At the beginning of World War II, Latvia loses its national independence. Occupation regimes in Latvia changed three times during the war - in the beginning it was an extremely cruel Soviet occupation of 1940, then then the Nazi Germany occupation of 1941 – 1945 and finally the second Soviet occupation which lasted up to 1991.
During World War II, Latvian citizens were forced to fight on both sides of the front - in the armed forces of Nazi Germany and in the Red Army of Soviet Union. The exposition “Latvia in World War II” tells the story of both occupation regimes and the fates of the Latvian people who were called up by the armed forces of those regimes. A separate section of the exposition is dedicated to the Memorandum of the Latvian Central Council of 17 March 1944, which was the major movement of Latvian political resistance during war. Original of the historical document is still stored in the collection of Latvian War museum.
Documents, historical items, weapons, mannequins and design are only the supplement to the main theme of the exposition - human being during times of war. Shocking in their laconism are the photos with a starving prisoners of war, or with doomed to death Jewish women in the dunes of Šķede. Same as the photos of confused faces of Latgalian boys who are just called-up in the Red army of Soviet Union or the pictures with the slightly brave glances of the newly-recruited Latvian legionnaires.
The authors of the exposition “Latvia in World War II” do not talk about which was the “right” side, quite the opposite- the visitor is encouraged to come to his personal conclusion that for Latvia and the Latvians neither of the two occupation regimes was right or good.