The Keys ep29 WW2 refugees and their heroic rescuers - the boatmen of Kurzeme
The final year of WW2. Hitler’s days are numbered, and the fate of Latvia is wrapped in fog. Boats of refugees escape over the sea, through darkness and danger of death. Out of all WW2 refugees from Latvia, only about 4,500 found asylum in Sweden. The sea voyage was hard as it was, but more so for those aiming for the Swedish islands, as both warring sides tried to disrupt it.
Saving these refugees was the greatest achievement of the Latvian Resistance. Its success was ensured by the people at the sea and on the shore who risked their lives to save thousands of others. The trips took place at night. Roads and woods were full of Nazis. Patrols combed the beach with searchlights. Who were the people manning the boats and helping the refugees to reach them?