After a few short years of an independent Latvian Republic, the country fell to Nazi occupation and the Moscow District area of Riga was turned into a ghetto for the thousands of Jews who had been such an integral part of the national identity.The Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum aims to commemorate the lives lost to the tragedy of Nazi occupation
The Museum’s split into three main areas, and is effectively and outdoors exhibit with the displays of Jewish history in Latvia and memorials to the local victims of the holocaust flanked by barbed wire fences and ghetto gates.
On the grounds, which sit between warehouses, there is also a replica ghetto house which would have been inhabited by around 38 people. The downstairs is a somewhat confusing and creepy display of paintings and hanging dolls, while upstairs is set up like it would have been at the time including newspaper insulation.
The element that really makes this museum worth a visit is the exhibit “3000 Fates” housed in the adjacent warehouse. Here the life stories of the 3000 Jews transported into Latvia from European countries including Germany and Poland are documented on a light box each. This sunning displays put a spotlight on the individuals affected but such a monstrous event in history. Many of these stories end in 1942 at the concentration camps within Latvia.
Admission to the museum is free but donations are suggested at €5. Opening hours are 10 am – 6pm excluding Saturday. The museum is located at 14A Maskavas Iela.