Vilis Arveds Hazners | Soviet Lies Come Full Circle, Attain LegitimacyHistorical Memory Foundation

In seeking Russian information on Hāzners' fabricated show trial, we came across evidence that Russian "scholars" are now quoting Gertrude Schneider's allegations originating in Soviet propaganda

Those who follow Russian "defense" of history—meaning, the Soviet propagandistic version—would be no stranger to Alexander Dyukov and his "Historical Memory" Foundation—more completely, the Historical Memory Foundation for Contemporary Historic Research supported by the Russian State Archive for Social and Political History. On their own web site, they describe themselves as the "Actual Historical Research Assistance Foundation 'Historical Memory'" and purport to be independent of any steady source of funding, operating on contributions. Dyukov has fashioned a career for himself denouncing the Baltic states, inventing new propaganda and recycling the old, from calling Estonians liars for contending Stalin deported them in cattle cars[1] to creating a documentary film blaming Poland for starting World War II.[2]

Therefore, we were unsurprised to run across the Historical Memory Foundation's 2013 exposé of "archival" evidence against Latvians, including Hāzners: Secrets of Soviet Latvia From the Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Latvia, by Nikolai Kabanov—who, along with his "documentary" film, apparently had a very busy year.

"Secrets" ... and Hāzners

Кстати, Хазнерс[3] в годы войны был штур-мбаннфюрером и начальником Абренского уезда, награжден двумя Железными крестами. Германский историк еврейского происхож-дения Гертруда Шнайдер в книге «Путешествие в террор» назвала Хазнерса одним из организаторов сожжения хоральной синагоги на улице Гоголя, в которой было заперто 300 человек, 4 июля 1941 года.

Incidentally, during the war Hāzners was a 1Sturmbannführer and 2district chief of Abrene, and was 3awarded two Iron Crosses. German historian of Jewish descent 4Gertrude Schneider, in her book “Journey into Terror” named Hazners as one of the organizers of burning the synagogue on Gogol Street, in which 300 [Jews] were locked, on July 4, 1941.


Contention versus Fact

Sturmbannführer is equivalent to major—Hāzners' rank in the Latvian Legion when the war ended while Hāzners was recuperating in a hospital in Denmark. That Hāzners was an officer implies neither Nazi sympathies nor guilt in the Holocaust.

Hāzners was appointed local police chief of the Abrene district, the territory along the north-eastern border adjoining the USSR. That territory was annexed to the Russian republic and is still part of Russia in the post-Soviet era. Records disagree as to the date of Hāzners appointment; regardless, Hāzners had no participation in the Holocaust.

Hāzners' membership in the Waffen-SS and awards for bravery in combat were also cited by Alan A. Ryan, Jr. as proof Hāzners was a Nazi war criminal and in and of themselves sufficient grounds for the OSI's appeal to have Hāzners deported after his vindication at his INS deportation hearing.

The Ducmanis-Lešinskis KGB propaganda juggernaut comes full circle, as Russian propaganda cites Schneider's repetition of Soviet fabrications. Hāzners was in a Rīga suburb at the time intercepting retreating Red Army and categorically could not have been present. Schneider also repeats the propaganda accusation that Herberts Cukurs participated; this too, was impossible, as Cukurs arrived in Rīga only on July 14th.

There is no more telling measure of the immense task facing defenders of the Latvian Legion than Russia's regurgitation of KGB propaganda as historical truths after it has been laundered through Western scholars. We have limited our scope here to Schneider's allegations, at the epicenter of the hunt for Latvian Nazis and the personal defamation of Vilis Hāzners as one of its first and most prominent victims. However, her role subsequent to bringing the propaganda home is merely symptomatic: tragically, for the hopes of any Latvian-Jewish reconciliation—Schneider is not the only scholar to put faith in Soviet lies, or in Nazi publicity constructs promulgating the "Germanless" Holocaust. While she was the right vehicle at the right place in the right time for the KGB, we suspect she was not the only such target identified in the Soviet plot to convey propaganda to the West which indicted Legionnaires and anti-Soviet activists as Nazi war criminals.

Nazi propaganda—often the foundation for Soviet propaganda—presents a similar challenge. Why scholars eagerly believe that eastern Europeans en masse gladly bludgeoned their neighbours to death, routinely smashing infants' skulls, but would dismiss as preposterous were it alleged that a western European did the same, unquestioningly accepting German propaganda that even Nazi officers recoiled in horror at the naked savagery of the Eastern Europeans, is a whole other discussion. That is, all Nazi propaganda is a lie, except all Nazi propaganda about the eastern Europeans and the Baltic states in particular is true.

[1]Dyukov "documents" that, per Soviet records, Estonians were resettled in coach trains, each train with a doctor and nurses to look after the passengers' welfare, and not in cattle cars with a hole cut in the floor in the corner to use for urination and defecation. Besides which, most were Nazi conspirators. (How this could be determined is impossible to fathom as Nazi Germany had not yet launched its surprise invasion of the USSR.)
[2]"Last week, two state-controlled Russian TV channels screened a film called Secrets of the Secret Protocols. Contrary to what the title might suggest, its main revelations did not deal with the secret protocols of the Nazi-Soviet pact, but with lesser known machinations behind the Polish-German non-aggression pact of 1934. Alexander Dyukov, who is associated with the film and who has authored a book of questions and answers about pre-war politics, was unable to give journalists hard evidence for his contentions. 'We assume,' he said, that the pact of 1934 'contained secret protocols against the USSR'. And he gave an assurance that all would be substantiated in due course. His presentation was not burdened by discussion of the Polish-Soviet pact of 1932, nor by the very real episode in 1934, when Poland's Marshal Pilsudski was rebuffed by the French after floating the idea of a preventative war against the Third Reich." at We must not forget the real causes of the war, Friday 28 August 2009, retrieved 28 April 2016.
[3]"Хазнерс" is the Russian Cyrillic transliteration for "Hāzners." It transliterates back to either "Hazners" and "Khazners". Any mention of "Khazners" in records is a litmus test for Soviet fabrication. This sort of errant double-transliteration is common in Soviet era Kremlin-manufactured propaganda, for example, "zvejnieks" (fisherman) as "zveiniex."

Updated: June, 2017

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