26 December, 2008
A new memorial place dedicated to the senator of the Latvian Senate Teodors Bergtals has been opened in the Supreme Court museum. It was opened on December 19, the 90th anniversary of the Senate in the presence of the senator’s daughter Olga Helena Kaziorova and his grand grandchildren Ilona Niedra and Viktors Kaziorovs.
Teodors Bergtals was one of the thirty senators of the Latvian Senate in the period of the first independence of the Republic of Latvia. He graduated from the theological seminary and the Warsaw University, the Faculty of Law. He worked in the Russian State Control. Afterwards, he returned to Latvia in 1921 and was appointed in the position of the deputy prosecutor in the Riga Regional Court. In 1922 – 1924 he held the position of the member of the Riga Regional Court, in 1924 – 1938 – the Deputy Chairman of the Riga Regional Court. In February 1938 Bergtals was appointed in the position of the deputy chief prosecutor of the Latvian Senate, in May – in the position of the senator of the Department of Administrative Cases where he worked until the Senate was liquidated on November 26, 1940. The further fate of Teodors Bergtals – like that of six other senators – arrest and deportation in June 1940. By the decision of the special meeting of the USSR Interior People’s commissariat he was sentenced to death by shooting. He was shot on June 9, 1942, in the Perm region, Solikamsk.
The testimonies in the memorial place show the tortures of the senator Bergtals life: the decision of the special meeting on the capital punishment, the extract from the interrogation protocol, photos from the file of the sentenced Bergtals in which it is almost impossible to recognize the once tall and attractive man. There is also a reference from the Riga City Registry Office with an erroneous indication of the time and cause of death of the senator Bergtals. When Bergtals’ wife Marija and his daughter Olga Helena returned from exile they received a reference that he died on February 9, 1945, in the result of cardiac insufficiency. The State Security Committee of the Latvian SSR notified the Interior Ministry of the USSR on the erroneous entry.
One of the photos shows the senator Bergtals together with the staff of his first school - the Valdemarpils elementary school. He repeatedly supported the Friendly Call and donated to his school not only books, but also the chemistry room. During the opening of the memorial his daughter Olga Helena told that the Valdemars parish loaned money to Bergtals for his studies, and he afterwards returned the loan to the parish and much more.
The words of the senator Teodors Bergtals written by him in 1939 and seen also in the memorial place, “A judge should never forget that in the flat and probably tedious files of the court documents there are live people who feel painfully in what manner their sometimes day-to-day and necessary needs are satisfied by the court”, may serve as a guideline in the judicial work.
The work of Teodors Bergtals was highly evaluated – he received the highest award of the Republic of Latvia – two Orders of the Three Stars in 1932 and 1933. However, an award for his life with the same significance is the cognition of his daughter and his grand grandchildren of how proud they are of their father and grand grandfather. And also the respect with which the memories of the Latvian Senate and the senator are maintained and their work continued by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia.
Information prepared by
Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece
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