"TheCelotajs" –
 

Latvia Jewish Holocaust

 
 
Liepaja
1941 Jewish Holocaust Memorials and Cemetery 
Lat: N56.49260, Lon: E021.00736
Cenkones iela 39,
Liepaja, Latvia
 
                
 
The need for this memorial became evident in 1998 when it was learned that the names of most Liepaja Holocaust victims had been forgotten. Although Yad Vashem (Jerusalem) had since 1953 collected victims’ names from survivors, only 20% of the names from Latvia had been recovered, and there was little hope of getting additional names. As only 2% of Latvian Jews had survived the German occupation, many Liepaja Jewish families and their friends were totally annihilated in the Holocaust, leaving nobody to remember their names. Such oblivion would have pleased Hitler.
 
For the next 3 years and aided by Juris Dubrovskis in Riga, a search of dozens of archival sources in five countries for Jews who lived in Liepaja on the eve of the Holocaust. Ella Barkan in Tel Aviv provided invaluable help by interviewing survivors. A memorial book with 7,060 names was published in 2001. The complete database was posted on the Internet, enabling people to check for errors and omissions. The current list, posted on the Memorial Wall, includes 6,428 names of the victims of Hitler and Stalin. That is at least 93% of the total.
 
With helped from Ella Barkan and Solomon Feigerson, plans for a Memorial Wall in the Jewish Cemetery in Liepaja was started. The Wall was strictly a grass-roots effort, without any help or support by organizations or governments. However, a gratefully acknowledge contributions by the City of Liepaja toward renovation of the cemetery. The memorial was designed by Alzhaana grafikas un dizaina birojs “Liepaja” and was built by UPTK Liepaja.
 
One cannot revive the victims of the Holocaust or even provide them a decent burial. As a symbolic gesture, sand from the Škede Dunes Mass Graves was buried at the foot of the Memorial; it probably contains a few atoms of the victims. In a more visible tribute we have brought their names to the cemetery, where most victims would have found their final resting place if there had been no war, no Holocaust, and no Gulag.
 
 
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Memorial with the Victims Names and their finial Burial Site of the victims of those who were murders in Raina Park.
 
The first murder operation took place on the first day of occupation, on 3rd and 4th of July 1941, when the Einsaztkommando shot a group of Jews along with other Latvian activists and Red Army POW’s in the anti-tank ditches in Rainis Park. The killings were carried out by Einsatzkommando 1a, under the command of SS-Obersturmfuhrer Fritz Reichert. Groups of victims “according to different sources, between 33 and 150 men” that apparently comprised of Jews and suspected political
activists and Red Army POW’s were ordered to march in line along Brivibas iela to the two ditches previously dug by the Red Army, 100 and 200 meters in length, where they were shot. A few days later, they were reburied in the Jewish Cemetery. There is a memorial located in the Jewish Cemetery with the names of those shot in Raina Park.
 
There are different estimates of the total number of victims that varies from several dozen to about 300. The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission investigating Nazi crimes noted that “is seemingly exaggerated” 1,430 people were killed in Raina 
Park.
 
 
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Revised: 12/06/2012 – 13:36:25
 
 

Liepaja Holocaust Memorials Cemetery -