Monday, September 24, 2012


At the time of the "Actions" and the closure of satellite camps, began
the removal of facilities in the main camp (Stammlager) and the
evacuation of prisoners that had survived, starting from August to early
October 1944, initially further west towards cities with port
connections. Only the inmates of sub-camps like Dondangen II, Riga-Lenta
and Riga-Mühlgraben were partially sent to Libau, where they were held
in the local jail. The majority of them did not survive.
In addition to the satellite camps, the work details of the main camp
were further reduced. Only the commandos that ensured the minimum
functioning of the camp were to continue as before. Prisoners which were
still employed at the port to clear the incoming cargo had been
increased to clear cargo which served to support the German front.
Immediately before the first evacuation on 6 August 1944, the camp-SS
conducted again a selection process in Kaiserwald. "During examination
that were done on visual observations, men and women were herded into a
barrack, though separated, but had to strip naked and take the shoes in
their hands. Then the gray-haired ones, those wearing glasses, people
with hanging bellies and men with testicular ruptures were eliminated ".
The selected people notto be killed, received new prisoners' uniforms
and were transported to the port the next morning. There they had to
assist in loading heavy machinery, help to store food and other goods.
Late in the evening they herded the prisoners, men and women separately,
below deck: "We left Riga late Sunday morning of 6 August 1944 on the"MV
Bremerhaven " . We were almost 2,000 prisoners, 1,100 men and 900 women.
In addition, there were more than 3,000 Hungarian Jewesses on board,
which had been only three months ago deported from Auschwitz to Riga. In
addition, nearly 3,000 Russian prisoners of war were on the ship", said
Gertrude Schneider. [That gives a total of 8000 prisoners, sic].
Probably fewer prisoners were on board the vessel, [the figures do not
telly from other sources, sic] but Schneider's statements hints at the
conditions, which must have prevailed under deck: Prisoners spent the
next few days and nights without water and food, with no possibility to
visit sanitations [this does not correspond with other witness's
statements, sic] in the lower deck of a heavily guarded ship that would
take them to Danzig. They lived here in fear of coming under Russian
bombardment and drowning in the Baltic Sea. Besides KZ Inmates and
Soviet prisoners of war there were Latvian specialised skilled workers,
camp staff and officials of the Ministries of the Reich Commissariat
Ostland on board and taken out of Riga. [Schneider, in "Unfinished
Road", page 3, sic]
Two days later, the vessel arrived in Danzig. Now the completely
exhausted prisoners received for the first time since their evacuation
some water and bread. On the same day the SS loaded the prisoners onto
barges: "There followed a terrible night in the smelly and dirty cargo
hold of the tugboat and barges, no water, no toilet, the unbearable
stench and the restless waves of the Vistula made us seasick.". In
Stutthof the SS men beat the prisoners out of the holds of the barges
and marched them through the streets of Stutthof into the concentration
camp. There followed the next selection that would end the life's of
prisoners over the 40-yeas old. After a few weeks, the majority of women
prisoners from Kaiserwald was sent into the women's sub-camps of
Stutthof. There they were engaged first in agriculture work with farmers
in the area. As the front approached, they took the female inmates
mostly into camps of Stoboi or Bruss-Sophienwalde, initially engaged in
forestry work and later for the construction of trenches. Deported males
from Kaiserwald were, after a short spell and occasional labour
assignments to continue their journey fron Stutthof to camps like
Buchenwald, Mühldorf or Kaufering. Many of these men of the first
evacuation transport from Riga that arrived in these camps, Schneider
maintains that out of the original 1100 men, only 300 survived and were
eventually liberated, which is a mortality rate of 27 percent.
After the first evacuation transport another one followed on 25
September 1944 to Stutthof. "We left in five ordered blocks, five women
in each column. Leading the march at the front of the group, black
private cars drove with lighted headlamps, besides us motorbikes slowly
controlled the prisoners and drove slowly past. Moreover, we were
surrounded by heavily armed guards. After about an hour we reached a
small railway station. There the guards loaded the prisoners into
boxcars. The camp staff and their families went to a passenger
compartment coupled at the end of the train. After an hour's ride we
arrived at the port of Riga. The prisoners were allowed to remain for
several hours in the smelly and dirty wagons. Only when the camp SS,
their families and civilians were ordered by the Wehrmacht to leave Riga
as soon as possible, the ship was boarded, and the prisoners were
allowed to go down into the hold of the ship. During the three-day trip
inhuman conditions prevailed below deck: "It was a shambles, because
some of the Jews vomited without interruption, while people standing
around them were spewed on with their vomit. Others were partly lying,
whining and moaning on the floor, without anyone even taken any notice
of them". [Rabinovici reported that due to the immense fluid loss, the
lack of drinking water, diarrhea and vomiting, led to the death of
several women. sic]
Upon arrival in Danzig the people received the same fate as those of the
September Transport that seven weeks previously arrived at Stutthof.
After a multi-day trip with towing barges the men and women reached camp
Stutthof and were selected, divided for work or sent in November 1944
into Concentration Camps further into Germany. The last transport left
Riga on 11 October 1944. On board were, in addition to the last Jewish
prisoners and Russian prisoners of war, plus large parts of the camp
personnel of Kaiserwald concentration camp. On October 13, 1944 the
German troops evacuated Riga and the Russian forces took the city. On
the grounds of the former concentration camp, they built a POW camp for
German soldiers.

It all began on 16 June 1940 and with its occupation the 17 June 1940
with the Soviet Red Army invasion of the Latvia Territory. Latvia’s
terror started at once with the mass arrests, murders or deportations of
its leaders to far regents of the Soviet Union.
First we must journey back to Moscow, Russia and the late hours of 23
August 1939, were all this terror and horror really started with the
signing of The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, colloquially named after the Soviet foreign
minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von
Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled “the Treaty of
Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow
in the late hours of 23 August 1939”. It was a non-aggression pact under
which the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany each pledged to remain neutral
in the event that either nation were attacked by a third party. It
remained in effect until 22 June 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet
In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a
secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and
Soviet spheres of influence, anticipating potential "territorial and
political rearrangements" of these countries. Thereafter, Germany and
the Soviet Union invaded, on 1 and the 17 of September respectively,
their agreed sides of Poland, dividing the country between them. Part of
eastern Finland was annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War.
This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.

Vyacheslav Molotov signs the German–Soviet non-aggression pact.
Standing behind him Joachim von Ribbentrop and Joseph Stalin
Nazi Germany – Soviet Union Leaders and their Foreign Ministers

The tiny Baltic States had the misfortune to be located between the
totalitarian regimes of the Soviets and the Nazis. In August and
September 1939, Hitler and Stalin had their countries sign treaties and
secret agreements; by this time, the Baltic States were no longer
republics, but had authoritarian regimes. Hitler, in order to execute
his plans of aggression, [of the Soviet Union, sic] had to pay a price.
In secret agreements he "gave" Stalin not only a part of Poland, but
also a free hand in Bessarabia, Bukovina, Finland and the THREE BALTIC
STATES. In mid-June 1940, when international attention was focused on
the German invasion of France, and after first extracting a Latvian
agreement under duress, Stalin personally threatened the Latvian foreign
minister, in Moscow during negotiations, to the stationing of Soviet
troops on Latvian soil, the Soviet Union invaded Latvia on 16 June
1940.{Stalin may have threatened him but the written Ultimatum was
handed over by Molotov. sic] ( I still remember the speech Dr. Goebles
gave on the "Deutschland Sender" to explain to the German people the
reason of invading Russia. Stalin's demand to occupy the Baltic States
in addition to other counties was the main topic, and had to be stopped,
Soviet NKVD troops raided border posts in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.
State administrations were liquidated and replaced by Soviet cadres, in
which 34,250 Latvians, 75,000 Lithuanians and almost 60,000 Estonians
were deported or murdered. Elections were held with single pro-Soviet
candidates listed for many positions, with resulting peoples assemblies
immediately requested admission into the USSR, which was granted by the
Soviet Union. Latvia, now a puppet government, was headed by Augusts
Kirhenšteins. Latvia was incorporated into the Soviet Union on 5 August
1940 as the “15th Republic of the Soviet Union”. The USSR annexed the
whole of Lithuania, including the Scheschupe area, which was to be given
to Germany. “Lithuania had joined the Soviet Union on 3 August, Estonia
followed on 6 August”. Nevertheless, although it had lost its
sovereignty de facto, Latvia existed de jure, in international law,
since many nations including the United States and Switzerland never
acknowledged its annexation.

Soviet Railway Transports used for the Mass 
Deportation of Latvian people in the night between 13 June and 14 June 1941" 
Concerns over the possible existence of a secret protocol were first
expressed by the intelligence organisations of the Baltic States scant
days after the pact was signed. Speculation grew stronger when Soviet
negotiators referred to its content during negotiations for military
bases in those countries.
There is an unknown and unpublished fact that the Soviet NKVD before the
Nazi Army invaded the Soviet Union was responsible for handing over to
the Nazi Gestapo, SS and SD tens of thousands of Jews that had fled to
the Soviet Union in the wake of the advancing Nazi Army. This was before
the Nazi Army had invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. Even the
tens of thousands of Soviet Union Jews were not safe from being turned
over to the Nazi Gestapo to be taken to Concentration Camps or just
outright murdered. As for the exact number of Jews that the Soviet NKVD
had turned over to the Nazi Gestapo is known today for the Soviet Union
has had over 60 years to hide this information. On 16 June 1940, Soviet
Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov presented the Latvian representative
in Moscow an ultimatum to be answered within six hours. Based on
unfounded accusations and accusing Latvia of violations of the pact.

Red Army entering Riga Latvia on 17 June 1940

The Soviets demanded that Latvia immediately form a new government and
allow an unlimited number of Soviet troops enter the country. Latvia
could not resist the aggression and conceded. The Red Army occupied
Latvia on 17 June 1940.

Some Additional Scenes of Soviet Union “NKVD” The Communists “Year of Atrocities” from June 1940 to June 1941


Germany terminated the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with its invasion of the
Soviet Union at 03:15hrs on Sunday, 22 June 1941 with the Nazi Army
invasion of Latvia with Liepāja targeted by the Germans as a town of
special importance. It was a naval base and also an important
international port. As such, the population was suspected of being more
sympathetic to Communism. The German army planned to capture the city on
the first day of the war, Sunday, 22 June 1941. The attack on Liepāja
was led by the German 291st Infantry Division. Strong resistance by the
Red Army and other Soviet forces prevented the Germans from entering the
city until June 29, 1941, and resistance, including sniper fire,
continued within the city for several days afterwards. The city was
heavily damaged in the fighting and fires burned for days.

German Army Entering and Occupation of the
City of Riga Latvia"
With the German Army crossing the Latvian frontier in the early morning
of Sunday, 22 June 1941 and entering the City of Riga Latvia on 1 July
1941 the bloody summer against the Jews began. Nazi sympathisers and
collaborators began their programs of terror, arrests, muggings,
beatings and murder against the Jewish people. Before the German Army
arrived in Riga, there were some 40,000 Jews living in Riga. With the
approach of the Nazi Army and entering Riga, there were only 30,000 Jews
still living in Riga, The rest had evacuated with the retreating Soviet
Army or left the country entirely moving to other countries not under
the occupation of the German Army or Soviet Union. Out of these 30,000
Jews that were still living in the City of Riga Latvia when the Nazi
Army entered Riga only 200 Latvian Jews survived the Nazi terror, horror
and inhuman treatment during their occupation of Latvia and the City of
Riga until the final retreat. [Figures quoted in my mind are somewhat
suspect in my opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt, sic]

On the grounds of the former concentration camp in Riga is currently a
housing development. In summer 2005 there was a monument inaugurated to
victims of the concentration camp of Kaiserwald.

Literature publications,
Andrej Angrick/Peter Klein, Die "Endlösung" in Riga. Ausbeutung und
Vernichtung 1941-1944, Darmstadt 2006
Wolfgang Benz/Konrad Kwiet/Jürgen Matthaus (Hrsg), Einsatz im
"Reichskommissariat" Ostland. Dokumente zum Völkermord im Balikum und
Weißrussland 1941-1944, Berlin 1998.
Josef Katz, Erinnerungen eines Überlebenden, Kile 1988
Max Kaufmann, Churbn Lettland. Die Vernichtung der Juden Lettlands,
hrsg. von Erhard Roy Wiehn, Konstanz 1999
Schoschana Rabinovici, Dank meiner Mutter, Frankfurt a.M. 1993
Mascha Rolnikite, Ich muss erzählen. Mein Tagebuch 1941-1945, Berlin 2002
Gertrud Schneider (Hrsg), The unfinished Road. Jewish Survivors of
Latvia look back, New York 1991
Margers Vestermanis, Die nationalsozialistischen Hafstätten und
Todeslager im okkupierten Lettland 1941-1945, in: Ulrich Herbert/Klein
Orth/Christoph Deckmann
(Hrsg), Die nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager. Entwicklung und
Struktur, Göttingen 1998, Bd 1, Seite 472-492
217 Referencws to Statements in Court Documents
Any errors during translations or interpretation are mine and not that
of the authors

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