Exhibit includes lesser known Latvian Holocaust sites

A new online exhibit detailing little known sites in the former Soviet Union where Jews were murdered during World War II—including three locations in Latvia—has been opened by a Holocaust research institute based in Israel.

The Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research unveiled the site, “The Untold Stories: The Murder Sites of the Jews in the Former USSR,” on April 20 to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

From Latvia, sites in Daugavpils, Liepāja and Ludza are included in the online exhibit, which includes a historical narrative, maps, photographs and video interviews with survivors. In the case of Liepāja, video of the shooting of Jews is shown along with an interview with the former German soldier who made the film. Also available are downloadable lists of victims.

A total of 101 sites in Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia were chosen for the online exhibit. More than a million Jews were murdered in small towns and lesser-known sites across Europe, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said in a press release. Better known killing sites, such as the Rumbula Forest near Rīga, are not included in the exhibit.

From the Daugavpils area, the Web site lists three specific sites: the Railroad Public Garden, Pogulyanka, and Zolotaya Gorka or Zeltkalna. From Liepāja included are Rainis Park, the lighthouse south of Liepāja, and Šķēde. From Ludza included are the brick factory, Rezekne Street, Pogulyanka (also listed under Daugavpils), and the Garbarovsky Forest.

In Latvia, many of the deaths are attributed to the notorious Latvian Auxiliary Security Police, or Arājs Commando, led by Viktors Arājs. The killings occurred in 1941 and 1942.

The online exhibit is found at yadvashem.org.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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