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Destinations · Europe · latvia · Riga · Museums and galleries · Museums

Riga Ghetto Museum

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Riga Ghetto Museum

The Riga Ghetto Museum is located in the Spīķeri creative industry district, not far from where German occupying forces established a Jewish ghetto during their occupation of Latvia from 1941-1945.

Although only the first construction phase of the museum has been completed, the initial exhibits already convey a powerful emotional testimony to the plight of Latvian and other European Jews during the Holocaust.

Few people today realize that an entire neighbourhood of Riga's Moscow district was cordoned off with barbed wire and turned into a virtual prison camp for more than 70 000 Latvian Jews, along with 20 000 other European Jews who were brought in by the Nazis from Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Very few of these victims lived to see the end of the war, as most were shot and killed in the nearby forests of Rumbula and Biķernieki.

Interestingly, most of the wooden buildings that once housed Riga's Jewish ghetto inhabitants are still standing, as this part of Riga has experienced very few architectural changes since the end of the Second World War.

The Riga Ghetto Museum provides an eerie feel of what the Riga ghetto once looked and felt like, incorporating actual building fragments, paving stones and other infrastructure elements from the former ghetto. For example, the museum's main "street" is paved with cobblestones that once covered Ludzas iela, which formed the ghetto's central thoroughfare. A barbed wire enclosure separates the Riga Ghetto Museum from other sections of the Spīķeri quarter, further adding to the effect of isolation that Latvia's Jews were once forced to experience.

The museum's photographs, historical testimonies and other exhibition items are sure to leave an impact, providing a poignant reminder about the hopeless situation in which the residents of the Riga Ghetto found themselves. Tribute is also paid to the nearly 500 Latvian inhabitants who are known to have risked their lives in order to save their Jewish compatriots from persecution by the Nazis.

Maskavas iela 14a

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