July 2002  

A Brief Summary of the History of the Holocaust in Latvia


According to the 1934 census, approximately 94,000 Jews resided in Latvia, but that number was reduced considerably by the time the Nazis invaded the country in late June 1941. Some 4,000 Jews emigrated overseas, another 5,000 were deported in mid June 1941 by the Soviets who occupied Latvia in June 1940, and approximately 15,000 succeeded in escaping to the Soviet interior prior to the Nazi takeover. Thus about 70,000 Latvian Jews were trapped under Nazi occupation. more...

November 30, 2001  

Dr. Efraim Zuroff


Konrad Kalejs will not attend today’s dedication of a memorial monument to the Jews and other innocent civilians murdered at Bikernieki Forest in the summer and fall of 1941, but the memory of his wartime crimes will no doubt hover like a shadow over the ceremony. That is because the unit he served in, the infamous Arajs Kommando, were the chief perpetrators of the murders which took place at Bikernieki. They were the ones who kidnapped thousands of Jews off the streets of Riga and later took them to the tranquil woods where members of the unit, all volunteers, executed them in cold blood. To this day, it is not certain whether Kalejs personally participated in those murders, but there is no doubt that his fellow Arajs Kommando members were the major culprits in the terrible atrocities being commemorated today at Bikernieki. more...