Alfons Noviks (1908–1996). Noviks was the most notorious overseer of Soviet state terror in Latvia. Little is known about his personal life. Born in Eastern Latvia, he was probably recruited as a Soviet agent in the 1920s. After the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940, he became the Commissar of the Interior (NKVD). His Commissariat included the Office – later the Commissariat of State Security (NKGB) – led by Simon Shustin (1908–1978?). Shustin and other operatives came from Russia with obvious instructions to organize the security operations. As a willing native executioner, Noviks enjoyed the trust of the authorities. He and Shustin were responsible for carrying out brutal repressions against the Latvian population in 1940/41.
Under the aegis of Novik and Shustin, the Ministry of the Interior became the feared center of persecutions, which included arrests, executions, and a mass deportation of entire families. They were sanctioned by the criminal law of the Russian SFSR, which allowed retroactive prosecution of persons who had belonged to "counterrevolutionary" institutions in independent Latvia. A jail and an execution chamber were built in the basement of the ministry. Many people were tortured and executed there. After Nazi-German rule, Noviks returned to Latvia with Soviet occupation forces in 1944/45 and continued as the Commisssar, later Minister, of State Security until 1953. His signature is on many documents, including those of the mass deportation of over 42,000 in 1949. He was tried and found guilty of genocide in 1996 after Latvia had regained independence. He died in prison shortly thereafter.