Written a few years ago, but still so powerful in my memory. For all those who died, whose goodness and laughter and potential died with them.
Two years ago I visited the Rumbula Forest, near Riga in Latvia, where nearly 28 thousand Jews were killed in just two days in November and December 1941, and where a heartbreaking memorial to them is hidden among the trees. Some of my own family, the brothers and sisters of my great-grandfather and their children are buried in the mass graves marked out on the forest floor. Only three people survived the murder that took place here.
The visit was poignant and it was also infuriating. One reason it had taken so long to build anything here as a memorial is that the inscription on the memorial had become an issue when some Riga officials wanted language that would have obscured Latvian complicity. Eventually an agreed inscription meant the memorial could go ahead
HERE, ON NOVEMBER 30 AND DECEMBER 8 OF 1941 THE NAZIS AND THEIR LATVIAN COLLABORATORS SHOT TO…
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