When the Nazis liquidated the ghettos in Latvia in 1943 most of the ghetto Jews were murdered. those not been murdered were sent to concentration camps to be used as slave labor. In Riga there was since March, 1943, a camp called Kaiserwald with prisoners from Germany. But when the ghettos in Riga, Libau (Liepaja) and Dvinsk (Daugavpils) were liquidated in summer 1943, Jews not killed were sent to Kaiserwald. Even Jews who had survived the great actions of the Vilnius ghetto were sent to Kaiserwald. Prisoners were use as slave labor in nearby industries. In 1944, a number of satellite camps were set up throughout Latvia and subordinated Kaiserwald.

When the Nazis occupied Hungary in spring, 1944, and began to carry out major deportations of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz, some of them were sent to Kaiserwald. A small number of Jews from Lodz ghetto were also sent to Kaiserwald when Lodz ghetto was finally liquidated in summer 1944. Same year, Nazis began to dismantle and demolish the camp because the Soviet Red army was approaching. The Nazis evacuated the prisoners via train or sea route to, for instance Stutthof concentration camp. Those who were too sick to be evacuated were killed. The evacuation was completed in September 1944 and in mid-October the Red army arrived at Kaiserwald. It is, as in most cases, difficult to estimate the number of prisoners who ended up in the Kaiserwald and how many of these died there.

Current status: Demolished with monument (2009).

Location: 56°59'46.48" N 24°07'56.63" E

Get there: Bus.

My comment:

Kaiserwald is probably the most famous of all Nazi concentration camps in the Baltics. But do not expect that people, including the tourist office, in Riga knows about the monument.

Follow up in books: Ezergailis, Andrew: The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941-1944 (1996).