Documentary outlines the horrors of the Holocaust in small-town Latvia

Latvian Television's series of short historical documentary films 'The Keys' continues with a look at one of the darkest chapters of Latvian history: the Holocaust in Latvia under Nazi occupation in 1941.

The country's large and historically important Jewish minority, which accounted for around 5% of the pre-war population, was virtually wiped out as part of Hitler's genocidal plans and the documentary gives a concise and timely reminder of the depths to which humanity can sink when extremist and racist ideologues occupy positions of power.

In addition to the overall picture, the documentary takes at look at events in the small town of Valdemārpils, which show in microcosm the human tragedy that was repeated across Europe on an epic scale. In Valdemārpils the entire Jewish population of around 150 was murdered in a matter of days.

The documentary also asks some pertinent questions about collective amnesia concerning the Holocaust in Latvia.

According to LTV "The Keys" series tells of the most important or "key" events, personalities and turning points in the history of the Latvian state from 1918 to the present. The purpose is to reveal each selected event from an unusual point of view, as if "unlocking the door" to lesser known and therefore particularly intriguing facts. 

"Such an exploratory approach, bypassing the usual stereotypes of presenting history, will allow viewers to perceive what is known to others and to better understand what has happened in the context of today's experience," says LTV.

The show is made by VFS Films, a long-time partner of Latvian Television and it is hosted by Mārtiņš Ķibilds, a distinguished cultural journalist who sadly passed away late last year.

 

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