Fricis Rudzītis

(1987 – 1957)

Fricis Rudzītis. The 1930s. Photo by unknown author.
Fricis Rudzītis with his wife and nephew Andrejs in Kegums. 1939. Photo by unknown author.
Fricis Rudzītis (from the left) at Liepaja Substation. 1943. Photo by unknown author.

Fricis Rudzītis was born in Tadaiki, Priekule Municipality. In 1915, his family relocated to St. Petersburg. After finishing Nikolai Gymnasium, F. Rudzītis continued his studies at the then prestigious St. Petersburg Electrotechnical Institute, graduating with a diploma in electrical engineering in 1922. In 1923, Rudzītis returned to Latvia. The diploma obtained in Soviet Russia was not recognised in Latvia, so he enrolled at the Faculty of Mechanics at the University of Latvia. In 1926, he was the first one at the University of Latvia to receive an electrical engineer’s diploma. In the following years, Fricis Rudzītis improved his knowledge abroad. In 1927, he worked at a transformer building in the Siemens Nuremberg factory in Germany, and from 1928 to 1930 he was employed as an engineer at Metropolitan-Vickers in England, which manufactured generators, steam turbines, electric switchgear and transformers in the first half of the 20th century. From 1930, F. Rudzītis worked as an engineer at the VEF factory (Riga). In 1936, when the construction of Kegums Power Plant was launched, Rudzītis was one of the first to start work at the construction inspectorate. He was responsible for inspecting the equipment supplied for the construction of the power plant. From 1940, he was Head of the Technical Division of the Production Directorate at the State Electricity Enterprise Kegums. Under the supervision of F. Rudzītis, 88 kV power line and transformer substation projects of the Latvian power grid were developed and construction of power lines was carried out. In 1946, Fricis Rudzītis was a senior engineer of the Production Engineering Division at the Energy Enterprises Administration Latenergo under the Latvian SSR Local Industry People’s Commissariat (from 11 April 1946 – the Latvian State Energy Administration Latvenergo under the Ministry of Power Plants of the USSR) and later he was employed as the chief engineer of the Design and Development Office. Until 1957, Fricis Rudzītis directed the construction of 110/20/6 kV transformer substations and the building of 88 kV and 110 kV power lines.

Otto Leimanis

(1884 – 1960)

Employees of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant. 1942. First row, second from the left is Fricis Rudzītis, engineer, in the centre is Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector, and third from the right is Otto Leimanis. Photo by unknown author.
Otto Leimanis was born in Valmiera Parish. In 1903, he finished Riga Nikolai Gymnasium (now Riga State Technical School) with a gold medal for excellence, and in 1916, he graduated from St. Petersburg Electrotechnical Institute, obtaining a diploma in electrical engineering. He started his career at Siemens&Schuckert in St. Petersburg and then he worked at a factory in Izhora and later in Kazan, designing a power plant and managing its construction. From 1920 to 1922, Otto Leimanis managed Brenguli−Trikata Power Plant (company Abuls) and organised the construction of a power grid, from 1922 to 1924 he was Director of Jugla Electricity Company and from 1924 to 1925 he worked as an engineer at the Dole Power Plant Construction Office. In 1925, following the liquidation of the Dole Power Plant Construction Office, Otto Leimanis was employed as a senior engineer at the Maritime Department of the Ministry of Finance. He was entrusted with the elaboration of Latvia’s electrification plan for 1930 – 1950. Otto Leimanis was actively involved in the development of the Latvian power sector and became a member of the Latvian Committee of the Latvian Electricity Council and World Energy Conference. He participated in the evaluation of the design of Kegums Power Plant submitted by the hydrobuilding design office Vattenbyggnadsbyran (Sweden) and in the drafting of the contract with the Swedish company Svenska Entreprenad A. B. (Sentab) on the construction of Kegums Power Plant. In 1936, Otto Leimanis started work as a senior engineer at the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant. From 1940, O. Leimanis was the operations manager of the State Electricity Enterprise Kegums. He was in charge of the construction of the power plant and an 88 kV transmission grid. In 1943–1944, O. Leimanis continued to work in Ostland Energy Supply Company with the General-District Latvia (Energieversorgung Ostland G.m.b.H. Generalbezirk Lettland). The occupation authorities were unable to ensure the presence of high-level professionals for their part; therefore, they engaged local specialists, as power supply issues were also important during the occupation. In 1944, Otto Leimanis emigrated to Germany, and in 1948 he relocated to Great Britain.

Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergs

(1912 – 1981)

Employees of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant. 14 October 1937. First row, third from the left is Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergs and second row, first from the left is Roberts Jēkabsons. Photo by unknown author.
Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergs on the building site of Kegums Power Plant. 1930s. Photo by unknown author.
Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergs at the 88 kV substation of Kegums Power Plant. The 1940s. Photo by unknown author.
Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergss at the control panel plates of the Kegums HPP-1 auxiliary distribution equipment room. The 1960s – 1970s. Photo by unknown author.
Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergs was born in Riga. He went to Riga City Gymnasium No. 4 and started his career at the Maritime Department of the Ministry of Finance, working as a pile driving supervisor at the Export Port in Riga. In 1931 – 1932, he attended training courses for inland waterway service technicians, from 1932 to 1934, he took technical drawing classes (those who completed the classes were called ameliorators at that time) and then he returned to work at the Maritime Department. From 1 December 1936, Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergs began working on the construction of Kegums Power Plant as a senior geodesy technician of the Swedish company Svenska Entreprenad A. B. (Sentab) and superintended dolomite cementing work, geological and hydrometric research as well as measurements in the construction of the dam galleries. From February 1941, he continued to work at Kegums Power Plant, now as a dike technician. In 1944, Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergs was appointed the head of the operational section during the restoration of Kegums Power Plant, but in 1953 he became the head of the hydroengineering section. He was one of the best specialists in the assessment of ice conditions and forecasting probable flood, which helped to accurately organise the drainage of large spring flood waters and ice masses over the dam of Kegums Power Plant in 1951 and 1956. Herberts Knolbahs – Tombergs’ research paper entitled Development of Methodology for Determining the Water Flowrate Through the Kegums HPP Gate Spans won an award at the USSR Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy in Moscow in 1973.

Gustavs Feigmanis

(1885 – 1942)

Engineers of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant and the Swedish company Sentab on the bank of the Daugava River, on the building site of Kegums Power Plant. 1936. First row, first from the right is Aksel Olson, engineer of the Swedish company Sentab, second row, first from the right is Gustavs Feigmanis, third is Austars Šnore, engineer, third row, first from the left is Pēteris Leonhards Stakle, engineer, and fourth row, first from the left is Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector. Photo by unknown author.
Planting lindens in Kegums as part of the Forest Days held in Latvia. 28 April 1938. First row, first from the right is Gustavs Feigmanis, second is Aksel Olson, engineer of the Swedish company Sentab, fourth is Pēteris Leonhards Stakle, engineer, second from the left is Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector, and third is Ludvigs Ēķis, Minister for Finance of the Republic of Latvia. Photo by Eduards Kraucs.
Gustavs Feigmanis was born in Dundaga Parish, Ventspils District. After finishing Talsi Gymnasium, he began mathematical studies at St. Petersburg University, and later he worked at the Russian State Post and Telegraph Office. In 1920, Gustavs Feigmanis returned to Latvia and graduated from the English Language Institute in Riga. G. Feigmanis had a command of seven languages. He joined the State Audit Service of the Republic of Latvia as a member of the panel, carrying out the audits of the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs, and afterwards he became Director of Department No. 2 of the State Audit Office of the Republic of Latvia. From 1936, he was the financial inspector at the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant. The repressions of 14 June 1941 also affected the Feigmanis family. They were sent into exile to Solikamsk Camp in Russia.

Mārtiņš Robs

(1874 – 1947)

Mārtiņš Robs. 1940. Photo by unknown author.
Engineers of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant and the Swedish company Sentab, demonstrate the construction progress of the power plant to Ludvigs Ēķis, Minister for Finance of the Republic of Latvia. 1938. First row, from the right is Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector, Ludvigs Ēķis, Minister for Finance, and Aksel Olson, engineer of the Swedish company Sentab. Second row, third from the right is Fricis Rudzītis, engineer, fourth is Pēteris Stakle, engineer, and sixth is Gustavs Feigmanis, financial inspector of the construction inspectorate. Photo by Eduards Kraucs.
Planting lindens in Kegums as part of the Forest Days held in Latvia. 28 April 1938. First from the right is Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector of Kegums Power Plant, first from the left is Pēteris Leonhards Stakle, engineer, and second is Ludvigs Ēķis, Minister for Finance of the Republic of Latvia. Photo by Eduards Kraucs.
Engineers of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant on the reinforcement decks of the roof part of the power plant building. 1938. From the right is Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector, Otto Lagzdiņš, senior engineer, and Austars Šnore, engineer. Photo by unknown author.
Mārtiņš Robs was born in Vilce, Jelgava District. In 1892, after finishing Jelgava Non-Classical Secondary School, he began studies at the Department of Engineering of Riga Polytechnical Institute and graduated in 1898. After obtaining an engineer’s diploma, Mārtiņš Robs worked on the design and construction of Daugavpils–Smolensk railway and later was also involved in the construction of other Russian railways. Furthermore, Robs gained experience, getting insight into engineering structures in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. In 1922, upon returning to Latvia, Mārtiņš Robs joined the Latvian Railway Service and was in charge of the engineering part of the construction of the new railway lines Liepaja–Gluda, Liepaja–Alsunga and Riga–Rujiena. In 1923–1925, he worked as a senior engineer at the Dole Power Plant Construction Office. In 1930, M. Robs was elected as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Latvia and entrusted with the management of the Railway Construction Department. In 1936, when the construction of Kegums Power Plant was launched, Mārtiņš Robs was appointed the head of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant – a building inspector. He organised the operations of the construction inspectorate and arranged the cooperation of the Swedish company Svenska Entreprenad A. B. (Sentab) with local entrepreneurs. M. Robs was in charge of customs and visa issues, decision-making on changes in the construction design of the power plant, timing of the start-up of the units and operational changes in the construction of the power plant. Between 1942 and 1944, M. Robs, as a high-level professional, continued to work as a building inspector in Ostland Energy Supply Company with the General-District Latvia (Energieversorgung Ostland G.m.b.H. Generalbezirk Lettland). The occupation authorities were unable to ensure the presence of high-level professionals for their part; therefore, they engaged local specialists, as power supply issues were also important during the occupation. In 1944, Mārtiņš Robs was invited as an advisor for the restoration of the destroyed Kegums Power Plant. From 1936 to 1940, Mārtiņš Robs worked as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Latvia. In 1944, he was appointed as a professor and entrusted with the Structural Engineering Department of the University of Latvia. M. Robs published scientific articles on railway construction and Latvian power sector issues. One of his latest papers is Overview of the Cryological Conditions of the Daugava River in the Construction and Operation of Kegums Power Plant. His unexpected death in 1947 put an end to his idea of compiling the observations made during the construction in the monograph Cryological Conditions of the Daugava River.

Pēteris Leonhards Stakle

(1881 – 1944)

Pēteris Stakle (first from the right) on the building site of Kegums Power Plant. 1938. Photo by unknown author.
Pēteris Leonhards Stakle with his family on the building site of Kegums Power Plant. Around 1938 – 1939. Photo by unknown author.
Pēteris Leonhards Stakle was born in Jaunburtnieki Parish. In 1900, after finishing Riga Nikolai Gymnasium (now Riga State Technical School), he began studies at St. Petersburg Institute of Transport Engineers, graduating in 1906 with an engineer’s diploma. Until 1917, Stakle worked on the research and waterway design of Russian rivers – the Pechora River, the Kama River, the Northern Dvina River, the Ural River and the Amur River and gained insight into the U.S. advances in the regulation of large rivers and canals. He took part in the elaboration of the electrification plan for the Northern part of Russia, substantiating the role of water resources in ensuring the country’s energy supply. This plan was later included in the Soviet national electrification plan. Stakle participated in the establishment of the State Hydrological Institute in St. Petersburg, was a professor at the Moscow Land Management Institute and worked at the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1923, Pēteris Leonhards Stakle returned to Latvia with his family. Since 1924, while working at the Maritime Department of the Ministry of Finance, he was in charge of Latvia’s inland water management. Several hundred land improvement projects were developed under the guidance of Stakle, and the most notable of them was the regulation of Lake Lubāns, the improvement of the runoff of the Seda and Briede Rivers and the straightening of the Majori loop in the Lielupe River. All major rivers, lakes and the sea coast of Latvia were surveyed, while hydrometric studies, involving water level observations and flowrate measurements in the biggest rivers were resumed and continued in a targeted manner. Pēteris Leonhards Stakle had an international standing in the European hydrologist community. He delivered lectures on waterside structures at Riga State Technical School. In 1935, Stakle became Vice Director of the Maritime Department and Head of the Engineering Division and participated in the evaluation of the Kegums Power Plant construction design submitted by The Foundation Company (the U.S.) in 1933 as well as in the assessment of the design developed by the hydrobuilding design office Vattenbyggnadsbyran (Sweden) in 1935. In 1936, he became the assistant to Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector of Kegums Power Plant, and organised the construction work of the power plant, and in 1939, he returned to the Maritime Department to take a position as Director. 14 June 1941 became fatal for the Stakle family, just like for a large part of Latvian people. Pēteris Leonhards Stakle did not return from exile in Siberia.

Pāvils Krasovskis

(1906 – 1945)

Engineers of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant and the Swedish company Sentab at the control panel of Kegums Power Plant. 1939. From the left is Karl Emil Sederbaum, Sentab engineer, Pāvils Krasovskis, director of the power plant, Pēteris Leonhards Stakle, engineer of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant, Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector, Gustavs Feigmanis, financial inspector, Edgars Kelders, deputy director of the power plant, and Aksel Olson, Sentab engineer. Photo by unknown author.
Pāvils Krasovskis, director of Kegums Power Plant. Around 1940. Photo by unknown author.
Pāvils Krasovskis, director of Kegums Power Plant. Around 1940. Photo by unknown author.
Pāvils Krasovskis was born in Kurmane Parish, Bauska District. After finishing Jekabpils Secondary School, he enrolled at the Department of Electrical Engineering of the Faculty of Mechanics at the University of Latvia in 1929 and was awarded a diploma in electrical engineering in 1934. After his military service in the Latvian Army, Daugavpils City Council appointed Pāvils Krasovskis as Director of Daugavpils Power Plant. From February 1939, P. Krasovskis worked as an electrical engineer at the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant, and in December he was appointed Director of Kegums Power Plant. He earned practical experience for managing the power plant during his internship in Sweden. P. Krasovskis continued to manage the power plant during the Soviet and German occupations, when the largest electricity generation plant in Latvia was included in Ostland Energy Supply Company with the General-District Latvia (Energieversorgung Ostland G.m.b.H. Generalbezirk Lettland). In September 1944, Pāvils Krasovskis was arrested for undermining the plans of the German occupation authorities to blow up Kegums Power Plant. His life was cut short at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Germany in 1945.

Edgars Kelders

(1900 – 1956)

Edgars Kelders at water drainage equipment on the construction site of Kegums Power Plant. 1938. Photo by unknown author.
Edgars Kelders, deputy director of Kegums Power Plant (in the centre), at the control panel of Kegums Power Plant. 1940. Photo by unknown author.
Engineers of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant at the parts of the hydropower unit in the machine hall of the power plant. 1938. From the left is Edgars Kelders, engineer, Mārtiņš Robs, building inspector, and Otto Lagzdiņš, senior engineer. Photo by unknown author.
Edgars Kelders was born in St. Petersburg. After finishing non-classical secondary school in 1918, he began his studies at the Faculty of Mechanics of St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute. His studies were interrupted by the war. In 1923, Kelders moved to Latvia and entered the Faculty of Mechanics at the University of Latvia. First, he was a student of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and later he transferred to the Department of Electrical Engineering, graduating with an electrical engineer’s diploma in 1934. Along with his studies, Kelders worked at Valmiera Power Plant and later in the Liepaja Military Port workshops. In 1938, E. Kelders started work as an engineer at the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant, carrying out inspection of the equipment. Edgars Kelders also acquired power plant managing skills during his internship in Sweden, and on 4 December 1939, he became the assistant to Pāvils Krasovskis, Director of Kegums Power Plant. In 1944, Edgars Kelders fled the country, continued to work as a turbine engineer at Trattendorf Power Plant in Germany and left for the U.S. in 1949, where he worked at the technical office of National Pneumatic Co and later at Epsco.

Ēvalds Šics

(1902 – 1953)

Ēvalds Šics (from the right) with his wife Lilija and J. Gailītis, engineer, with his wife. 1933. Photo by unknown author.
Ēvalds Šics (in the centre) at the future temporary protective dike enclosing the construction site of Kegums Power Plant. 1936. Photo by Eduards Kraucs.
Ēvalds Šics (in the centre) at the dam gate structure of Kegums Power Plant. 1939. Photo by unknown author.
Employees of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant. 1937. First from the left is Marta Placēna, typist, and Otto Lagzdiņš, senior engineer; second row from the left is Eižens Kārkliņš, technician, Austars Šnore and Roberts Jēkabsons, engineers, Ēvalds Šics and Antons Janušs, technicians. Photo by unknown author.
Ēvalds Šics was born in Rauna Parish. After finishing Berzaune Secondary School, he began his studies at the University of Latvia. As a student apprentice he was involved in the research activities of the Venta River organised by the Maritime Department of the Ministry of Finance, and from 1925, he led the hydrological research of the Gauja and Lielupe Rivers as an engineering technician. From 1936, Ēvalds Šics was a technician at the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant. One of his work tasks was keeping a diary of the construction works. Every day, Ē. Šics pedantically wrote down the progress of the works and events related to the construction of the power plant. The history of the construction of Kegums Power Plant from 1936 to 1940, which was written down by order of the construction inspectorate of Kegums Power Plant, has been collected in five thick volumes and is stored in the Latvian State Historical Archives of the National Archives of Latvia. Today, this diary has become one of the most important documents in the research of the history of the construction of the power plant. After World War II, Ēvalds Šics worked as a teacher of physics and mathematics at Skriveri Primary School.

Valentīns Pāvuls

(1905 – 1993)

Valentīns Pāvuls. The 1940s – 1950s. Photo by unknown author.
Valentīns Pāvuls (in the centre) working on the construction of the pier of the permanent bridge over the Daugava River on the building site of Kegums Power Plant. 15 October 1936. Photo by unknown author.
Valentīns Pāvuls (second from the right) working as a diver. The 1930s – 1940s. Photo by unknown author.
Valentīns Pāvuls was born in Riga. He went to Evening Secondary School of the Latvian Culture Promotion Society, then attended ship navigation classes at Krišjānis Valdemārs Marine School and later studied at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Latvia. In 1928, Valentīns Pāvuls began his military service in the Latvian Army and was referred for taking diving classes at the Latvian Naval Instructors School. He continued his service as a seaman of the Latvian Navy, but actually performed diving work, as he had acquired these skills in his early childhood, while doing submarine work with his father. In 1932, Pāvuls superintended submarine work for laying a telegraph cable along the Daugava riverbed from Jekabpils to Krustpils and took part in the construction of a bridge over the river. In 1933 he became the chairman of the diving association Dzelme and organiser of diving competitions. From 1936, Valentīns Pāvuls was involved in the construction of Kegums Power Plant. At first, he carried out the compaction of the submerged parts of the temporary protective dikes enclosing the construction site as a diver and later worked as a technician in blasting and concreting works. In 1941, Valentīns Pāvuls continued working as a diver at the metal collection and recycling company Izejviela, organising and managing the raising of sunken ships and other wreckage which interfered with the navigation of ships in Latvia’s rivers and the sea. In 1944, Valentīns Pāvuls relocated with his family to Sweden, where he worked in the construction of hydropower plants for more than 10 years and later he moved to Toronto (Canada).