Oshkaln, Otomar Petrovich
(Otomārs Oškalns). Born Mar. 30 (Apr. 12), 1904, in Skujene Volost (small rural district), in present-day Cēsis Raion, Latvian SSR; died Sept. 1, 1947, in Riga. Soviet party official and an organizer of the partisan movement in Latvia during the Great Patriotic War (1941–45). Hero of the Soviet Union (June 28, 1945). Member of the Communist Party from 1939. Son of a farm laborer.
After graduating from the Riga Teachers Institute in 1925, Oshkaln worked as a teacher. A member of the Latvian Komsomol (Communist Youth League) from 1921, he was arrested several times and detained in a concentration camp for revolutionary activity. After the overthrow of the bourgeois regime in 1940, Oshkaln was elected first to the People’s Saeima and then to the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR. In 1940–41 he served as second secretary of the Jēkabpils District Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Latvia (CPL). From 1942 to 1944 he was commissar of a partisan detachment (and later of the For Soviet Latvia Regiment), a member of the operations group of the Central Committee of the CPL for organizing the partisan movement, and commissar and commander of a Latvian partisan brigade. In 1944 he was appointed first secretary of the Riga party district committee, and in 1946 he became minister of industrial crops of the Latvian SSR. He was a deputy to the second convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Oshkaln was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Patriotic War Second Class, and many medals.
REFERENCESRashkevits, A. K. “Za Sovetskuiu Latviiu.” In Sovetskie partizany. Moscow, 1961.
Rashkevits, A. K. “Otets latyshskikh partizan.” In the collection Liudi legend, issue 3. Moscow, 1968.
Rashkevits, A. K. “Za rodnuiu Sovetskuiu vlast.” In the collection Geroipodpol’ia, issue 2. Moscow, 1972.