"TheCelotajs" –

Latvia Jewish Holocaust

Rumbula Forest –
Site of the Nazi SS 30 Nov. 8 December 1941 Jewish Mass Execution Site 
Maskavas iela 450k – Lat: N56.88547, Lon: E024.24579
In November, 1941 the Nazi Administration decided to destroy all the Jews imprisoned in the Riga Ghetto.
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Rumbula is a small railroad station 12 kilometers southeast of Riga, which was connected with Daugavpils, the second largest city in Latvia, by the rail line along the north side of the Daugava River. Located on a hill about 250 meters from the station, the massacre site was a “rather open and accessible place”. The view is blocked by vegetation. The gun fire was audible from the station grounds. The area lay between the rail line and the Riga-Daugavpils highway, with the rail line to the north of the highway. Rumbula was part of a forest and swamp area known in Latvian as V?rnu mežs. The sounds of gun fire could be and was heard from the highway. The Nazi occupation authorities carried out a number of other massacres on the north bank of the Daugava in the Rumbula vicinity. The soil was sandy and it was easy to dig graves. While the surrounding pine woods were sparse, there was a heavily forested area in the center which became the execution site. The rail line and highway made it easy to move the victims from the Riga Ghetto. It had to be within walking distance of the Riga Ghetto on the southeast side of the city, as well as transport the murders and their arms.
Located in six massive graves were 25,000 Jews, including about one thousand Jews deported from Germany, who arrived in Riga by “Locked Transport Carriages” on 30 November 1941 unexpectedly, were immediately taken from the “Locked Railway Transport Carriages” to Rumbula Forest were they were murdered that same day. The murders were held in two waves on 30 November and 8 December 1941. In 1944 the Nazis used several hundred Jews from the “Kaiserwald Concentration Camp”, to try and hide from the world what they had done here, were used for exhuming and burning the bodies that were murdered here in 1941, were also murdered here.
Men women children and families under the pretext and promise of work, the Jewish groups were taken by railway carriages, trucks or were forced to walk carrying only a single suitcase and the cloths on their back from the Riga Ghetto to the entrance to Rumbula Forest where their lives were changed for ever. Men women children families and undesirables entered Rumbula Forest to never return. Others were Western European Jews, Soviet war prisoners, and the Nazis’ political adversaries, were murdered here.
Moving down the path leading to one after another of the mass graves located through the forest, all one has to do is close your eyes open your mind and ears you will be able to see feel and hear the men women and children being moved silently to an area where they were ordered to leave their suitcases ordered to undress, naked and now stripped of their possessions and their dignitary they were then taken to the edge of one of the freshly dug mass graves lined up and shot some were shot in the back of the head as others were lined up in groups and then shot in the back as shots ring out the bodies fell backward and crumble into the grave. One group after another was murdered until the mass grave was full. Then they would move on to the next mass grave and the murders would continue. Soviet war prisoners who were ordered and forced to dig the mass graves then were ordered to fill them in. Once their work was done, they were also murdered and dumped into one of the mass graves.
Memorial in Rumbula Forest
In 1964, local Jewish activists managed to overcome Soviet government barriers and erected the Rumbula memorial stone, with the inscription “To the victims of fascism” not only in Latvian and Russian, but also in Yiddish.
The memorial designed by Sergejs Rizhs was inaugurated on 29 November 2002. It was created with the support of various institutions and organizations as well as private donations by individuals from Latvia, Israel, USA, and Germany.
Near the road, at the entrance to the memorial complex, there is a metal construction that symbolizes the horror of the catastrophe. This is the path on which thousands of Jews were driven to their deaths.
The entrance to the memorial is marked by two slabs with inscriptions in Latvian, English, German, and Hebrew, narrating the tragic events that took place here. The path leads to the central part of the memorial, where a menorah “Ritual Candlestick” woven of metal wire and four meters in height, is located. The base of the candlestick has the shape of the Star of David, whose sides bear engravings of the ghetto street names.
The names of those killed in Rumbula are carved into the granite stones.
On the grounds of the memorial there are six mass graves marked by rectangular raised concrete borders.
While creating this memorial, the memorial stone from the Soviet times was preserved.
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Revised: 24 May 2012 – 12:20:45