"Experiencing Totalitarianism" by Andrejs Plakans

02.12.2014. 19:09
(below information from www.earthtimes.org)

AMES, Iowa, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In a new book, "Experiencing Totalitarianism: The Invasion and Occupation of Latvia by the USSR and Nazi Germany 1939-1991" (published by AuthorHouse - http://www.authorhouse.com/), Andrejs Plakans premiers a documentary history of the former USSR and Nazi Germany's presence on Latvian soil, the administrations they created, the policies they implemented and the institutions of control they developed.

In the course of World War II, the Republic of Latvia was occupied and annexed by the USSR in June of 1940. A year of Sovietization was followed by four years of occupation by Hitler's Third Reich. After Germany's defeat, the Soviet occupation returned and lasted for more than 45 years.

The bulk of the collection contains translated documents pertaining to the German and Soviet occupation. Of particular note from the Soviet-era documents are the internal, top-secret reports of the Latvian KGB, the internal memoranda of the Central Committee of the Latvian Communist Party and the correspondence between the Latvian Party and its Moscow superiors.

Subjects covered include the behavior of the Soviet Army on Latvian soil, the adaptation of the Latvian economy, control over churches, censorship of books and magazines, punishment of dissidents, dealing with the Latvian emigre community, treatment of the so-called "national communists" and the successful drive for independence beginning in 1987.

"The collection describes with actual documents and great detail how two totalitarian powers in the 20th century put into place the machinery of repression in a small country and how the citizens reacted to these forced controls," Plakans says. "It is a case study of totalitarian rule."

As poignant as it is accurate, "Experiencing Totalitarianism" is a remarkable diary of history that reveals the darkest of human behavior and the courage to rival the enemies of independence.

Plakans is a professor of history at Iowa State University. Born in Riga, Latvia, in 1940, he and his family relocated to Germany in 1944 and later immigrated to the United States in 1951. He earned his bachelor's degree in history from Franklin and Marshall College and both his master's degree and doctorate from Harvard University. In addition to "Experiencing Totalitarianism," Plakans is the author of "Kinship in the Past: An Historical Anthropology of European Family Life 1500-1900" and "The Latvians: A Short History." He is also the co-editor of "Family History at the Crossroads." He is an active member of many Baltic and Latvian academic associations as well. He and his wife, Barbara Sweeney Plakans, have two married daughters.

For more information, please visit http://www.authorhouse.com/