Born Mar. 18, 1916, in the city of Cēsis; died May 25, 1944, in Riga. A participant in Latvia’s revolutionary movement and an organizer of the partisan movement during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. Hero of the Soviet Union (awarded posthumously Oct. 23,1957). Member of the Communist Party from 1940.
The son of a teacher, Sudmalis joined the Communist Youth League of Latvia in 1932 and headed the underground Komsomol organization in Liepāja. He was subjected to arrests and imprisonment. Following the restoration of Soviet power in Latvia in June 1940, he became editor of the newspaper Kommunist, secretary of the district committee of Liepāja, and a member of the Central Committee of the Lenin Communist Youth League (LCYL) of Latvia. In June 1941, Sudmalis participated in the defense of Liepāja and then fought with the Byelorussian partisans in the region of Osvea. He served as party organization secretary of a Latvian partisan special detachment from December 1942 and of a Latvian partisan brigade from March 1943. In August 1943 he was appointed task-force commissioner of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) and of the Central Committee of the LCYL of Latvia. He founded and directed the Riga underground city committee of the LCYL.
In February 1944, Sudmalis was seized by the Hitlerites and killed after brutal torture. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin.
REFERENCESRashkevits, A. K. “Za rodnuiu Sovetskuiu vlast’.” In the collection Geroipodpol’ia. Moscow, 1968.
Muzikantiks, I., and D. Reita. Imants Sudmalis. Riga, 1966.