A hard-hitting history of the Soviet security police and Latvia over a century of oppression - with Latvians as both oppressors and oppressed.Up Against the Wall details the methods of a brutal totalitarian regime and the bloody twists and turns of Latvia's long and complicated relationship with the Soviet security police. This is not for the squeamish. At the KGB headquarters in Riga - the Corner House, or Stura Maja - suspects were processed, questioned and even executed during the periods of Soviet rule in 1940-41 and then 1944-1991. The author presents harrowing personal testimonies of those imprisoned, tortured and deported to Siberian gulags by the KGB, drawing from museum archives and interviews translated into English for this book as well as from de-classified CIA files, KGB records and his own research in Latvia. He interviews human rights activists, partisans, KGB experts and those who led Latvia to independence in the 1990s and explores the role of Latvian KGB double agents in defeating anti-Soviet partisan groups and the West's Cold War spying missions. Ironically it was the feared Latvian Riflemen who helped crush the Bolsheviks' political rivals after the 1917 Revolution and defeat the British-backed White generals in the vicious Civil War of 1918-22, while Latvia itself became independent. Their reward was top jobs in the Soviet regime, including in the Cheka security police, the forerunner to the NKVD and KGB. But Stalin turned on the Latvians in the 1930s and mercilessly purged the old guard. When the Baltics were carved up by Hitler and Stalin, the Red Army killed or deported anyone opposing Soviet power in a period known as the `Year of Terror'. Fifty years of occupation followed WWII as through the Cold War and into the late 1980s Latvian society was in the grip of the KGB. Even more than 25 years after the regime collapsed, its secrets have still not been revealed.
Product code: BTPKN
Publisher: Helion & Company
Dimensions: 16.9cm x 24.1cm
Publish date: 15/01/2019
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