April 15, 2006


Today Juris and I visited Salaspils near to Riga in Latvia. In World War 2 this was a Concentration Camp to collect together workers for the Third Reich.

The photos show the long long concrete entrance '"gate" the inscription reads:

'Behind this gate the ground contains GROANS'

Concentration Camps were used by the Nazis during WW2 to exterminate 6,000,000 Jews. This is the view which is predominated and which ignores all the other people who died and ignores all their stories too.

Non Jewish people also died in WW2, and here at Salaspils is proof; a Concentration Camp for workers made up of Latvian political prisoners, as well as people from Hungary, Poland and Romania.

Jews from the Riga ghetto were employed to construct this camp during the winter of 1941, but within a year its 2000 inhabitants were non-Jewish and made up of people from Baltic states and from other neighbours.

KZ-Salaspils became a work and transit camp for prisoners from Belorussia in 1943 as they were transferred to work in Germany. 1944 its occupants were Latvian freedom fighters.

Between 53,000 and 100,000 prisoners died here, killed by cold, hunger, brutality, and by executions for disobedience. The exact number is uncertain because different counting methods are used.

The flowers hang over the edge of a monumental stone which stands to mark the spot where thousands of inmates were hung for misdeeds.

Sachsenhausen, BerlinSalaspils, Latvia

No comments: