"Latvia"
50 Years of Terror Tyranny and Oppression 1940–1991
Home      Raina Park, Site of the 3-4 July 1941, Nazi Army first documented Mass Murders
 
 
Raiņa Park –
Site of the 3-4 July 1941, Nazi Army first documented Mass Murders
 
      
                                       Map of Raiņa Park
 
During the fighting, the Soviet forces had dug defensive trenches in Rainis Park “Raiņa parks” in the center of Liepāja. On the 3rd and 4th of July 1941, in their first documented massacre in Liepāja, Reichert's EK 1a men, all Germans of the SD, rounded up Jewish people and marched them to these trenches in the park. Once at the trench, they were shot and the bodies pushed in. How many were killed during these shootings is not known. Estimates range from several dozen to 300. After the war, the Soviet Union investigatory commission concluded that 1,430 people were killed in the park shootings, which Professor Ezergailis characterizes as an exaggeration. One participant, Harry Fredrichson, later testified that in one massacre he participated in, 150 people were killed. 
 
       
                                                                                                               Raiņa Park location of the 3rd and 4th of July 1941 Mass Murders
 
The first murder operation took place on the first day of occupation, on the 3rd and 4th of July 1941, when the Einsaztkommando shot a group of Jews along with other Latvian activists and Red Army POW’s in the anti-tank ditches in Raina Park. The killings were carried out by Einsatzkommando 1a, under the command of SS-Obersturmfuhrer Fritz Reichert. Groups of victims “according to different sources, between 33 and 150 men” that apparently comprised of Jews and suspected political activists and Red Army POW’s were ordered to march in line along Brīvības iela to the two ditches previously dug by the Red Army, 100 and 200 meters in length, where they were shot. A few days later, they were reburied in the Jewish Cemetery. This memorial located in the Jewish Cemetery has the names of those shot in Raina Park. Located at the north end of Raina Park at the site of the 3rd and 4th of July 1941 mass murders is a memorial stone in Raina Park dedicated to those who where murdered there.
 
Raiņa Park Mass Murders of Jewish people Reburial Site and Memorial 
 
 
This Memorial with the Victims Names and their finial Burial Site of the victims of those who were murders in Raina Park.
 
Located in the Jewish Cemetery section is the memorial and graves to the Victims of the Raiņa Park Massacre, there are Gravestone for 37 Jewish victims “including 3 unknown ones” who were executed in Raina Park on the 3rd and the 4th of July 1941 by SS-Einsatzkommando 1a under Reichert and reburied in the Jewish Cemetery several days later. The Soviet inscription says: "Eternal Glory to the Heroes Who Fell in the Battles for our Soviet Fatherland". True, many were members of the paramilitary Workers' Guard, but they were arrested and shot, not killed in combat.