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Ian Sayer

Latvian Military Attache to Warsaw in 1934

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Can anyone identify this Latvian officer who served as a military attache to Warsaw in 1934? Any biographical info wouild also be greatley appteciated.

Many thanks

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Ian, it is a fantastic collection that you have found. These phots are real gems indeed!

The gentleman who was the Latvian military attache in Warsaw is Lt. Col. Alexandre Winter. Unfortunately I am not able to find any further information about him on the Net. The name seems too common. It is also possible that it is slightly misspelled.

I will go on trying to find out the other folks.

Lukasz

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Lukasz

Thank you very much. I am most grateful for the identification. If you find any biographical info that would be fantastic.

Many thanks

Ian

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Latvian orthography changed early in the 20th century. The modern spelling of this name would be Aleksandrs Vinters. The signature seems to use a W instead of a V which would not have been particularly uncommon at the time. Lt. Col. would be abbreviated as Plkv.-ltn. in Latvian.
For what it's worth a quick search for Plkv.-ltn. Aleksandrs Vinters yields three hits so far:
From Aug 1931 refers to Vinters as military (war) attaché to Warsaw
From May 1934 refers to Vinters as military attaché to Poland and Rumania and perhaps suggests he has just relinquished the Rumanian post.
Lists Vinters as co-author of a military text book published by the Latvian Military (War) College in 1938-39 held in the collection of the Latvian War Museum.
Other than these snippets I can find no other reference to this person at the moment. It is possible that the War Museum might be able to help with more information - you might like to write to them. Don't know if this helps.

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Good Lord. I just saw the Hungarian Warsaw military attaches' picture- and it is almost exactly the same size, style, inscription. I wonder if there was a series of these done?

Edited by Ulsterman

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Thought I'd better correct what I wrote about http://goo.gl/JP1L8 , Vinters was the author not co-author (my Latvian is not as good as I would like).

The document in question is held by the Latvian War Museum, 20 Smilšu Street, Rīga and is an annotated copy of lecture notes in military pedagogy.
Latvijas Kara skolas mācību materiāls. Militārā pedagoģija, lekciju konspekts. Pasn. Plkv.-ltn. Aleksandrs Vinters. Mācību materiāls rakstīts mašīnrakstā uz 49 lapām. Konspektā veiktas atzīmes ar zilu un sarkanu zīmuli un tinti. Mācību materiālus izmantojis kadets Vladimirs Vendeliņš, kurš Latvijas Kara skolu beidza 1939.gada 1.septembrī.
Latvian War College teaching material. Military pedagogy lecture collection. [Lectures] delivered by Lt. Col. Alexandrs Vinters. Type written training notes comprising 49 pages. Notes annotated in blue and red pencil and ink. Training materials used by cadet Vladimirs Vendelinš who finished training at the War College on 1 Sept. 1939.
Sorry for the error :blush:

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I've been doing a bit more digging and apart from the excellent information from the very knowledgeable VJK I also turned up the following.
There are some interesting photos of Vinters at http://goo.gl/k80Ws related to http://goo.gl/AScpH (I've attached an excerpt from that item above) which mentions a luncheon organised for Latvian cavalry officer Col. Hermanis Buks who graduated from the Polish Military Acadamy in 1931. The luncheon was attended by Vinters who spoke about Buks. There are two photos on the panzer.vip.lv page which I believe are from that occasion and both show Vinters (refered to as "attache łotewski Virtes" in Polish) :
http://goo.gl/8ICQ7 Vinters third from the right
http://goo.gl/xmnez Vinters first on the left at the luncheon
The same page also has a fine portrait of Vinters http://goo.gl/YQNVE and another photo http://goo.gl/9bEmY with someone in what looks like a Russian uniform. The page gives Vinters dates as 1892-1941.

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Many thanks tasmaniensis. That's some very diligent research you've done there. Most interesting of course are his dates. (1892-1941). I wonder how he died?

Ian

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It didn't occur to me at the time but how Vinters died is a very interesting question. As the a result of a Pact between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, which amongst other things carved up Europe between the signatories, the Soviet Union invaded Latvia on 16 June 1940. Following the invasion Soviet forces unleashed a reign of terror including the deportation or murder of members of parliament, the civil service and the army. This systematic repression culminated in the mass deportation of 15,600 men, women and children on 13-14 June 1941. In total 35,000 people were deported during the first occupation. See http://goo.gl/Q4BYl

According to Latvian Wikipedia, during this first Soviet occupation 800 Army officers and NCOs were arrested and 682 of those were murdered including 19 generals, 44 colonels, 109 Lt. Cols, 195 captains, 145 first lieutenants and 142 lieutenants. In addition a total 4665 Latvian soldiers (or about 15% of prewar armed forces) were deported to the Gulag. See http://goo.gl/fS62r .

Some lists of those lost during the occupation exist but they are difficult to access and not complete. So far I have not found any proof that Vinters was amongst those liquidated but his death in 1941 (if that date is correct) would be quite a coincidence. Given his intelligence links as revealed by VJK together with his support for Polish freedom, Vinters would have been a prime candidate for NKVD firing squads. Of course this is just conjecture and I will keep digging to see if I can confirm how he died.

Edited by tasmaniensis

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