Holocaust atrocity remembered in Rumbula, Latvia

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On November 29 the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia announced that it was holding a remembrance in Rumbula for the largest mass murder in Latvian history when 25 000 Latvian Jews were killed in the Rumbula forest during the Nazi occupation 78 years ago on November 30.

Jews in Latvia museum Director Iļja Ļenskis points out that two of the largest mass murders in the history of Latvia took place in 1941 on November 30 and December 8.

"Around 25 000 people were murdered - the Jews imprisoned in the Rīga ghetto and around 1000 Jews deported from Berlin. The Jews from Rīga were driven on foot from the ghetto to Rumbula forest and the Jews from Berlin were brought in by train. They were all shot,” says Ļenskis.

“First of all we have to remember that they were a part of Latvian society, and we have to reflect on how people reacted to what was happening to their neighbors when they were separated, stigmatized, imprisoned. When society is told day after day that what's happening to these people has nothing to do with you, you don't have to worry, we're only isolating the harmful elements, hostile elements, because we're protecting you from these animals, you don't have to worry,” continues Ļenskis.

He says we have to remember what it means for one group to be separated, that the crimes of a totalitarian regime against one group leads to crimes against another group and crimes against all of society.

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