Scope and Content Note
Title: Felikss Cielens papers,
Date (inclusive): 1913-1960
Collection number: 66003
5 manuscript boxes
(2 linear feet)
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Memoirs, writings, correspondence, memoranda, and printed matter, relating to Latvian foreign relations and political conditions.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Collection is open for research.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], Felikss Cielens papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.
Increments may have been received since this finding aid was prepared. Please check Stanford University's online catalog Socrates
to find the full extent of the collection.
||Participates in revolution against Czarist rule
||Studies law in St. Petersburg
||Emigrates to Paris
||Returns to Latvia, and is elected to the Saeima (parliament) as a member of the Latvian Social Democratic Party
||Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs
||Latvian Minister to France, Spain, and Portugal
||Lives in exile in Paris
||Returns to Latvia
||Flees occupied Latvia to Sweden
Laikmetu maiņā, memoirs, published in three volumes
Scope and Content Note
Acquired in 1966, with increments received in 1979 and 1984, the Felikss Cielens papers in the Hoover Institution Archives
comprise a small but comprehensive set of materials relating to the career of an important twentieth-century Latvian political
figure. Nearly all of Cielens's extant writings, both literary and political, are to be found in the collection, as are documents
pertaining to his tenure as Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs in the 1920s.
Like many Latvians, Cielens was swept up in the turbulent events of the 1905 revolution against Czarist rule in the Russian
empire, which then included the Baltic peoples. The failure of the revolution, and the subsequent severe repression by Czarist
forces, drove many activists into exile, including Cielens. Although a Social Democrat and an opponent of the Bolsheviks,
Cielens came into personal contact with many leading personalities of the Russian revolutionary milieu, including Lenin. His
impressions of this time are contained in his memoirs and a lengthy unpublished novel set in the period of the 1917 Russian
Revolution and its aftermath; both works are to be found in the SPEECHES AND WRITINGS series.
A strong advocate of Latvian independence, Cielens rose to prominence in the Social Democratic party in the new Latvia of
the 1920s, and served as the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs at the end of that decade. The FOREIGN MINISTRY FILE series
contains materials relating to Cielens's ministerial activities; there are also press interviews from this time in the INTERVIEWS
AND PRESS CONFERENCES series.
During 1933-1934, Cielens served as Latvian Minister to France. There is unfortunately little record of this period in the
collection. The emergence of the authoritarian Ulmanis regime in Latvia in the mid-1930s, and the loss of Latvian independence
in 1940, effectively ended Cielens's political career within Latvia. Leaving occupied Latvia for Sweden in 1944, Cielens continued
to be active both as a writer and as an émigré spokesman. Immediately upon his arrival in Sweden, he wrote a number of reports
on the situation in occupied Latvia for the American embassy in Stockholm. These form a separate series in the collection.
Cielens's interests included Latvian literature, and he published a number of studies on the subject, including a short work
on Latvian drama that is included among the papers. He wrote prolifically until the end of his life, and the collection assembles
the articles he wrote for Latvian émigré publications, principally in Sweden. The majority of the documents in the collection
are in Latvian, but there are also materials in French, English, Swedish, and Russian.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.
Latvia--Politics and government.