• Rumbula Memorial
At the end of 1941, members of the SS, assisted by Latvian collaborators, shot almost 25,500 Jews in the forest of Rumbula - some eight kilometres from Riga. Most of them had come from the Riga ghetto. A memorial to those murdered marks the site of the shootings.
Image: Riga, 1941, Scene from the Riga ghetto after the mass shooting of December 8, Muzejs »Ebreji Latvijā«
Riga, 1941, Scene from the Riga ghetto after the mass shooting of December 8, Muzejs »Ebreji Latvijā«

Image: Rumbula, 2009, Memorial at the shooting site, Ronnie Golz
Rumbula, 2009, Memorial at the shooting site, Ronnie Golz
From November 1941, the SS deported thousands of Jews from the German Reich to the so-called Reichskommissariat Ostland (the civil administration of territories in North-Eastern Europe occupied by Germany). The Riga ghetto was already overcrowded at the time, and room had to be made for the new arrivals. Prior to that, Heinrich Himmler had instructed Friedrich Jeckeln, higher SS and police chief of Ostland, to liquidate the Riga ghetto by November 30, 1941.
Jeckeln chose an approximately 150 metre wide field in a forest close to the Rumbula railway station as the site for the planned shootings. There, Soviet prisoners of war from Stalag 350 close to Salaspils had to dig several pits.
At the end of November 1941, the SS began the shootings. Jeckeln primarily deployed Latvian collaborators for guarding the Jews on their march from Riga to Rumbula. Selected members of the SS murdered almost all the Jews from the ghetto in two big »actions« at the end of November and beginning of December 1941. Only few Latvian Jews who were deployed as forced labourers remained alive for the time being. In addition, Jeckeln had about 1,000 Jews from Berlin shot in the first »action«, despite the fact that Himmler had ordered for them to be brought into the ghetto.
Image: Riga, 1941, Scene from the Riga ghetto after the mass shooting of December 8, Muzejs »Ebreji Latvijā«
Riga, 1941, Scene from the Riga ghetto after the mass shooting of December 8, Muzejs »Ebreji Latvijā«

Image: Rumbula, 2009, Memorial at the shooting site, Ronnie Golz
Rumbula, 2009, Memorial at the shooting site, Ronnie Golz
Up to 25,500 Latvian Jews from the Riga ghetto and more than 1,000 Berlin Jews were murdered in the Rumbula forest.
Image: Riga, late 1941, Deportation of Latvian Jews to Rumbula Forest, Muzejs »Ebreji Latvijā«
Riga, late 1941, Deportation of Latvian Jews to Rumbula Forest, Muzejs »Ebreji Latvijā«

Image: Rumbula, 1962, Star of David, put in place secretly by Jewish dissidents as a sign of remembrance, Muzejs »Ebreji Latvijā«
Rumbula, 1962, Star of David, put in place secretly by Jewish dissidents as a sign of remembrance, Muzejs »Ebreji Latvijā«
In 1962, Jewish dissidents erected a Star of David in memory of the murdered Jews at the Rumbula site of shootings – without permission of the Soviet authorities. In consequence, the authorities had the memorial removed. After public pressure it was replaced by another memorial dedicated in Russian, Latvian and Yiddish to the »Victims of Fascism, 1941 to 1944«. No specific mention of the Jewish victims was made. Only in 1990 did the »Memorial« group put in place a memorial stone which named the Jews as victims.
After Latvia won independence in 1991, and after much debate about the inscription, a memorial was officially opened on November 29, 2002. At the centre of the memorial is a stylised menorah, around which granite stones bearing inscriptions with names of victims have been placed. The mass graves on the site have been marked with stones.
Image: Rumbula, 2009, Granite stones with the names of victims, Ronnie Golz
Rumbula, 2009, Granite stones with the names of victims, Ronnie Golz

Image: Rumbula, 2009, Mamorial stone from Soviet times, Ronnie Golz
Rumbula, 2009, Mamorial stone from Soviet times, Ronnie Golz
Name
Memoriāls Rumbulā
Address
Maskavas iela 471
1050 Rīga
Phone
+371 (0)672 856 01
Fax
+371 (0)672 856 01
Web
http://www.jews.lv
E-Mail
jews.lv@gmail.com
Open
The memorial is accessible at all times.