Liquidation of the Senate

The print version

The Senate continued its work until 26 November 1940, when the People’s Commissioner of Justice issued an order, effective immediately, dismissing the senators.

The senators, even though having lost their position, remained loyal to the Latvian State, did not become collaborationists and did not cooperate with the Soviet government. The senators became involved in a series of political campaigns aimed at safeguarding and restoring the independence of the Republic of Latvia, for example, preparing a list of candidates loyal to the Latvian State for the elections of July 1940, signing the political memorandum of the Latvian Central Council on restoring de facto independence of the Republic of Latvia in 1944.

Repressions against senators

Repressions carried out also affected the judiciary. Of the 16 senators serving at the time of Soviet occupation and out of seven former senators then remaining in Latvia, only three stayed in Latvia.

All former senators were sentenced to death by being shot. Some of them died before the execution of the sentence.  

Died after deportation: Teodors Bergtals, Karlis Ducmanis, Jekabs Grots, Osvalds Ozolins, Janis Skudre, Fridrihs Vesmanis, Fricis Zilbers.

Senators in exile

Thirteen senators went into exile before or at the end of the Second World War.

The opinion prepared by the Senators of the Senate of Latvia in exile on the Constitution of 1922 being in force under the conditions of occupation was of special significance – it clearly defined the continuity of the Latvian State.

Senators died in exile:

In Germany - Aleksandrs Gubens, Janis Kalacs, Fridrihs Konradi, Augusts Lebers, Karlis Purins, Voldemars Zamuels;

In the USA - Rudolfs Janis Alksnis, Janis Balodis, Maksis Ratermanis, Augusts Rumpeters, Peteris Sterste;

In Sweden - Mintauts Cakste, Peteris Leitans.