Cultural activities in the DP camps


When the Latvians ended up behind the gates of the DP camps in Germany after the Second World War, a long period of uncertainty began without regular work, opportunities to suitably provide for their families or to plan for the future.  There was a large proportion of Latvia’s intelligentsia among the refugees: artists, people employed in the cultural sphere, teachers and others. Quite soon a very active cultural, political and educational life developed at the camps. Cultural activities helped people to overcome the feeling of helplessness in the strange circumstances, to maintain their Latvian identity and to give some meaning to their lives. Schools, theater troupes and other community organizations were established, needlework and craft workshops were opened, and the boy and girl scout movements were restarted. Newspapers and books were published, and exhibitions and even large-scale cultural events like Song Festivals took place.