Interesting and valuable exhibit has arrived to the museum of the Supreme Court from America. It is family tree of the family of Zamuels, collected and made by one of the first senators of Latvian Senate and the first chief prosecutor of Latvia Voldemars Zamuels (1872-1948). Roots of the family have been researched since the beginning of 17th century.

The copy of the family tree, drawn in perfectly smart and clear handwriting of the senator, has been presented to the museum of the Supreme Court by Mara Celle, niece of Herta Skujina-Zamuele, daughter-in-law of Voldemars Zamuels. She got the family tree from great-grandson of the ex-senator, Kurts Poruks, persuading him that actual place of the tree is here, in the museum of the Supreme Court, where memories about senators-judges of Latvian Senate of the first epoch of independent Latvia, are kept.  

Kurts Poruks lives in the USA, he was married to an American citizen, he has got three daughters, and unfortunately, neither he, nor his daughters speak Latvian language already. Great-grandson was surprised, getting to know that in Latvia the name of his great-grandfather is famous, that memories about him have been kept and there is interest towards family of Zamuels.

Sworn advocate Voldemars Zamuels was one of the most famous formers of Latvian state in the beginning of 20th century. He was the Chair of Temporary National Board of Latvia in 1917, participated in workout of political platform of Latvian National Board on December 19, 1918, he formed the Senate of Latvia, was elected for the post of one of six first senators and the Chair of the Supreme Court Martial. In 1919 he was elected for the post of the first chief prosecutor of the Senate, and had worked in this post until June, 1921. Then he was a member of Satversme session, Prime-Minister, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Agriculture. In 1927 he was nominated as a candidate for the post of the President of the State. V. Zamuels was awarder with Order of Three Stars, but he refused to take it. After revolt on May 15, 1934, he was dismissed from government service and excluded from advocacy. In 1944 he went to exile and died in Germany in 1948.   

Mara Celle gave to the museum of the Supreme Court also several valuable photos of Zamuels family, taken in 1902 and 1907; in these photos future senator was taken with his wife Marie Irma and children Valdemars and Nora, and photo made in 1933, in which he was taken together with daughter Nora, son Valdemars and son’s family – his wife Herta and daughter Dagne. These photos also with a help of Mara Celle were given to the museum by the great-grandson of the ex-senator.   

Mara Celle visited the museum of the Supreme Court in summer of last year. Having noticed among names of first senators Voldemars Zamuels, related to her family, Mara remembered that he had seen big paper roll, in which there was a family tree, drawn by “old Zamuels”, as they named ex-senator. In autumn, having returned to the USA, Mara started to look for her nephew Kurts that she hadn’t seen for a long time, as she hoped the family tree was with him. Efforts were successful, Mara got a family tree of Zamuels, with a help of specialists she made a copy of it, added new data about senator’s family to it and this summer, while coming to Latvia, she took a big roll with her.

Mara Celle is an American Latvian, who together with her husband, social employee Ojars Celle, has partially come back to Latvia. Her father was Julijs Lacis, journalist and writer, editor of magazine “Atputa”, published by Benjamins family, he was retaliated and died in prison of Astrakhan in 1941. Her mother was poetess Ruta Skujina – in 1944 she, together with her both underage daughters Lalita and Mara went to exile to Germany. On the ship they were together with daughter-in-law of the ex-senator Zamuels, Herta, and his granddaughters Dagne and Laila, and they stayed together during years of exile.



Information prepared by

The Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece

E-mail:, telephone: 67020396, 28652211