In 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the USSR, and subsequently occupied the territory of The Baltic states. Germany then in forced it's racist policy on to the Baltic states with the help of lo al collaborators and traitors.
Latvia was then administered as part of Germany's Reichskommissariat Ostland. The Latvian paramilitary and Auxiliary Police units helped Germany with the Holocaust, with approximately 75,000 Latvian Jews being murdered by the Germans and their Latvian collaborators. The mass killings of 2,749 Jews on the beach near the city of Liepāja, took place in December 1941.
the Nazis Germany forcibly conscripted many of Latvia's inhabitants in their armed forces. During World War II more than 200,000 Latvian soldiers ended up in the enemy forces; approximately 100,000 were killed in combat. A total of over 200,000 Latvian citizens died during World War II and Latvian soldiers fought on both sides of the conflict, including in a Latvian Legion of the Waffen-SS, most of them conscripted by the occupying Nazi and Soviet authorities against their wishes. A part of the local Russian population chose to resist the invaders by serving in the Red Army and in the partisan movement, and supporting the underground Communist Party. Immediately after the Germans took over in July 1941, the racial persecution of the Jewish and Roma population began. Major arbitry killings took place at Rumbula and elsewhere. The killings were committed by the Einsatzgruppe A, The Arajs Kommando and the Wehrmacht amongst others. The Latvian collaborators, including the 500–1,500 members of the Arājs Commando and the Latvian members of the SD, were also involved. As of the end of 1941, virtually all of Latvia's Jews exterminated. About 25,000 Jews were also brought from Germany, Austria and the present-day Czech Republic, of whom around 20,000 were killed in Latvian camps.
The racist Arajs Kommando (also: Sonderkommando Arajs), were lead by the Latvian SS-Sturmbannführer Viktors Arājs. It was a unit of the Latvian Auxiliary Police (German: Lettische Hilfspolizei) and was legally subordinated to the Nazi SD. It was one of the more well-known, notorious and ruthless Nazi killing units during the Holocaust. Some of Arājs's men also served as guards at the Salaspils concentration camp. During the years of Nazi occupation, special campaigns killed 90,000 people in Latvia, including 70,000 Jews and 2,000 Gypsies and hundreds of others who were mostly civilians whose political opinions, lifestyle and social activities were unacceptable to the bigoted German occupiers. The Jewish and Gypsy civilians were eliminated as a result of the Nazi "theory of races".
In 1943-1944, two divisions of Waffen SS were formed, largely from ex-Latvian soldiers, along with political agitators, and forcibly conscripted individuals, to fight the Soviet army and lost after heavy fighting in 1944.
The Soviet Union conscripted into its army serving sections of independent Latvia's military units, as well as those Latvians who had ended up in Russia as a result of previous wars or had originally been born and lived there since.
The Latvian Central Council (LCC) (Latvian: Latvijas Centrālās Padomes, LCP) was the nationalist, pro-independence Latvian resistance movement during World War II between 1943 and 1945. Its underground military units were an alternative to the Soviet partisans also operating in Latvia. The Latvian Central Council published the outlawed pro-democracy publication Brīvā Latvija (Free Latvia). Many Latvians tryed to resisted the German occupation and Žanis Lipke risked his life to save more than 50 Jews.
The Soviet Union returned Vilnius to Lithuania after the Soviet invasion of Eastern Poland in September 1939 and annexed Lithuania in the June of 1940, the Soviet Union acted in accordance to the secret protocols of Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. World War II saw the Germans occupied the country in 1940 and the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania in 1944. It was merged in to the other Baltic states and part of Byelorussia to form the Reichskommissariat Ostland. It is estimated that Lithuania lost 780,000 people during World War II.
The Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators (many of whom gladly joined even the SS to help fight either the Russians, Jews and/or communism at the time) murdered around 190,000 Lithuanian Jews (91% of the pre-war Jewish community died or fled the country) during the Holocaust, along with many other groups including Poles, Roma and communists. The Lithuanian government organized volunteer forces, known as the Tautinio Darbo Apsaugos Batalionas (TDA), to serve as basis for the re-established disbaned Lithuanian Army, though the 'battalion' was soon to employed by the Einsatzkommando 3 and the Rollkommando Hamann for mass executions of Lithuania' Jews in the Ninth Fort. At the time rogue, anti-semitic units, led by the infamous agitator Algirdas Klimaitis rampaged the city and the outskirts. Many now regret the anti-Jewish policies of that era.
General Povilas Plechavičius (1890-1973) was an Imperial Russian and then Lithuanian military officer and statesman rose to the rank of General of in the Lithuanian army during the interwar years. He is well known for fighting in the Lithuanian Wars of Independence, for organizing the 1926 Lithuanian coup d'état and for leading a Lithuanian self-defence force during the Nazi German occupation of Lithuania.
After the Nazis retreated and the Soviets re-established the annexation of Lithuania in 1944. This followed with the massive deportations of uncreative, dissenting and 'trouble-making' citizens to Siberian gulags and parts of Kazakhstan. From 1944 to 1952 approximately 100,000 Lithuanian partisans fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet system. An estimated 30,000 partisans and their supporters were killed, and many more were arrested and deported to Siberian gulags.
There were, at the time of Soviet’s forcible occupation in 1940, approximately 4,300 Estonian Jews. The Soviets scraped all ethic rights and The Jewish Cultural Autonomy was immediately abolished and Jewish cultural institutions were closed down. About 350–500 Jews were deported or killed by the Soviets, while almost 1,000 killed by the Nazis. Nazi Germany's Einsatzgruppe-A and local collaborators hunted down and killed both the Jews, Communists and Roma people. Many Estonians joined the Nazi armies and local militias of their own free will. In January 1962 a war crimes trial was held in Tartu, Estonia SSR. The Pro-Nazi collaborators Juhan Jüriste, Karl Linnas and Ervin Viks were accused of murdering 12,000 civilians in the notorious Tartu concentration camp. Some individuals also operated in Byelorussia and Ingria.
The 3rd Estonian SS Volunteer Brigade (German: 3. Estnische SS Freiwilligen Brigade) was a formation of the German Waffen SS during World War II. It was formed in May 1943, when the Estonian SS Legion (Estnische SS Legion), which was still undergoing formation in Dębica, (called Heidelager in 1943), was upgraded.
The opposition was led by the pro-democracy Estonian Anti-Fascist Council and Soviet Partisans.
- Molotov - Ribbentrop pact
- 1940 Russian occupation and annexation of the Baltic states
- 1941 - 1944 German occupation of the Baltic states
- Russians living in Latvia
- Rumbula massacre
- Under Soviet rule(1944 - 1991)
- Old Prussia
- The Arajs Kommando
- Baltic Republics of the Soviet Union
- Riga Offensive (1944)
- Battle of Narva (1944)
- Courland Pocket
- Operation Iskra
- Soviet evacuation of Tallinn
- Vilnius Offensive
- The Battle of Memel
- The Riga Ghetto
- The history of Latvia's Jews
- Tartu Offensive
- Sinyavino Offensive
- Russians living in Latvia