Ilze Berzins

Latvia’s Cannibals

There is an old Latvian joke.

Question: What is a Latvian’s favourite food?

Answer : Another Latvian.

Nowhere is this phenomenon made more vivid than in the recently published dissing of Latvia’s past President, Vaira Vike-Freiberga. This bizarre attack takes place in the flimsy pages of Lato Lapsa’s publication which he entitles, rather clumsily: ‘Va (i) ras virtuve.’

Lapsa clearly suffers from the ‘cannibal pot syndrome’.

The diagnosis of this syndrome has a poor prognosis:

The indications are that every time somebody tries to crawl out of the pot, the rest of the victims drag the escapee back into the boiling cauldron.

History plays a part in this syndrome.

Latvia has been a slave culture for 900 out of the last 1000 years.

Such long-term conditions have had a genetic and psychic impact on its people, including tendencies towards neurosis compounded with paranoid feelings of self-loathing and unwarranted inferiority complexes.