On June 13, 2020, Kārlis Eihenbaums, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to Canada, made a public speech marking the anniversary of mass deportation that took place on June 14, 1941. Later, the text of the speech appeared on the mission’s official Facebook page.
In his speech, the Latvian ambassador declared that the Soviet Union was preparing “for the extermination and deportation of the Baltic population” as early as in the autumn of 1939. In support of his words, Kārlis Eihenbaums referred to a document. “On October 11, 1939, during the Second World War, Order no. 001223 “On the Procedure of Deporting Anti-Soviet Elements from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia” was issued. In Moscow, everything had been decided, and the repressive mechanism activated,” the ambassador said.
However, the statement by the Latvian ambassador to Canada is, apparently, a lie: NKVD Order No. 001223 dated October 11, 1939 existed, but under a different title; moreover, it said nothing about the arrangement of deportations, nor mentioned any of the Baltic nations.
NKVD order No. 001223, signed October 11, 1939 г., was titled “On Introducing a Unified System of Records for Anti-Soviet Elements Revealed through Intelligence Network”. That order provided for a new uniformed database for individuals whom the NKVD saw as potential recruits of “foreign intelligence services and counter-revolution centers for anti-Soviet purposes” and whom the Soviet state security needed to keep an eye on. The order mentioned no preparation for any repressive action against the “anti-Soviet elements” included in the database.
In 2012, the full text of NKVD Order No. 001223 of Oct 11, 1939 was published by Alexander Dyukov, a Russian historian, based on the copy stored in the Security Service of Ukraine’s sectoral state archive (HDA SBU)1. The assertion that NKVD Order 001223 allegedly provided for deportations from the Baltic countries was multiply criticized by a number of scholars, including: Seppo Myllyniemi (Finland)2, Pavel Polyan (Germany)3(3), Roger Moorhouse (Great Britain)4 (4), as well as some scholars from the Baltic countries5. Even Wikipedia contains a detailed analysis of the controversy surrounding NKVD Order No. 001223.
Therefore, a public reference to an admittedly false document made by Kārlis Eihenbaums, Ambassador of Latvia to Canada, causes nothing but major confusion for the public of Canada and the country’s government.
To prevent spreading false information, Remembrance, Research and Justice: Heritage of WWII in the 21st century publishes images of the real NKVD Order under No. 001223.
- Накануне Холокоста: Фронт литовских активистов и советские репрессии в Литве, 1940—1941 гг. Сборник документов / Сост. А.Р. Дюков. М., 2012. С. 469-498.
- Myllyniemi S. Die Baltische Krise, 1938—1941. Stuttgart, 1979. S. 80—81.
- Сталинские депортации 1928—1953: Документы / Сост. Н.Л. Поболь, П.М. Полян. М., 2005. С. 780.
- Мурхаус Р. Дьявольский союз. Пакт Гитлера – Сталина, 1939 – 1941. М., 2020. С. 153-154.
- Белая книга о потерях, причиненных народу Эстонии оккупациями, 1940—1991 / Пер. с эстонск. А. Бабаджана, Т. Верхнеустинской, Э. Вяри. Таллинн, 2005. С. 14; Anušauskas A. Pirmoji sovietinė okupacija. Teroras ir nusikaltimai žmoniškumui. P. 66.