A book “The Story of a Latvian Soldier: Roberts Dāvīds Timermanis (1909–1945)”. Photo: Gunārs Timermanis.

Opening of the book “The Story of a Latvian Soldier: Roberts Dāvīds Timermanis (1909–1945)” at the Latvian War Museum marks a new, profound perspective of a crucial period in nation's history. This is the story of a member of the national resistance movement written by historians of the University of Latvia (UL). The protagonist's steadfast commitment to Latvia is carried on by his son Eigits Dāvis Timermanis (Goga) – an Australian Latvian, patron of the UL Foundation and supporter of this publication.

Readers of the book will have the opportunity to get to know UL graduate Roberts D. Timermanis, tracing his life story from joining the Military School until the Second World War, and his activities in the post-war national partisan movement.

Jēkabs Akermanis, the event manager, who has been awarded UL Foundation scholarship twice, a history student at the University of Latvia Faculty of History and Philosophy, emphasized that the narrative of this volume is a confirmation that complex twists and turns of history are most clearly reflected in people’s destinies and life stories. Both at the beginning and at the end of the book opening celebration, the male folk ensemble “Vilki” endowed the event with a special mood by performing soldiers’ songs. They, too, have bben beneficiaries of patron E. D. Timermanis.

A new road to understanding the history of Latvia

The Chair of the Board of UL Foundation Prof. emer. Ivars Lācis addressed the guests of the event with a patriotic thought: “There was a stage in the life of the book’s protagonist, Timermanis, which particularly merits talking, writing and thinking about. Every work of our small community representatives, if done honestly, responsibly, at the right time, and completed, is  a significant part that makes up the whole – our Latvia’s 100 years. Let’s remember this and treat our time and our opportunities with respect and integrity.” The project was administrated by the UL Foundation.

The book was created with the support of The University of Latvia Press (LU Akadēmiskais apgāds). In her speech, its Director Aija Rozenšteine emphasized that the people involved in the process of creating the book worked wholeheartedly, and this dedication can be felt. A. Rozenšteine wished the book a good reader.

Aija Fleija, the director of the Latvian War Museum, shared the joy that the names of Australian Latvians – Eigits D. Timermanis and Jānis R. Vējiņš (19262012) – were often heard in the museum. With their projects, the active compatriots had organized the publishing of books, affirming their patriotic commitment. Through the stories of event participants, a new path has opened up for understanding and delving into the history of Latvia, illuminating a crucial moment in our nation’s past.

Through the prism of Latvian soldier’s life

The authors of the book are UL historians – Commander of the Order of the Three Stars, Prof. Dr. hist. Ēriks Jēkabsons and Mg. hist. Reinis Ratnieks. Both outlined the nuances of the book’s creation and emphasized that the book describes a time when we – Latvia and Latvians – stood at the crossroads of history. “Looking through the prism of life as lived by a person and his fellow contemporaries in the fight against the Soviet occupation, the qualities that unite all Latvian national partisans can be truly appreciated – purposefulness, fighting spirit, love of homeland, which Roberts Timermanis showed until the last day of his life,” says the author R. Ratnieks. The historian continued: “A small but significant part of Latvian history has been discovered, which is essential for our nation and will allow us to view our history more broadly. The most profound gratitude must be expressed to the partisans for their integrity and perseverance in extreme conditions. They were the rays of sun for Latvia in time of darkness and adversity.”

In conclusion of the event, the son of the protagonist and the supporter of this publication, Goga, shared his memories of 80 years ago. “A person continues to live as long as people remember him. The occupation regime had ‘successfully’ obliterated the memory of my dad for a long time. We couldn’t find out anything for more than 40 years. He was just pronounced missing. I will always be indebted to my dad and the thousands of others who embarked upon this road,” said Eigits Timermanis.

The event was attended by many members of Timermanis family. Goga admitted that this was their largest meeting to date. The book is not intended for sale, it is available at the UL libraries or can be obtained for a donation to the UL Foundation at their office.

About the University of Latvia Foundation

Since 2004, the UL Foundation provides an opportunity to patrons and cooperation partners to support both the University of Latvia and other leading higher education institutions of our country, thereby investing in the future of Latvia. The priorities of the UL Foundation are to support the most outstanding, dedicated students and researchers, to advance creation of a modern study environment, as well as to promote construction and refurbishment of university’s buildings.


Related Content

PATRON OF THE MONTH. Sydneysider Timermanis Contributes to Growth of National Economy

PATRON OF THE MONTH. Sydneysider Timermanis Contributes to Growth of National Economy