Forest Brethren

Forest Brethren

 

Latvian partisans during the Revolution of 1905–07; they were directed by revolutionary Latvian Social Democrats.

The movement unfolded after the December armed uprisings of 1905. The Forest Brethren movement reached its peak in the summer of 1906. Groups of Forest Brethren consisted of former members of volost (small rural district) administrative committees and people’s militia who had hidden in the forests from the punitive expeditions of the tsarist government. Supported by the peasantry, they repelled the attacks of the army and battled against German barons. They set fire to manorial estates, arranged political meetings, disseminated revolutionary appeals, closed down taverns, and attacked volost administrative units. In Courland Province alone from January to November 1906 the partisans carried out about 400 actions. Groups of Forest Brethren were in operation up to December 1906, when by decision of the Social Democrats of the Latvian region they were eliminated because of the retreat of the revolution.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 13, pp. 374–76.
Lenin, V. I. Ibid, vol. 14, pp. 4–8.
Revoliutsiia 1905–1907 gg. v. Latvii: Dokumenty i materialy. Riga, 1956.
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