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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 23.02.2019, 15:14

Inauguration of the sculpture paying tribute to the memory of the Hungarian Jewish Women who were killed or perished in Latvia

BC, Riga, 21.06.2018.Print version

On 4th of July, on the Holocaust Remembrance Day at 13.30 in the Old Jewish Cemetery (corner of Ebreju iela and Lomonosova iela) in Riga the inauguration of the sculpture paying tribute to the memory of the Hungarian Jewish Women who were killed or perished in Latvia during the Nazi occupation in 1944 will be held. Their fates should never be forgotten!


The Embassy of Hungary to Latvia in 2015, during the Hungarian Chairmanship of IHRA, has launched a research to get more detailed information about the fates of the Hungarian Jewish women deported to Latvia via Auschwitz to labour/concentration camps in 1944. Also a symposium devoted to the Hidden Past of thousands of Hungarians was organized on the 27th of January, 2015 during the International Day of Commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust.

Our attention was drawn to the hidden history of the deported Hungarian Jewish women by historian Dr. Marģers Vestermanis, who has personal memories of the events from that time. As one of the evidences of their deportation to Latvia was a fragment of the Hungarian text found after the Nazis left on the wall of the barrack in Kaiserwald, in Riga: „ (...) here we are again, but no one knows when and where we are going from here, probably it is even better not to know it. If anyone ever meets our parents, relatives, he or she should tell them that we were thinking of them a lot, especially on our parents who were all the time in our minds. All the best, August 1944”.

In the summer of 1944, approximately 4000-5000 Hungarian Jewish women from North-East of Hungary were deported via Auschwitz to Riga-Kaiserwald and then transported to work camps in Latvia (Spilve, Riga, Popervale, Dundaga and around Riga). Many thousands of them lost their lives, and those who survived (around a thousand) were transported back to the German Reich territory (mostly to Stutthof concentration camp).

The Government of Hungary has decided to erect a monument to pay tribute to those women. Based on the plasterwork of a Latvian witness and later sculptor Ms Valda Maleja, the sculpture composition depicting the Jewish women were made by the young talented artist Mr Sandis Aispurs and the stonemason company Akmens Apstrādes Centrs AKM. 

The Government of Hungary, with revealing the sculpture this year also wishes to contribute to the events of the Centennial Year of Latvia. Hungary is donating the monument to the Riga Municipality.

The inauguration event is also co-organized by the Council of the Jewish Communities of Latvia, and the Eastern Executive Board of the Riga City Council. The Embassy of Hungary wishes to express its special thanks for their devotion, and its gratitude as to architect Mr Edvīns Vecumnieks and his team, the Council of Monuments of Riga Municipality, as well as to all those who contributed to the realization of our project.

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