In September 4th the City Development Committee of Rīga municipality decided to name an important street by prominent nationalist, general Pēteris Radziņš. The decision still has to be confirmed by the city council, but it should not cause any difficulties as the unanimous support showed in the Committee meeting. The iniciative at first came from the General Pēteris Radziņš Society with close ties to Latvian government coalition nationalist party National Alliance “All for Latvia!” – “For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK”.
General Radziņš (1880-1930) was the planner and a leader of the Latvian Independence War, an ingenious warrior and the military strategist, to whom Latvians should be thankful for the victory in both frontlines during the Independence War and the liberation of Latvia from both enemy forces, the so called Bermontians and the Bolsheviks. Should also be added that this military miracle was admired of that time in the press around the world. This military victories took place in spite of the terrible losses and ravages caused by WWI, when around a half of the tiny Latvian nation were trapped in compulsive refugeedom in Russia.
Additionally, general Radziņš was a significant thinker and geopolitician of his time, who even predicted the future military pact between Soviet Russia and Germany, which followed 19 years later and 9 years after his death. He also contributed a lot to the Intermarium idea; he himself had good and respectful relationship with both Jozef Pilsudski and Symon Petliura, in whose struggle against Bolsheviks Radziņš also played a significant role. The field of his ideas was not only military and political, but also ethical, religious, philosophical etc.
General Radziņš was later the commander of Latvian army and lecturer for the young officers. Because of his very nationalistic and conservative views as well as his anti-Soviet position, general had influential enemies on the left side both in Latvia and outside.
Unfortunately, in a result of socialist intrigues, the general, without whose contribution the Latvian state would not exist today, fell into disgrace and was forced twice to leave the army. Even today the general’s memorial is insufficient and his merit is not properly valued. His name was largely unknown in Latvian society until recently, when it has become a bit more popular due to the activities of General Pēteris Radziņš Society. In between his two services in Latvian army the general joined the Latvian National club – one of the most significant active nationalist organizations of the time.
The chosen place for the General Radziņš’ street is along the right coast of Daugava river and in a way it is representing the fateful fronteline during the Independence War battles in Riga against Bermontian armed forces. The beginning of this street is marked by leftovers of the old pedestrian bridge, which became “to be or not to be” frontier during the crucial attack resourcefully planned by general Radziņš. Daugava is “Destiny River” in Latvian collective consciousness and as such, it is a lot mentioned in Latvian folklore. The positive outcome of this iniciative by General Pēteris Radziņš Society comes as a surprise due to the pro-Kremlin leading coalition of municipality of Rīga.