Memorial Peloton 2023 — a walk around Riga - Muzeum Pamięci Sybiru

22 August 2023

Memorial Peloton 2023 — a walk around Riga

On August 21, 2023, as part of the Memorial Peloton in Riga, a historical walk took place in the footsteps of places related to the Soviet occupation of Latvia.

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The event was organized by the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and the Sybir Memorial Museum, operating as part of the “Common Remembrance” initiative — an international cooperation network of museums in Central and Eastern Europe.

Gints Apals, PhD, representing the hosts, welcomed the gathered guests and thanked the Sybir Memorial Museum for sharing the idea of the Memorial Peloton. He also presented a route around Riga, which, due to the historic character of a large part of the city (including the cobblestone surface) could not be done on bicycles.

Then, the guests were welcomed by Piotr Popławski, PhD, representing the Sybir Memorial Museum, who emphasized that the international nature of the Memorial Peloton connects participants from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Moldova. He also expressed hope that in the coming years the Peloton will also be held in other cities whose inhabitants became victims of the Soviet occupation. Director of The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, Arunas Bubnys, PhD, invited everyone to the Vilnius edition of the Peloton, which will take place on Wednesday, August 23.

Mapa spaceru historycznego po Rydze śladami miejsc pamięci
Riga historical walk map. Materials of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia

The gathered at the Museum then went on a walking tour, during which they visited a number of places related to the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940-1941. One of the memorial sites associated with the victims of Soviet policy of that period was the monument of Kārlis Ulmanis, the last pre-war president of Latvia, arrested and transported deep into the USSR, where he died in 1942.

Due to the long occupation of Latvia (after World War II, it remained Soviet republics along with Lithuania and Estonia), the participants of the walk also visited numerous places related to the struggle for the country’s independence at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s, e.g. barricades in January 1991 and stones commemorating those, who died during these protests on the Pilsetas Canal.

The historical walk was attended by over 30 people, including representatives of museums from our network, as well as guests from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and England.

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