Saturday, July 4, 2009

Burning of the Riga Great Choral Synagogue - July 4, 1941

The burning of the Riga synagogues occurred in the first days of the German occupation of the city of Riga, the capital and largest city in the country of Latvia. A significant, although disputed number of Jews were killed, and many other anti-Semitic measures were launched at the same time, which ultimately lead to the murder of the vast majority of the Jews of Latvia.

The Great Choral Synagogue, on Gogol street, was burned on July 4, 1941, with 300 Jews locked in the basement.

Perkonkrusts (a Latvian fascist political party) and "other Latvian hangers-on" surrounded the building, trapped the people inside, and set it on fire.

The burning of the synagogue was filmed by the Germans and later became part of a Wehrmacht newsreel, with the following narration: "The synagogue in Riga, which had been spared by the GPU (the Soviet secret police) commissars in their work of destruction, went up in flames a few hours later."

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)

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