Present-day Latvia is a multi-ethnic society divided by the traumatic experiences of the twentieth century. It was both a locus of the Holocaust and a society deeply affected by decades of Soviet rule. Today, Latvia’s Jewish community is trying to negotiate its place as a re-emergent historical minority in the space between two dominant ethno-cultural communities, Latvian speakers and Russian speakers. After outlining the expressions of antisemitism in both the Lettophone and Russophone milieus since 1991, this article argues that competing nationalist narratives of threat and ownership of the state best explain antisemitism in contemporary Latvia. The fluctuating influence of the 1941 Rumbula Massacre on popular memory culture is a recurrent point of reference, which illustrates my argument. Recent events suggest a new, more conciliatory, trend where Jews are seen as an integral part of the people of Latvia, rather than as a potential risk to the state and nation.


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pp. 35-74
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