Remembering Rumbula
November 30, 1941- December 8, 1941



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OVERVIEW

Walking among the mass graves, indicated by raised areas and stone markers, at Rumbula Forest outside of Riga Latvia
Pillar marking the path among the mass graves at Rumbula Forest.

Rumbula* Forest, near Riga, Latvia, became the mass murder site and grave of 25,000** Jews from the Riga Ghetto on November 30 and December 8, 1941 (10th and 18th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar).

Only 3 people who arrived at the Rumbula killing site escaped death. Family members of some who perished survived the war, and a number of them live today in Latvia, the U.S., Europe and Israel.

This site is an introduction to the mass murders at Rumbula Forest for educational and research purposes. It is maintained on a non-commercial basis.

The acts that took place in Rumbula Forest in late 1941 are documented here through historical accounts and personal memoirs. Also included are accounts of modern-day anti-semitic activity in Latvia and of the dedication of the Rumbula Forest Memorial in 2002.
________________________________________
* Rumbuli Forest in German.
** Source: The Holocaust in Latvia 1941-1944 (1996) by Andrew Ezergailis. He calculates 22,000 shot at Rumbula Forest, 2,000 murdered during the "relocation" from the ghetto to Rumbula, and the train-load of nearly 1,000 Jews from Berlin killed just before the Riga Ghetto Jews. Professor Ezergailis' calculations are based on ammunition requisitions and Jeckeln's rule of one bullet per Jew.

Walking among the mass graves, indicated by raised areas and stone markers, at Rumbula Forest outside of Riga Latvia
Pillar marking the path among the mass graves at Rumbula Forest.

Photo by Rumbula.org

ACCOUNTS

Yad Vashem Summary on Rumbuli (Rumbula)
Chronology of the Holocaust 1939- 1941

An Account of Rumbula - The Nizkor Project (Shofar)

Riga Ghetto and Rumbula

Rumbula on the 800th Anniversary of Riga

Reuters News Story on 60th Anniversary of Rumbula

The 1000 Deported From Berlin To Riga/Rumbuli November 30, 1941
WWII Plus 55 - David H. Lippman (scroll to paragraphs 10 and 11)

Michael Genchik
Mr. Genchik lost most of his family at Rumbula and later maintained the graves there.

The Riga Massacres - The Holocaust Chronicle

A link to additional content at the Rumbula web site that is not published elsewhere and is available to the public only at www.Rumbula.org. Memories of a 13 year Old Boy - Michael Kor
The Riga Ghetto and Rumbula

 

RUMBULA YAHRZEITS - A WEB MEMORIAL

This is the beginning of a list on the web of those who perished at Rumbula, may their memory be for a blessing. More names will be added as they are received from Latvia and other sources. Please click here to go to this page.

 

PERSONAL MEMORIES

Eye Witness - Steven Springfield

His Escape and His Mother's Death - Henry Daniller

 

POEM

Rumbula by Ojars Vacietis (excerpt)

 

EARLY MEMORIALS AT RUMBULA FOREST

Photo of an Early Homemade Star of David Memorial at Rumbula

 A link to additional content at the Rumbula web site that is not published elsewhere and is available to the public only at www.Rumbula.org. Marking the Rumbula Graves
In the 1960's and early 1970's, under Soviet rule, young Riga Jews began gathering at the Rumbula murder site to clean-up and mark the mass graves. The raised earth marking the graves was placed there by the individuals shown in this virtual tour and their co-workers. These 30 photos, provided by Yitzhak Pukin, are a record of these activities. Aryeh Grinman assisted with caption information.

Young Jews also gathered at Rumbula Forest to discuss their Zionist dreams. This helped spawn what became known as the Refusenik Movement. The Refusenik Movement led to the USSR permitting emigration of Jews to Israel in the early 1970's.

Description of Rumbula Site After WWII
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 1990 Macmillan Publishing Company
Museum of Tolerance, Simon Wiesenthal Center
[Rumbula Editor's note: The calculation of the number murdered in this listing was apparently an early estimate. More recent scholarship, based on a report to the Nazi SD, is that 27,800 Jews, including just under 1,000 German Jews, were murdered in the two aktions at Rumbula Forest.]

A link to additional content at the Rumbula web site that is not published elsewhere and is available to the public only at www.Rumbula.org. History of the Soviet Era Rumbula Marker
by Alex Gertsmark, son of marker designer, Leo Herzmark

A link to additional content at the Rumbula web site that is not published elsewhere and is available to the public only at www.Rumbula.org. Caretaker Michael Genchik Remembers Rumbula Forest After the War

Center for Defense Information (CDI) - Johnson's Russian List
Account of Abandonment and Desecration of Rumbula Graves in the 1990's
John Mage: Riga, Rumbuli, homage to the eXile April 1, 1998

Response to John Mage by Gunars Reinis, April 5, 1998

 

DEDICATION OF RUMBULA MEMORIAL ON NOVEMBER 29, 2002

U.S. Commission for the Preservation of American Cultural Heritage Abroad
Co-Funder of the Rumbula Memorial

-- Rumbula Holocaust Memorial Page
http://www.heritageabroad.gov/projects/latvia1.html

-- Photograph of the Rumbula Memorial
http://www.heritageabroad.gov/gallery/proj05_latvia.html

-- Photo, Article and Message from
Commission Chairman Warren L. Miller read at the dedication of the Rumbula Memorial.
2004 Report, Page 17 (click on link and advance to page 17 of report)
http://www.heritageabroad.gov/reports/doc/2004_Report.pdf

President of Latvia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga
Addresses Dedication of Rumbula Memorial - Press Release
from the Chancery of the President of Latvia
http://www.president.lv/pk/content/?cat_id=603&art_id=654&lng=en

 A link to additional content at the Rumbula web site that is not published elsewhere and is available to the public only at www.Rumbula.org. Virtual Tour of Rumbula Memorial Dedication Ceremony
Photos and information for text courtesy of Center for Judaic Studies, University of Latvia

No Man Has To Follow Orders - U.S. Ambassador Brian E. Carlson

Shoah Memorial Goes Up in Latvia after Fierce Debate over Inscription - JTA

Latvian Jews, Local Government Spar over Inscription on a Shoah Memorial - JTA

Wiesenthal Center Urges Mention of Latvian Collaborators on Memorial Inscription

Latvia Unveils Holocaust Memorial - BBC News

Outside Riga, a Memorial to 25,000 Murdered Jews is Unveiled
Associated Press - via Latvian Mailer

 

SINCE 1945

Explosions at Memorial at Rumbula - The Baltic Times

Bombings and Vandalism at Jewish Sites in Latvia in 1998

Anti-Semitism in the Baltic Republics

ADL Honors of Latvia

ADL's National Director Resigns from Latvian Commission on Historians Due to Latvia's Treatment of the Holocaust

 

BOOK EXCERPTS ABOUT RUMBULA AT THIS WEB SITE

 Rumbula Viewed From The Riga Ghetto - Book Excerpt
    The Ghetto of Riga and Continuance - A Survivor's Memoir
    By Alfred Winter, copyright 1998

The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941-1944: The Missing Center
By Andrew Ezergailis
Historical Institute of Latvia in association with the USHMM
465 pp. $50.00
A detailed account of Rumbula by historian Andrew Ezergailis

 

RUMBULA FOREST IN WORKS OF FICTION

 A Time in Silence
Rumbula Forest plays a key role in this moving 6-minute short film about an aged Holocaust survivor and her middle-aged daughter. This website figures into the plot. Although a work of fiction rather than of history, the general themes in A Time of Silence are recognizable from real life. This film by Jasmine Abineri (vimeo.com/2380876) was screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

 

READ MORE ABOUT IT

I Survived Rumbuli
By Frida Michelson
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Shop Memorial Council, February 1982.
Frida Michelson, as only one of two to survive, felt G-d chose her as a witness. Frida Michelson’s riveting story details the horrors she experienced and describes her survival of the actions at Rumbula. It goes on to tell of her survival of years of Nazi occupation with the aid of a series of righteous Latvians, a number of whom were Seventh Day Adventists.

The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941-1944: The Missing Center
by Andrew Ezergailis
Historical Institute of Latvia in association with the USHMM
465 pp. $50.00
 Excerpt - Introduction

The Murder of the Jews in Latvia, 1941-1945
by Bernhard Press, Laimdota Mazzarins (Translator)
Northwestern University Press
222 pp. $18.00

MASTERS OF DEATH
The SS-Einsatzgruppen and The Invention of the Holocaust

by Richard Rhodes
Knopf.
335 pp. $27.50
Washington Post review of Masters of Death, by Deborah E. Lipstadt
New York Times Review of Masters of Death, by Walter Reich

 

RELATED PAGES AT THIS WEBSITE

Einsatzgruppen - Mobile Killing Units

The Holocaust in Latvia - Riga Ghetto

The Holocaust in Latvia - Bikernieki Forest

The Holocaust in Latvia - Riga Choral Synagogue

History of Jewish Latvia - Overview

History of Jewish Latvia - Riga


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