Organization “Latvian Red Cross” in Germany

One of the most important Latvian organisations that applied all efforts to aid the Latvians who experienced poverty and hardships in Germany immediately after the war was the Latvian Red Cross (LRC) established in 1918.

To be able to better organise aiding for the refugees deprived of their motherland, the Latvian Red Cross resumed its activities in Germany.

In the spring of 1945 two LRC administrations were organised. The administration in Lübeck (British Occupation Zone) was managed by Dr. med. Nikolajs Vētra and the administration in Heidenheim (American and French Occupation Zone) - by Roberts Liepiņš. In the autumn of 1945 the LRC administration in the American and French Occupation Zone moved from Heidenheim to Esslingen. A little later the General Board of LRC was established in Detmold, headed by the LRC Vice-Chairman Spricis Paegle (the LRC Chairman Prof. Kārlis Barons remained in Latvia). Thus, uniform LRC activity was achieved in Germany. Like other national organisations the LRC in Lübeck in the British Occupation Zone was prohibited to act, its funds were arrested and it stopped its activities in 1946. The LRC authorised and local representatives started to work in the regions maintaining contacts with the camp representatives.

After the activity of the LRC was resumed, it started to work on surveying the captivated Latvian soldiers and fighting for their release, as well as opened Information Office with files used by refugees to look for their missing family members. The LRC Trustee Boards was responsible for providing care for refugees, assistance to former Latvian soldiers, the disabled, large families, surveying of the visually impaired people, care for orphaned children. The LRC also helped with the completion of documents for those people who wanted to emigrate.