Occasionally I will Google family names, just to see if any new information has come to light out there on the internet. Sometimes this is fruitless, but sometimes it produces a gem of information. I found an article relating to my 2x great grandmother Jule Dzerve’s little brother Fricis, a student at the Kuldiga teacher’s seminary and active participant in the growing revolutionary movement in the Russian Empire in 1905 and the farm owned by Jule and her husband Indrikis Ziverts – Skrundenieki.
This article was generously translated for me by a member of the Latvian Genealogy community. It is important to note that this article was published in the 1980’s in Kuldiga, Latvia during Soviet times, and as such, is written from a Soviet viewpoint.
“75 years ago the revolutionary movement was active around Nikrace. In 1905 Fricis Dzerve, who lived at Skrundenieki, joined the LSDSP (Latvian Farmer’s Union – political party). He participated in the farm workers’ strike and was an organizer in the revolutionary violence in Aizpute and other revolutionary events. Party members from Liepaja visited Skrundenieki often. Through Fricis Dzerve, Nikrace revolutionaries as well as others in Latvia and Russia learned about the events in Liepaja.
At the end of 1905, due to the arrival of Kurmales Baron Silvio Bredrihs led forces in Nikrace, Fricis Dzerve hid in the forests around Nikrace.
On 12 Jan 1906 S. Bredrihs’ forces broke into Skrundenieki, upon not finding the Fricis, the brave revolutionary, they burnt down the house. In March, they finally found Fricis, he was imprisoned and tortured but did not betray anything or anyone. He had told his sister that he wouldn’t be either the first or last to die at the hands of the counter revolutionaries. He was shot at Priekule.
The ‘forces of punishment’ also dealt inhumanely with other revolutionaries. At Skerveli, servants Julijus Dikerts and Jekabs Pauna were imprisoned in Mazdzeldes sawmill. To liven things up the Czars forces took their prisoners to the forest and demanded that they recover whatever they had hidden. Of course there was nothing to recover. Having belittled and laughed at the revolutionaries the Dragoons took them to Dizdzelda house. Turning in the opposite direction they stopped and shots rang out. Jekabs Pauna slumped dead onto the snow. Julijus Dikerts was seriously injured. Another shot rang out. But the drunken Dragoons still had not accomplished their objective. A Dragoon who was not as drunk as the rest, rushed over and bayonetted the revolutionary.
The inhabitants of Nikrace were subjected to a bloodbath, the Dragoons acted insanely. They attacked the Manor house’s coachman Jekabs Grinerts and accused him of plotting to burn down the Manor. For having these thoughts he deserved the highest sentence without any further investigation. The threat was immediately carried out, he was shot along with Nikrace manor’s servant Oto Stepanski and Ernests Nunevics.
Janis Versinskis, servant from Dizdzeldas Manor was murdered at Kaku grava (literally cat’s ravine). Jekabs Rosentals LSDSP member and committee member of Brinki government was also shot. Ernests Iesalnieks, servant from Brinki and Ievalds Rozis, servant from Mazdzelde were murdered at Tukums Manor. A passerby saw that Ernests Iesalnieks showed signs of life and reported this to the Manor. Without hesitation a group of Dragoons immediately returned to the murder scene and bayonetted the revolutionary.
But in 1905 the flame of the revolutionary movement burned bright in the hearts of many inhabitants of Nikrace and they welcomed the Latvian Red Riflemen. When the outnumbered, the riflemen were forced to retreat, many from Nikrace went with them. 40 years ago Nikrace’s farm workers sincerely welcomed the establishment of Communist Latvia. 35 years ago Nikrace’s territory fell silent on the topic of the Great Fatherland’s war connections. Today’s inhabitants of Nikrace have not forgotten their great grandfathers, the enemies of the fallen revolutionaries are chiselled in stone. Generation after generation speak of their heroic deeds.’