19 September 2010

Latvia: Riga Ghetto Museum opens, Sept. 21

The Riga (Latvia) Ghetto Museum opens September 21.

More than 70 000 local Jews and nearly 20 000 Jews deported from Western Europe were executed in Latvia in the World War II. The Museum is located in the historical part of the city near the borders of former ghetto.

The opening of the first exhibit includes the names of more than 70 000 Latvian Jews who faced the Holocaust, with stones from the streets of Riga Ghetto. A photo exhibit includes anti-Semitism propaganda, Holocaust in Latvia, the Resistance and the Righteous Among the Nations.

Jewish history in Latvia dates back some 450 years, and a section of the exhibit documents this history.

According to director Rabbi Menachem Barkahan:

Riga Ghetto Museum is not just a museum. I do hope that it will become the significant memento of the dreadful events that occurred in the history of Latvia and should never ever be repeated again. The Museum is becoming a center of culture and education, a source of tolerance and mutual respect.
Earlier this month - on September 1 - a new Jewish calendar was released and dedicated to the history of Jewish development during Latvia's First Republic.

There is also a database with the names of Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust in Latvia.

Click here for more information about the Jewish Culture Festival 5771 in Riga, with a video and photos.

For more information about the community organization Shamir in Riga, send an email.

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