Olukorrast Põhja-Lätis 1919. aasta alguses: Valga lätlaste avaliku elu tegelase Oto Hasmanise tunnistused [Abstract: Situation in the North of Latvia in early 1919: testimony by Latvian public figure from Valga Oto Hasmanis]


  • Ēriks Jēkabsons




The paper along with the published memoirs by Oto Hasmanis, a Latvian public figure who was active in Valga and its environs, written in 1928 and stored in the Fund of the Commission of War History in the State History Archives of Latvia, provide an insight into the developments and events in Valka and in the northern part of Vidzeme in general in early 1919 when this territory was liberated by the Estonian army and its Finnish unit. At that particular moment the northern part of Vidzeme was an arena of clash and interaction of the interests of several states, political and ethnic groups. Estonian authorities laid a serious claim on Valga and its environs, considering this territory as a part of their state. The local ethnic Latvian residents disagreed with it, in the situation that was similarly complicated all over Latvia expressing an unambiguous support for the Provisory Government of Latvia and for the announced mobilisation into the North-Latvian Brigade that stood under operative subordination to the Estonian Army. Among other aspects, O. Hasmanis describes the launching of the mobilisation campaign. The published document is an important piece of evidence both for local history, for the history of the period of the Independence War in Latvia in general as well as for the history of Estonia and even Finland in the respective period. The author among other things describes the overall situation in the newly liberated territories, the patriotism and activities of Latvian people, their relations with Estonian authorities and the very beginning of the formation of the Latvian armed forces in the respective district. What makes the memoirs a particularly valuable piece of evidence is the fact that O. Hasmanis was a direct eyewitness and participant of the described events and processes that were important for the history of the Independence War of Latvia.


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Author Biography

Ēriks Jēkabsons

(b. 1965) is Professor at the Faculty of History and Philosophy, University of Latvia. Eriks.Jekabsons@lu.lv