Zedelgem ResearchWork in Progress and a Documentary Trailer
In June of 2014, a research group from the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia visited and conducted studies in Zedelgem. Indeed, they were the first Latvian historians to have crossed the camp's threshold in seventy years. The Museum has collected a wide range of artefacts: original documents, photographs, objects created in the camp, published newspapers and journals. Unfortunately, these materials are not yet web-accessible, as the Museum is working with the original owners and rights holders — the Latvian National Library, Latvian War Museum, and other owners. That collection is currently being used to produce a historical research study, "Zedelgem," expected to be published in 2018.
The Latvian POWs held in Zedelgem wound up primarily in Great Britain, the U.S., Canada, and Germany. The Museum's research has included gathering in-person video interviews of POW recollections. Their work, however, can never be truly completed. The Museum would be grateful for information regarding the POWs and camp as well as donations of photographs and original documents for its specialists to use in their comprehensive study of Zedelgem. Hopefully, as time progresses, we will be able to share some of the Museum's research here. If you have a family member who was a POW in Zedelgem, we would be glad to facilitate your contact with the Museum as well as publish any materials you are willing to share here on our site.
In the meantime, the Museum has produced a documentary film about Zedelgem, which showcases many of the materials mentioned:
The trailer follows with thanks to and by permission of the Museum. In Latvian with English subtitles. You can use the YouTube controls to set the video to full screen and to adjust the quality to full HD.
At 2:40 of the video, look for POWs building a replica of Latvia's Freedom Monument, the vignette lasts only for a few seconds. The completed monument is featured at the close of the trailer.
Our sincere thanks to Andrejs Edvīns Feldmanis, the Museum's audio-visual collection consultant-historian—and the first of the Latvian historical research team to enter the Zedelgem grounds—for the information shared here.
Updated: September, 2019