Will never destroy the kingdom if you are united and loyal
Max Von Schenkendorf
|To unaddressed, Dated 11 August 1944
Bad Nenndorf, Germany
The USSR Red Army approached the eastern border of Latvia in the summer of 1944, resulting in an extensive refugee flow of Latvian civilians westwards. The population feared Bolshevik repressions. The refugee flow was also stimulate by the approaching ware fare front-line. Many Latvian people were coercively evacuated by the Nazi occupation authorities. Their numbers swelled those of workers, prisoners and concentration camp captives already sent to Germany during the Nazi occupation, not forgetting the Latvian soldiers transported to Germany.
At the beginning of 1945 there were 171 000 residents of Latvia within the German Reich.
From Riga evacuations began at the beginning of August in 1944 and continued until the 10th of October. Most refugees from Riga ended up sailing out of the Baltic basin, disembarking at Danzig. Evacuation by ship from Ventspils (Windau) and Liepaja (Libau) began in September of 1944 with the end ports being Danzig and Danzig Neufahrwasser. From Liepaja some ships also were sent to Pillau. Evacuations from Liepaja and Ventspils continued until the beginning of January in 1945.
At the end of the war, in the summer of 1945, 107 000 refugees from Latvia were in West Germany, i.e. the British, US and French occupation zones. 25 400 people were held in the war prisoner camps of the western Allies.
In addition 4600 Latvians found themselves in Sweden, 2100 in Denmark and 2200 in Austria in the summer of 1945.