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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
December 31, 1940, A costume party marking the new year of 1941 in Riga, Latvia

December 31, 1940

A costume party marking the new year of 1941 in Riga, Latvia

Appearing in the photograph: (bottom row, right to left) Izchak Garber (perished); Bubi Lewenberg (perished); Levitan (perished); Jakov Jacki Breitbord (served and died in combat in the Red Army); Ance Arkin (perished). Top row, right to left: Maks Siegel (died in Israel); Fani Gorschuni (died in Israel); the submitter Schulamit (Mea) Fuhr (exiled to Siberia and later immigrated to Israel); unknown; Isja Schlomovitsch (perished); Jeheskiel Zigler (perished); Riva Berkowitsch (perished); Meri Mura Pevsner (immigrated to Israel); Ludsin Liuba (perished); Isja Maimin (a German refugee, perished); unknown.

Riga was the Capital of Latvia and cultural center of Latvian Jewry. In 1935 there were 43,000 Jews in Riga.

In June 1940, Riga was annexed, along with the rest of Latvia, by the Soviet Union. A year later the Germans invaded the Soviet Union; they occupied Riga on July 1, 1941. Throughout July thousands of Jews were killed or imprisoned. Between July and October, the Germans issued a series of anti-Jewish decrees: 32,000 Jews were herded into a ghetto and a Council of Elders was formed under Michael Elyashov.

See here for more information on Riga in the Holocaust.

Yad Vashem Photo Archives 8449/38