RIGA—According to various media reports, including JTA and the Algemeiner, plans are afoot to force the closure of the Museum of the Riga Ghetto and the Latvian Holocaust, whose opening Defending History covered a decade ago. The beloved outdoor museum is one of the very few museums in Latvia to provide an accurate historic view of the Holocaust and large scale individualized commemoration of its victims in Latvia. The role of local collaborators and the antisemitic nationalist establishment in Latvia in 1941 is amply documented by facsimiles of newspapers and documents of the times, all with full translation. On the commemoration front, there is a permanent outdoor exhibit with virtually all c. 70,000 names of the Riga Ghetto’s victims inscribed. It is a unique institution, for the Baltics and far beyond.
Posted in Christian-Jewish Issues, Latvia, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Antisemitism in Latvia, Holocaust in Latvia, Holocaust remembrance in Latvia, Museum of Riga Ghetto & Latvian Holocaust, Rabbi Menachem Barkan, Riga Ghetto, Riga Holocaust Museum, Shamir Association (Riga)
by Roland Binet (Braine-l’Alleud/Belgium)
Since I became interested in the fate of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Latvia, rather late (2009), I never failed to buy books when I visited that country, first and foremost written by Jewish survivors of these terrible times, but, also, some books written by non-Jewish Latvians in order to see how they perceived these tragic events, how they related to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and how they presented the history of the German occupation and the mass slaughter of more than 95% of the Jewish population of their country (using the figures of Jews on site at the time of the Nazi invasion as the basis for historians’ estimates).
Posted in Books, History, Latvia, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roland Binet
Tagged Holocaust in Latvia, Janis Straume, Riga Ghetto, Roland Binet, Rumbula
On Sunday 29 June 2014, I had the privilege of participating in the Berlin screening of Juergen Holbrecht’s new documentary film Wir haben es doch erlebt — das Ghetto von Riga. I had translated the English version and done its narration. I was invited to the event by Professor Peter Alexis Albrecht (Frankfurt University) who is also director of the Cajewitz Stiftung and the association for a former Jewish orphanage, today a school, where my father Ernest Lowenberg and his brother, my uncle Paul Lowenberg were given shelter when it was no longer possible for their parents as Jews to work in Nazi Germany.
Posted in Arts, Events, Film, Germany, History, Latvia, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views
Tagged Holocaust in Latvia, Juergen Holbrecht, Paul Levenbergs, Riga Ghetto, Wir haben es doch erlebt
by Monica Lowenberg
In 2011, I made my first journey to Riga, the capital city of Latvia.
A few months before, I had been tracked down by two distant cousins on a genealogy site, quite out of the blue. I remember the strange feeling I had when one of them asked me if I felt “Latvian.” Latvian? German Christian, German Jewish, British, yes — but Latvian Jewish? No.
Posted in Latvia, Memoirs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom
Tagged Holocaust in Latvia, Holocaust in the Baltics, Monica Lowenberg, Paul Lovenbergs, Riga Ghetto