- The German army entered Riga on 1 July 1941 and was welcome by many segments of the Latvian population for having liberated them from Soviet rule. Mass executions of Riga Jews started immediately after this with the collaboration of the local population. Towards the end of October 1941, a ghetto, surrounded by fences, was established, and around 30,000 Latvian Jews were crowded into its small area. On November 30, 1941 the first transport of Jews from Germany arrived in Riga, to be followed in the coming months by another 24 transports with a total of over 25,000 Jews. Thousands of these Jews were murdered on arrival, others were put in concentration camps in the area. Around 15,000 were brought into a separate ghetto that was set up next to the ghetto for the Latvian Jews. The Germans conducted periodic mass executions of Jews from both ghettos by shootings in the nearby Rumbuli forests until their final liquidation in December 1943.
- Hilde Sherman’s husband and many other members of her family were among the Jews who perished in Riga . She registered 26 names at the Yad Vashem Hall of Names where the names of the Jews who perished in the Holocaust are gathered.
- “Ordinary Men” is a term that entered research language when discussing perpetrators. It became the name of the book published by Holocaust researcher Christopher Browning in 1992. The book describes the findings of Browning’s research on one police reserve battalion that was in charge of the killing of more than 80,000 Jews. Analyzing the interviews conducted with the policmen, Browning concluded that most killers were “ordinary men” in terms of their professional, intellectual and psychological profile.
- G. Sereny, Into that Darkness. From Mercy Killing to Mass Murder, Gitta Sereny 1974, pp. 200-201.
- G. M. Gilbert, Nuremberg Diary, The New American Library, 1947, New York, p. 230.
Sunday to Wednesday: 09:00-17:00 Thursday: 9:00-20:00 * Fridays and Holiday eves: 09:00-14:00.
Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.
* The Holocaust History Museum, Museum of Holocaust Art, Exhibitions Pavilion and Synagogue are open until 20:00. All other sites close at 17:00.