were very much standing out as a national minotiry. Before the Great War, they were a dominating group in the Baltic provinces (Courland and Livonia) whatever the field of activity. They were landowners, industrialists, merchants, official workers, etc. The Germans who stayed in Latvia after 1918 were compelled to adapt to live in the new independent state. Most of them succeded and as far as 1939, when they abandoned Latvia, they had been the most effectively organized, socially unified and best educated minority. We need to underline that in the 1930s part of Baltic Germans (chiefly the youth) were under the influence of the ideology of national socialism.[5]

An exceptional and tightly-knit Latvian minority were Jews. They settled in large cities (Riga, Liepaja, Daugavpils) and smaller towns of Latgalia. In 1930 almost half of Latvian jews worked in trade and less than one percent in farmin (in 1935: 26.0% and 0.1% respectively; there was a growth in the employment level in industry).[6] Latvia had an array of Jewish organisations and schools. Jews were not uniform politically and pursued both leftist (pro-Soviet and pro-Marxist) and nationalist outlook.

The majority of Belarusians dwelled in Latgalia and the Ilūkste Poviat. They worked in farming and in terms of national consciousness they were the most impaired among the minority groups. This is proven by irregular and hard-to-explain changes in the Belarusian population in some communes, towns and the entire country (for example, in the years 19201925). We may claim for a certainty that many Belarusians (mainly in the early 1920s) were named “the locals” on account of their indefinite belonging. On the other hand, Belarusian minority community did exist and had their organisations and a network of elementary schools.

Lithuanians chiefly took up farming in the area near Latvian-Lithuanian border. Riga was the centre of Lithuanian activity with a junior high school and a number of social organisaions. Estonians were primariyl employed in farming, yet there were also the representatives of Estonian labourers and intelligentsia. Riga was home to social life of Estonians supported by the Estonian diplomatic mission. Gypsies primarily led a nomadic life.

The Latvian census of 1920 recorded 52,244 Poles (3.4% of overall population). Out of this number 40,782 persons were Latvian citizens. Among the residents of Riga there were 7,935 Poles (4.3% of the entire population), in Liepaja – 2,904 (5.6%), Daugavpils – 8,178 (28.3%), Griva – 855 (34.8%), Kraslava – 506 (14.2%), Rezekne – 1,231 (12.3%). Most Poles – 72.7% – in 1920 were employed in farming (mainly in Latgalia and the Ilūkste Poviat). Industry employed only 10.4%, transport – 4.2%. The percentage of literate ones among Poles in 1920 was relatively low (57.7%) but in 1935 reached 82.0%. In 1920 Latvian was spoken by 29.4% Poles (mostly the residents of Riga and Liepāja), but in 1935 this number rose several times.[7] At the end of 1921, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that from among Poles dwelling in Latgalia only few dozen have higher education, few hundred – middle education and the remaining ones were not recorded; there were many illiterates; correct Polish was spoken only at church; in towns Poles spoke a mixture of Polish and Russian, in the country – Belarusian. The ministry attributed this to Russian repression,[8] which is only partly true. The process of the mixing of different nationalities in Latgalia, caused by many factors, also played a role. Its integral part was the Polonization and Russification of the Latvian and Belarusian peasantry. The proof of this phenomenon was a substantial number of Polish names among the Polish school graduates in the 1920s and 1930s in Latvia. Those Polonized manifested strong opposition to the Latvian authorities’ attempts at Latvianization. This means that despite their inherited names many of them – as opposed to the frequent instances of the so called “locals”, the people without specified national consciousness – considered themselves Poles and displayed national awareness and Polish mentality. They were a peculiar Latvian stem of the Polish nation with their own unique history.

In the 1920s and 1930s and earlier, some Polish scientists and politicians overstated the number of Poles in Latvia up to 80,000 and even 120,000 for political reasons. Well known for his extremely reactionary attitude to Lithuania and Latvia, W. Studnicki, claimed that there were 70,000 Poles only in Latgalia,[9] and E. Maliszewski tried to prove that Poles in Latgalia account for at least 18.47% of population.[10] A contemporary Polish historian, J. Albin, provides the most objective standpoint saying that when estimating the number of Poles in Latgalia, E. Maliszewski added all non-Latvian Catholics in one poviat and half of Catholic Belarusians from the remaining two poviats.[11] The local conditions were not taken into account in which the ethnically-unaware peasantry in 1897 associated Catholicism with Polishness. Besides, some more factors were neglected, i.e. the elevation of Latvian national consciousness in the 1910s and the outflow of many Poles during and after the Great War. On the other hand, Latvian authorities claimed that in the 1921 census the number of Poles had been artificially raised by way of some external factors.[12] However, the censuses in the 1920s and 1930s (besides the last census of 1935 when there were instances of data being distorted in the Ilūkste Poviat by correcting the “nationality” entries in the surveys[13]) should be regarded as fairly objective and reflecting the actual state of affairs.

The multi-cause fluctuation in the number of Latvian Poles was not glaring and they accounted for about 3% of the population. This number was not overwhelming, albeit in Latgalia, which was home to half of Latvian Poles, some traditions of religious and social life developing under Polish influences were still preserved. In 1930 the percentage of Polish residents in Daugavpils, Kraslava and Ilukste exceeded 20%. Latvian Poles dwelled chiefly in urban areas: the most in Riga – 16,571 (4.4% of the capital inhabitants). Until 1940 there had been a constant growth of Poles among the Latvian citizens. In 1935 there were 42,390 Poles (86.6%). Among the remaining ones, 4,771 were Polish citizens, others had Lithuanian, German, Estonian and Soviet citizenship; there was also a group of the so called “non-nationals” (1,271). In 1935, the distribution of Poles in different professions remained for the most part the same as in the 1920 census: 12,818 (47%) people worked in farming, 8,112 (24%) in industry, 1,641 in trade and 928 in transport.[14] Generally speaking, the economic condition of Poles and the level of their education failed to keep up with the German and Jewish minorities, whose representatives dominated industry and business, medical and legal services, etc. (there were rare instances of Polish entrepreneurship widely advertised in the Polish press).

However, the actual number of Poles residing in Latvia in the 1930s was greater if we include farm workers coming from Poland for temporary of permanent stay and not officially registered. Upon the outbreak of the World War II, there were 26,000 such people in Latvia, some intending to remain for good.[15]

As early as in 1919, Poles had the representation in the Latvian provisional legislative body – Latvian National Council; from 1922 on Poles had been present in all Latvian parliamentary bodies. Polish representatives were elected to the self-governments of Riga, Liepaja, Daugavpils and smaller towns and communes of Latgalia.[16] As motioned by the Polish envoi in Latvia in 1922, on the occasion of the first Saeim election, Poles established the Polish Assocaition in Latvia – the only political organisation in the country (in 1932 it was renamed as Polish National Union in Latvia). The votes collected by the Polish electoral list was gradually increasing, yet it never exceeded 17,000 (two seats in the parliament). The Member of Parliament J. Wierzbicki held the position of the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs for a few years. The Polish National Union, together with other organisations, was dissolved after the 1934 coup. From 1922 to 1940, a number of Polish press titles was coming out.

In 1919 independent Latvia permitted Polish education – elementary schools, from the early 1920s three junior high schools, and later one vocational school. In 1921 the Ministry of Education created the Polish Educational Board (next to the existing Jewish, Russian anad German boards) which had supervised Polish schools until 1934 (after the 1934 coup only appropriate officers were employed in the ministry). The year 1931 opened with the largest number of Polish schools – 49, and learners – 5,992. Later, the numbers dwindled and in 1939 they were 18 and 2,149 respectively. The majority of Polish graduates of junior high schools in Latvia continued their education in Latvian or Polish universities (in 1929 120 Latvian Poles studied in Poland)[17].

Of particular earnestness was the social and cultural activity of the minorioties, including the Polish one. Polish social organisations resumed or began to function as early as in 1919 in Liepâja and Riga and in 1920 in Daugavpils. Initially, it was the domain of charitable, educational and Catholic movements – later supported by youth, musical, professional (teachers), farming and sports organisations (the athletes of the Reduta Sports Club had achievements at a national level, some were the representatives of Latvian national team). From 1934 there were annual sporting events for Latvian Poles. There was a Polish theatre and few puppet theatres. At the beginning of the 1920s, Polish scouting was formed within the Latvian scouting organisation. All these organisations had preserved steady relations with Poland (in particular with Vilnius) until 1939. In 1938 the Association of Latvian Poles was instituted by combining all six organisations and gathering over 3,400 people.[18] Polish organisations attached much attention to the dissemination of patriotism – in which they were mostly successful.

It was during the war for liberation when many Poles enlisted in the Latvian army to fight Latvia ememies as volunteers or called up servicemen. Nine were awarded the highest military decorations for heroism – Lāčplēsis Orders.[19] In peacetime, Poles were active participants of the social life of Latvia offering their talents as artists, painters, etc. Latvia was home of a renowned Polish poetess O. Daukszta and a painter Z. Romer.

With the outbreak of the World War II, the Polish social activity in Latvia was not suppressed, despite the evacuation of the diplomatic mission (Polish organisations in latvia ceased to receive financial aid from Poland and Polish emigrants in the USA). Quite the contrary, Polish organisations intensified their operations, including clandestine ones, and provided the Polish was refugees in Latvia with both legal and illegal assistance (money collections, celebrations, etc.). Owing to the help of local Poles, many interned Polish servicemen managed to flee to Sweden (they travelled by the sea and in winter across the ice-bound waters).[20]

In the first days of September 1939 few young Poles volunteered to the Polish Army but the Polish diplomatic mission was made to reject them. Later, this youth established a clandestine organization, the Liberation of Poland.[21]

It is believed that the minorities were not deprived of their social and cultural privileges also after 1934; truly, their development was hampered by the authorities’ decisions on reducing their influence – primarily of Germans and Russians. Their political and economic domination had been an obstacle in working our positive relations with the authorities in earlier times. Consequently, the most active representatives of the minorities were expected to show contentment. Nevertheless, the wise economic policy of the Latvian government of the late 1930s caused more affirmative attitude of the minorities many of which felt associated with and increasingly loyal the country. This was particularly evident in the keen participation of many minority representatives in the national and paramilitary organisation Aizsargi. It was the group used by President K. Ulmanis 1934 to carry out the 1934 rebellion. In 1938 the organisation (similar in its goals and tasks to the Polish Riflemen’s Association) gathered 173 Poles (including 53 women). A relatively sizeable number of Poles were servicemen – officers and non-commissioned officers – in the Latvian Army and police. For instance, 15 Poles served in the Border Batallion guarding the Polish-Latvian border in 1940 (compared to only one representative of Lithuanian minority).[22] Few Latvian Poles – social activists – were conferred national decorations.

In June 1940 Latvia fell under the Red Army occupation and in August was incorporated into the USSR. In July and August, first NKVD repression began against Latvian citizens considered a threat to the Soviet authority. It also affected numerous Poles who, like many Latvians, were grief-stricken and anxious about the occupation. Among the arrested, exiled (14 June 1941) and executed citizens there were many Polish priests, social activists, ex-officers of the Latvian Army, policemen, aizsargs. In 1940 the Soviets banned al most all social organisations, including minority initiatives. Only the minority schools were able to continue their operation, yet after some time were also subject to Sovietisation.[23]

On 22 June 1941, Germany assaulted her former ally the USSR, which put Latvians in a new and unfamiliar, yet tragic and ghastly situation. The German census of 1943 revealed that the Latvian district was inhabited by 38,191 Poles – much fewer than after the previous census in 1935. Meanwhile, Poles were not particularly migrating (as opposed to Jews who partly – tens of thousands of poeple – retreated to the Soviet Union in 1941 with the Red Army). Quite the contrary, in 1943 in Latvia there was a group of former Polish farm workers who had failed to register as permanent residents as they were foreigners. Hence the conclusion that under German occupation it was more convenient for many Poles (or individuals of unspecified nationality who, for some reasons, declared Polish citizenship) to pretend Belarusians (their number in 1943 reached 40,699), Lithuanians (24,158 people) or Latvians.[24]

The attitude of German authorities to national minorities was different. In 1941 and 1942, the remaining Latvian jews were exterminated – about 60,00070,000 people in total. Germans were favourably inclined towards anti-Bolshevik social and political activity in Russian and Belarusian communities; by contrast, they were explicitly hostile towards the Polish minority. Only in autumn 1943 the authorities consented to the opening an elementary four-grade school in Riga with two teachers but. Unfortunately, one was soon arrested and the school closed.[25] Generally speaking, the attitude of Latvian Poles to the occupant was adamant. In 1941 they were eagerly joining Polish underground movement. Latvia had a Polish secret intelligence structure under the Union for Active Struggle, later Home Army. Of particular weight were the operations of the sabotage group Wachlarz. Many Poles were arrested by the Gestapo, executed or confined to concentration camps.[26]

The circumstances in Latvia during the World War II had an impact on the Latvian Poles’ attitude to the new circumsyances. The decisive factor was the Soviet repressions of 1940 and 1941. In June and July 1941, Germans – the established and historical enemy of Latvians – were for the first time in history greeted in Latvia as liberators, by both Latvians and Latvian Poles. According to the testimony of the Polish social activist N. Liberys, Poles accepted the Soviet defeat with relief.[27] At the onset of the occupation, Latvia hoped that Germans would return its independence and the relatives of the victims of Soviet tyranny would be able to seek revenge in continuing the guerrilla war or later serving as policemen. Many Polish soldiers of the 24th Red Army Territorial Corps formed from the former Latvian Army joined the partisan forces in summer 1941 to chase the Soviet detachments in retreat. Surprisingly and sensationally, a number of Polish volunteers enrolled in the supporting police units in the towns of Latgalia. We know of at lest four Poles who served in the Daugavpils police in 1941 and H. Szutkow – an ex-scout and member of the Association of Latvian Poles joined the Rēzekno police in July.[28]

The new occupants were far from instituting independent Baltic states. At the beginning of 1943, a series of failures in the front triggered the organisation of the so called Latvian Legion to oppose the Red Army. Almost all Latvian citizens – Latvians and Russians – were forced to join the legion or were called to arms. Likewise, many Poles who were registered as Latvians during the 1935 census shared their neighbour’s lot. There was also a group of Poles who enlisted in this military structure on their own.[29]

All things considered, the Poles of Latvia treated both German and Soviet regime with outright and equal hostility. At the closing stages of the war, numerous Poles and thousands of Latvians left their homeland and headed for the west seeking shelter from Soviet occupation. After the war, a large number of the refugees remained in Western Europe and some in Poland. Those who stayed in Latvia were exposed to further Soviet repression. It is worth noting that Poles represented a significant force in the Latvian anti-Soviet underground guerrilla army. Besides, they were the only nationality group which had their own guerrilla detachments. In 1944 and 1945, a military unit commanded by a local farmer Worsław operated in the Kaplava Commune and later in western Belarus.[30]

After the war, from all the minorities in Latvia, only the number of Poles remained roughly unchanged (in 195952.8 thousand, 197063 thousand, 197962.7 thousand, 198960.4 thousand). However, due to Russification and colonization of Latvia, the percentage of Poles decreased from 2.8% in 1959 to 2.3% in 1989. Since 1979 Poles has been again the fourth largest community in Latvia after Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians. A number of Poles arrived to Latvia from western Belarus and western Ukraine.

Poles in Latvia together with Latvians and other local national groups were subject to Russification and Sovietisation.[31] In 1948, the Polish school was closed down in Daugavpils and in 1949 in Riga. Only Latvian and Russian didactic centres were left. In Latgalia there were vast areas where children were able to attend only Russian schools. During the Soviet rule, Latvian Poles underwent a twofold process: in Riga, Liepaja and other towns they were Latvianised due to the direct exposure to Latvian influences. On the other hand, chiefly in w Latgalia, the local Poles, Latvians and other nations were doomed to mass Russification. The effects of this policy have been observable until today; in some communes there are Russian-speaking communities of Catholic denomination. This mostly pertains to the middle-aged and young generation. It is often the case that the people of Polish descent speak Polish only at home or even use the mixture of Polish, Russian and Belarusian. In 1959 55.3% Poles admitted to Polish being their mother tongue; in 197032.5%, and in 1979 – only 21.1%. At the same time, increasingly more Poles accepted Russian as their mother tongue (in 197037.7%, in 197944.7%). In 1989 only 16,520 Poles spoke Polish. The remaining ones spoke Russian (32,734), Latvian (8,895), Belarusian (1,766), Ukrainian (310), other (191). All in all, 37.6% of Poles used Latvian, 87.9% Russian and 27.1% Polish.[32] It is worth noting that among Ukrainians and Belarusians the knowledge of their mother tongue has always been relatively poor.

It was possible only under perestroika in the USSR to revive the social and political life of the national minorities in Latvia. Poles led the way in this revival beginning with 1988. Together with Latvians they struggled for Latvian independence which was successfully regained in August 1991. Currently, there are few Polish organisations in Latvia publishing their periodicals, 6 Polish state schools – in Riga (also high school), Daugavpils, Rezekne, Kraslava and Jekabpils and Polish scouting. Nevertheless, only about 1,500 people take an active part in Polish social life and the Polish schools are attended by 800 children. These numbers are not staggering, yet promising; hopefully, the Polish minority in Latvia will remain an integral element of the life of Latvia which has always been home to this specific branch of the Polish nation. This element is also a crucial factor in the development and preservation of good Polish-Latvian relations.


[1] On the politcal stance of Polish landowners in Latgalia, see: Jēkabsons, E. “Zaangażowanie państwowo-polityczne szlachty polskiej z Łatgalii w pierwszej ćwierci XX wieku”, Przegląd Wschodni, vol. IV, issue 3 (15), 1997, pp. 513522.

[2] Limanowski, B. Pamiętniki (18351870), Warszawa 1957, p. 48.

[3] More in: Jēkabsons, E. Poļi Latvijā, Rīga 1996, p. 15.

[4] Первая всеобщая перепiсь Россiйской имперiи, 1897 г. Курляндская губерния, С.-Петербург 1905, p. 78; Первая всеобщая перепiсь Россiйской имперiи, 1897 г. Лифляндская губерния, С.-Петербург 1905, p. 78; Перепiсь населенiя в г. Риге и Рижском патрiмональном округе от 5 декабря 1913 г., Рига 1914, p. 21; Первая всеобщая перепiсь Россiйской имперiи, 1897 г. Витебская губерния, С.-Петербург 1903, p. 260.

[5] Cf: Topij, A. Ludność niemiecka wobec rusyfikacji guberni bałtyckich 18821905, Bydgoszcz 1997; Topij, A. Mniejszość niemiecka na Łotwie i w Estonii 19181939/41, Bydgoszcz 1998.

[6] Dribins, L. Ebreji Latvijā, Rīga 1996, p. 15.

[7] Latvijas statistiskā gada grāmata. 1920, Rîga 1921, pp. 10, 13, 21, 36; Latvijas statistikas gada grāmata. 1939, Rîga 1939, p. 9.

[8] New Records Archive, Collection of Document Copies, vol. 4, b. 197.

[9] Thugutt, S. Polska i Polacy, Warszawa 1915, p. 20; Wakar, W. Rozwój teritorialny ludności polskiej, Kielce 1917, part III, p. 42; Studnicki, W. Zarys państw bałtyckich. Finlandia, Łotwa, Estonia, Warszawa 1924, p. 94.

[10] Maliszewski, E. Polacy i polskość na Litwie i Rusi, Warszawa 1916, p. 20; Maliszewski, E. Polacy na Łotwie, Warszawa 1922, p. 14.

[11] Albin, J. Polski ruch narodowy na Łotwie w latach 19191940, Wrocław 1993, p. 14.

[12] Latvijas Valsts vēstures arhīvs (State Historical Archives, hereafter: LVVA), coll. 2574, descr. 3, file 92, p. 113.

[13] Cf: LVVA, coll. 1308, descr. 12, files 1277712780. (surveys of Demensk Commune residents).

[14] Latvijas statistiskā gada grāmata, 1939, p. 9; LVVA, coll. 5622, descr. 1, file 16, p. 4.

[15] LVVA, coll. 2574, descr. 3, file 3310, pp. 127, 137. More in: Jēkabsons, E. “Uchodźcy wojskowi i cywilni z Polski na Łotwie 1939–1940”, Łossowski, P., Znamierowska-Rakk, E., eds. Studia z dziejów Rosji i Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, vol. XXX, Warszawa 1995, pp. 147148.

[16] LVVA, coll. 3723, descr. 2, file 146, pp. 111, 233, 362; file 1042.

[17] More in: Jēkabsons, E. “Szkolnictwo polskie na Łotwie w okresie międzywojennym”, Biuletyn Historii Wychowania, 1997, issues 12 (56), pp. 4348.

[18] More in: Albin, J. Polski ruch narodowy na Łotwie w latach 19191940, Wrocław 1993; Jēkabsons, E. “Mniejszość polska w Republice Łotewskiej, Polacy na Łotwie, Rev. Walewander, E., ed., Lublin 1993, pp. 151172.

[19] After: LVVA, coll. 1304, descr. 1 (personal files of the Knights of the Lāčplēsis Order).

[20] LVVA, coll. 3235, descr. 1/1, file 502, p. 13.

[21] Chlebowski, C. Cztery z tysiąca, Warszawa 1981, p. 216.

[22] LVVA, coll. 1640, descr. 1, file 657, p. 2; coll. 1373, descr. 2, file 1991.

[23] Liberys, N. Polacy na Łotwie w okresie II wojny światowej”, Niepodległość, vol. 18, Nowy Jork–Londyn 1985, pp. 160163.

[24] Mežgailis, B., Gailītis, V. Latvijā dzīvojošie etnosi un to cilvēku skaits 18971989 gadā, Rîga 1990, p. 16 A.

[25] Statistikas brīvprātīgo korespondentu rokasgrāmata 1943 gadam, Rîga 1943, p. 312.

[26] More in: Chlebowski, C. Cztery z tysiąca, Warszawa 1981, pp. 213229; Chlebowski, C. Wachlarz, Warszawa 1983, pp. 209233; Cygański, M. “Polski ruch oporu na Łotwie w czasie II wojny światowej, Polacy na Łotwie, Rev. Walewander, E., ed., Lublin 1993, pp. 253272; Skierszkan-Skierski, F. “Walka Polonii ryskiej w podziemiu polskim”, Polak na Łotwie, 1992, issue 7, pp. 2426; 1993, issue 13, pp. 1923; Krukowska, W. “Działalność ośrodków polskich w Rezekne”, Czas Łatgalii, 1995, issue 4.

[27] N. Liberys, “Polacy na Łotwie w okresie II wojny światowej”, Niepodległość, vol. 18, Nowy Jork–Londyn 1985, pp. 160163.

[28] LVVA, coll. 1371, descr. 1, file 31, p. 122; coll. 1398, descr. 1, file 31, p. 1; file 25, p. 18.

[29] Vaivods, J. Septiņi mēneši Liepājas cietoksnī, Rîga 1990, p. 61. (Memoires of Cardinal J. Vaivods).

[30] Latvijas Valsts arhīvs, coll. 1986, descr. 1, file 8519, p. 49.

[31] More in: Eberhardt, P. “Sytuacja narodowościowa w Republice Łotewskiej”, Przegląd Wschodni, vol. IV, issue 3 (15), pp. 487512.

[32] 1989 gada tautas skaitīšanas rezultāti Latvijā, Rîga 1992; Mežs, I. Latvieši Latvijā, Rîga 1994, pp. 25, 51.