Holocaust atrocity evidence unearthed 81 years on in Latvia

Researchers have recently uncovered evidence from a dark chapter of Latvian history, state-owned forestry company Latvian State Forests (LVM) reported June 14.

On June 9, a team from the 'Leģenda' (Legend) research association carried out excavations in the forests of Baldone, locating the exact place where local Jews were shot and buried 81 years ago.

The Legend team, consisting of more than 20 participants from 7 countries, including members of the Jewish community, carried out careful exhumations and found the remains of at least 30 people, 7 of whom were children.

"The site of the genocide is now being carefully searched, but long and scrupulous efforts are needed to sort out the remains as accurately as possible and to document the crime committed," said LVM.

During the excavations, it was found that "treasure hunters" had already been operating in the area, as some bones showed evidence of being disturbed after July 1941.

In December 2021, after receiving information from by local historical researchers Juris Jeršovs and Ojārs Andersons the Legend team went to check the spruce forest near the Daugmale - Baldone road and found that the bones were only 45 cm deep.

The exhumation and reburial of the remains will be carried out in full accordance with the law, a LVM official said.

Latvia's large and historically important Jewish minority accounted for around 5% of the pre-war population. It was virtually wiped out as a result of Hitler's genocidal plans.

To learn more about the Holocaust in Latvia, we recommend watching this short documentary with English subtitles.

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