Daugavas Vanagi (Latvian Welfare Association) Minnesota Records


Immigration History Research Center
University of Minnesota

Abstract | Provenance/Processing | Historical Sketch | Scope and Content | Container List

IHRC #141
compiled by Astra Apsitis,
Daugavas Vanagi Records, 1956-1979
4 Linear Feet


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This collection was acquired in 1979 from the Minnesota chapter of the organization. This preliminary inventory was compiled by Astra Apsitis in 1980, and prepared for the Internet by Paul Bowman, Student Assistant, and Daniel Necas, Assistant Curator, in 2002.
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Historical Sketch

The Daugavas Vanagi organization (literally translated as "Hawks of the River Daugava," but having adopted the English title Latvian Welfare Association) was formed in 1945 by Latvian war veterans in Belgian displaced persons camps, for the purpose of uniting veterans and providing a system of social welfare.  The Daugavas Vanagi ideology is based on four basic principles: unity, loyalty, fraternity, and trus.  Membership in the organization consists of vanagi (hawks --- male members) and vanadzes (hens --- the ladies' auxiliary).

As Daugavas Vanagi members left the displaced persons camps and resettled elsewhere, local and national branches were founded, responsible to a central organization.  Local DV groups sent representatives to yearly meetings at which members were elected to national boards.  Those elected to the national boards then participated in the global DV organization.

The Minnesota branch of the DV was founded on 13 September, 1952, and soon after, joined the American Latvian Association and secured tax-exempt status.  The highest number of members reached about 310.  The Minnesota DV over the years proved a valued participant in the local Latvian community, sponsoring many cultural and social events.  Among their many activities, DV members played a significant role in establishing the still-existing Latvian House and supporting the Michigan Latvian Center Garezers (literally, "Long Lake").  Through a number of projects, the DV promoted Latvian nationalism by providing scholarships, gifts, and awards to youth whom DV members felt showed promise of growing up to espouse the DV ideals.  To ensure that Latvian history and culture were maintained, the DV donated Latvian books to libraries and individuals.  Internally, the Minnesota Daugavas Vanagi supported activities such as a marksmanship group, and the Latviesu Strelnieku Kopa (Latvian Rifleman's Group -- veterans of World War I).

DV activity extended beyond the local Latvian community in the struggle to promote awareness of conditions in their Soviet-occupied homeland.  Members participated in anti-communist demonstrations in various capacities: writing letters, producing films, and making speeches.  Over the years, the Daugavas Vanagi has established itself as self-proclaimed guardian of the future of Latvians in exile.

The Minnesota branch of Daugavas Vanagi is still active today in the Twin Cities with a membership of about 240.

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Scope and Content

The Daugavas Vanagi Minnesota Chapter collection consists of organizational records, meeting minutes, correspondence, and financial records, outlining DV local activity and the group's connection with the central U.S. organization.  Also included are a selection of materials relating to the interests and activities of local and international Latvian organizations and records of DV political activity.  These records provide insight into the concerns of both the Minnesota and the international Latvian diaspora communities from the perspective of a nationalistic Latvian organization.  The collection measures ca. 4 linear feet and is housed in 4 boxes.

The Daugavas Vanagi collection is organized into the following series and subseries:

                            SERIES I - DAUGAVAS VANAGI ORGANIZATIONS

                                        1. DV Minnesota
                                        2. DV in the United States
                                        3. Latviesu Strelnieku Kopa


                                        1. Organizations
                                        2. Foundations
                                        3. Activities

                            SERIES III - MISCELLANY

I. Daugavas Vanagi Organizations

Subseries 1 are the records of the Daugavas Vanagi local Minnesota chapter, containing administrative documents, meeting minutes, and a chronological file of incoming and outgoing correspondence reaching back to 1956.  The papers include letters from local Latvian youth requesting scholarships to attend Latvian educational camps and summer schools.  Local chapter relations with the central U.S. Daugavas Vanagi organization are the subject of Subseries 2, which includes copies of meeting minutes, questionnaires sent out to local chapters regarding membership, and subject files for national DV events held in the Midwest.

Subseries 3 consists of documents that outline the activity of the Latviesu Strelnieku Kopa (Latvian Rifleman's Group), a branch of the Daugavas Vanagi that brought together veterans of World War I.  This group of records is small, yet incredibly rich in information about Latvian soldiers in World War I.  It includes meeting minutes, news clippings, photographs of members, and handwritten autobiographical reports of various members, describing their military experiences.

II. Latvian Organizations and Activities

Subseries 1 documents the relationship between the Minnesota chapter of Daugavas Vanagi and the American Latvian Association, as well as other Latvian organizations.  The records consist primarily of correspondence and reports.  Members of DV supported the Latvian Center Garezers in Michigan, and this involvement is documented here in financial reports and meeting minutes.

Subseries 2 comprises brochures and information about various Latvian foundations supporting a variety of cultural, political, and educational endeavors.  Subseries 3 is arranged by subject and includes correspondence, news clippings, reports, and printed materials about activities in which Daugavas Vanagi members were involved, such as protesting the Soviet occupation and subsequent human rights violations in the Baltic States.

III. Miscellany

This series includes a collection of cards, invitations, and programs relating to Latvian social, cultural, and religious events.

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Container List


Box Folder Folder Title Year(s)
Subseries 1 - DV Minnesota
1 1 Protokoli 1962-1975
1 2 15th Anniversary Program 1967
1 3 Financial Records
1 4 Correspondence 1956-1962
1 5 Correspondence 1963-1967
1 6 Correspondence 1968-1972
1 7 Correspondence 1973-1974
1 8 Correspondence 1975-1976
2 1 Correspondence 1977-1978
2 2 Correspondence 1979
3 Scholarship Requests
4 Thank-You Cards and Letters
5 Daugavas Vanagi Miscellany
Subseries 2 - DV in the United States
2 6 Apkartraksti un Protokoli 1962-1978
7 ASV Valde 1969-1979
8 Questionnaires
9 23. Delegatu Sapulce Mineapole 1973
10 Sausanas Sacikstes
11 DV Dienas Cikaga 1966
Subseries 3 - Latviesu Strelnieku Kopa
12 Latviesu Strelnieku Kopa 1956-1973
3 1 Biographical Notes
2 News Clippings and Photographs
3 Protokoli 1956-1968
Subseries 1 - Organizations
3 4 Minnesota Latvian Community (Minesotas Latviesu Apvieniba) 1970-1978
5 Twin Cities' Latvian Community - Agendas and Minutes 1962-1979
Latvian Center Garezers
6            Latvian Center Garezers 1968-1980
7               Balance Sheet Audits 1969-1979
8               Pilnsapulcu Protokoli 1969-1977
American Latvian Association
9               American Latvian Association 1962-1969
10               American Latvian Association 1970-1972
4 1               American Latvian Association 1973-1980
2 Pasaules Brivo Latviesu Apvieniba 1973-1979
Subseries 2 - Foundations
3 Latvian Foundation, Inc. 1972-1979
4 Latvian Foundation, Inc. - Apkartraksti 1974-1979
5 Latviska Mantojuma Fonds 1978-1979
6 Patiesibas Fonds 1976-1977
Subseries 3 - Activities
Human Rights Violations
7               Gunars Rode
8               Niedre/Skudra
9               Baltic Prisoners of Conscience
10 Baltic States Under Soviet Occupation
11 Occupied Latvia
12 Cards, Invitations, and Programs
13 Miscellaneous Latvian
14 Miscellaneous English

The following titles have been removed and placed in the IHRC monographs and serials collection:

DV Apvienibas Minesota Apkartraksts
1963 July-August
1964 July, December
1965 January
1966 February
1967 June, August
1968 August
1969 January, July
1970 November
1971 June, August, November
1972 November
1973 February 18

DV Apvienibas Minesota Biletens
1962 No. 11
1963 No. 12
1964 No. 13
1965 No. 14
1966 No. 15
1967 No. 16
1968 No. 17
1969 No. 18
1971 No. 20
1972 No. 21
1974 No. 25
1977 No. 31
1978 Nos. 32-34
1979 No. 35
1980 Nos. 36-38
1981 No. 39

Stavoklis Latvija
1965 January - March, July - September
1966 January - December
1971 January - September
1972 January - September
1973 January - September
1974 January - December
1975 January - March, July - December
1976 January - March, July - September

A Survey of Developments 1964 (ACEN)

DV ASV Valdes Filmu Nozares Apkartraksts (no date)

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