Eduards Berklavs

Eduards Berklavs

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Eduards Berklavs was a Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

n politician.

Eduards Berklavs was born in the Kuldīga District
Kuldiga District
Kuldīga District was an administrative division of Latvia, located in Courland region, in the country's west. It was organized into a city and thirteen parishes, each with a local government authority. The main city in the district was Kuldīga....

. During his youth, he was active in labour
Labour movement
The term labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and governments, in particular through the implementation of specific laws governing labour...

 and communist organizations. In 1930s, he was arrested and served a prison sentence for his communist activities. After Latvia being occupied by the Soviet Union
Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940
The Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 refers, according to the European Court of Human Rights, the Government of Latvia, the State Department of the United States of America, and the European Union, to the military occupation of the Republic of Latvia by the Soviet Union ostensibly under the...

 in 1940, he being a Komsomol
Komsomol
The Communist Union of Youth , usually known as Komsomol , was the youth division of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Komsomol in its earliest form was established in urban centers in 1918. During the early years, it was a Russian organization, known as the Russian Communist Union of...

 and Communist Party
Communist Party of Latvia
Communist Party of Latvia was a political party in Latvia.- Latvian Social-Democracy prior to 1919 :The party was founded at a congress in June 1904. Initially the party was known as the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party . During its second party congress in 1905 it adopted the programme of...

 official, rising to the deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of Latvian SSR
Latvian SSR
The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic , also known as the Latvian SSR for short, was one of the republics that made up the Soviet Union. Established on 21 July 1940 as a puppet state during World War II in the territory of the previously independent Republic of Latvia after it had been occupied by...

 in 1950s. In this position, he opposed the Soviet policies of Russification
Russification
Russification is an adoption of the Russian language or some other Russian attributes by non-Russian communities...

, supported a larger role for Latvian language and proposed to limit immigration from other parts of Soviet Union to Latvia. This led to him being labelled as Latvian nationalist and deposed from his position in 1959.

In late 1980s, Berklavs became a Latvian independence activist. He was one of founders and the first chairman of Latvian National Independence Movement
Latvian National Independence Movement
The Latvian National Independence Movement was a political organization in Latvia from 1988 till mid-1990s.It formed in 1988, as the radical wing of Latvian nationalist movement...

 (LNNK), a pro-independence political organization. He was simultaneously active in Latvian Popular Front and the Congress of Citizens of Latvia. During this period, Berklavs was one of most prominent independence activists. He was elected to the Latvian parliament in 1990 and 1993 and, both times, was the oldest member of the parliament.