Karlis Lobe

Publié le par Roger Cousin

Karlis Lobe Kārlis Lobe (26 March 1895 - 9 July 1985) was a Latvian officer in the Imperial Russian Army, Latvian Army and the Latvian Legion, recipient of the Order of the Three Stars. Kārlis Lobe was born in "Janēni" homestead in Jaunpiebalga parish, Cēsis district. He graduated the Piebalga congregation school, and in 1914 an agrocultural school in the vicinity of Pskov. In 1916 he graduated from military academy and joined the 2. Riga Latvian Riflemen Regiment, where he commanded a company in the Christmas Battles of 1916/1917. In 1918, after the Bolshevik coup, Lobe joined the Army of Kolchak, and later commanded the Latvian Imanta Regiment founded in Vladivostok, with which he intended to return to Latvia to join the War of Independence.

Lobe returned to Riga in 1920 and joined the Latvian Army. From 1921 he was a lecturer at the Military academy, at the rank of a captain. In 1932 Lobe graduated from the Higher Military Academy courses, and in 1935 was placed in command of the 12. Bauska Infantry Regiment of the 4. Zemgale Infantry Division. In April 1938 he was transferred to the Military academy. In 1939 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed at chief of staff of 2. Ventspils Infantry Regiment of the 1. Kurzeme Infantry Division. During the year of Soviet occupation Lobe escaped repression and deportations. Lobe married his wife Milda (b. 13 February 1898 in Latvia) on 22 May 1922. She died on 31 May 1985, at Österhaninge south of Stockholm, Sweden.

After the German invasion of the USSR Lobe became the commander of the Ventspils self-defence force. There is conflicting information regarding Lobe's participation in the Holocaust, as of now his involvement is yet to be definitively proven. At the end of 1941 Lobe is appointed head of the Latvian self-defence force. Later he is involved in anti-partisan operations against Soviet guerillas in Eastern Latvia and Belarus with the Latvian police battalions. In spring of 1943 Lobe becomes commander of the 2. (Imanta) Infantry Regiment of the 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS on the Volkhov Front. In 1944 Lobe is awarded the rank of colonel and commander of the infantry of the entire Division, participating in fighting in the Opochka district and in Vidzeme. At the end of 1944 he is appointed as commander of Latvian construction battalion in Germany, but to his Latvian nationalistic views is relieved of this command and placed before a German military tribunal. At the end of the war Lobe is interned in British zone of occupation for the period of a year.

After the war Lobe actively participates in the commune of Latvians in exile in Germany, such as the Hawks of Daugava organization. He continues this involvement after moving to Sweden in 1950. Lobe is an active participant in the Central Council of Latvians in Sweden. Lobe passes away 9 July 1985 at Österhaninge, south of Stockholm, Sweden. Lobe married his wife Milda on 22 May 1922. She was born on 13 February 1898 and died on 31 May 1985 at Österhaninge, south of Stockholm, after 63 years of marriage.

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