Kaiserwald concentration camp

Kaiserwald (Ķeizarmežs) was a Nazi German concentration camp near the Riga suburb of Mežaparks in Latvia.

Kaiserwald was built in March 1943, during the period that the German army occupied Latvia.[1] The first inmates of the camp were several hundred convicts from Germany.

Following the liquidation of the Riga, Liepāja and Daugavpils (Dvinsk) ghettos in June 1943, the remainder of the Jews of Latvia, along with most of the survivors of the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto, were deported to Kaiserwald.

In early 1944, a number of smaller camps around Riga were brought under the jurisdiction of the Kaiserwald camp.

Following the occupation of Hungary by the Germans, Hungarian Jews were sent to Kaiserwald, as were a number of Jews from Łódź, in Poland. By March 1944, there were 11,878 inmates in the camp and its subsidiaries, 6,182 males and 5,696 females, of whom only 95 were gentiles.

Kaiserwald
Concentration camp
WW2-Holocaust-ROstland
Concentration camps in Reichskommissariat Ostland. The concentration camps are marked with a black square.
Coordinates56°59′49″N 24°07′53″E / 56.99694°N 24.13139°E
Other namesĶeizarmežs
Operated byNazi Germany
OperationalMarch 1943-15 October 1944
Number of inmates11,878, almost all Jews
Liberated byRed Army

Use of the inmates

Unlike Auschwitz or Treblinka, Kaiserwald was not an extermination camp, and the inmates were put to work by large German companies, notably Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft, which used a large number of female slaves from Kaiserwald in the production of electrical goods, such as batteries.

Evacuation

On August 5, 1944, as the Red Army advanced westwards and entered Latvia, the Germans began to evacuate the inmates of Kaiserwald to Stutthof, in Poland. All Jews under 18 or over 30 were murdered along with anyone who had ever been convicted of any offense, no matter how minor or anyone who it was thought would be unable to survive the trip from Latvia to Poland. The remaining inmates who did not die during the journey arrived at Stutthof in September 1944.

The Red Army took over the camp on October 15, 1944 and later used the camp to house Axis prisoners of war.

See also

Bibliography

  • Megargee, Geoffrey P., ed. (2012). Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945. in association with United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253355997.

References

  1. ^ Dribins, Leo; Gūtmanis, Armands; Vesterman, Marger (2001). Latvia's Jewish community: history, tragedy, revival. Publishers of the Institute of the History of Latvia.

External links

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Kaiserwald

Kaiserwald may refer to:

Kaiserwald concentration camp, a WWII German concentration camp near Mežaparks, Latvia

Kaiserwald Riga, a Baltic German football club

The German name for Mežaparks, a neighbourhood in Riga, Latvia

The German name for Slavkovský les, a mountain range in the Czech Republic

Mežaparks

Mežaparks (German: Kaiserwald) is a neighbourhood of Northern District in Riga, the capital of Latvia. It's located on the western shore of Lake Ķīšezers. The name is literally translated as "forest park". The park was built in the early 20th century and was originally called Kaiserwald. It was one of the world's first garden cities. It had large number of Art Nouveau and Eclectic villas for upper class inhabitants of Riga. During the Second World War, the Kaiserwald concentration camp was located in this park, and many Jews, Gypsies, communists, and other opponents of Nazi rule were murdered in these woods.

Today it is still one of the wealthier areas of Riga, the Mežaparks Great Bandstand hosts the Latvian Song and Dance Festival in early July every five years.

Mežaparks is also host to the Riga Zoo and its lakeside locale allows for various water sporting activities. There is also an amusement park in Mežaparks, which makes the neighborhood a popular summer destination for Riga residents.

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Šķēde

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