In November 1941, Jews in the Riga ghetto able to work were separated from those who were deemed unproductive (non-working). About 25,000 were deemed unproductive or superfluous and the majority of them were taken to Rumbula forest, about ten kilometres south of Riga, and killed by Nazi and Latvian nationalist (Sonderkommando Arajs) killing units. The first mass execution took place November 30, and the second December 8. During the second action a small number of Jews were killed in Bikernieki forest, east of Riga. Three senior Nazi officers largely responsible for the executions were SS-Sturmbannführer Rudolf Lange, head of SD and SIPO in Riga, and commander of Einsatzkommando 2 in Einsatzgruppe A. Lange’s commando carried out the executions on November 30 and December 8. The other was SS-Sturmbannführer, Dr Karl Eberhard Schöngarth, chief of a killing unit from Krakow who had been transferred to Riga to participate in the executions. Because of their experiences in mass murder, they were invited to participate as experts at the conference in Wannsee January 20, 1942. The third was the SS-Obergruppenführer, Friedrich Jeckeln, highest police leader in Generalgovernment. Jeckeln had been commanded to Riga by SS chief, Heinrich Himmler, to monitor the executions. In 1944, Jews from Kaiserwald concentration camp in Riga were also murdered in Rumbula.

Current status: Monument (2010).

Location: 56°53'4.19" N 24°14'40.08" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

A historical interesting detail about Rumbula is that there is a smaller monument that looks like a gravestone. This monument is unique cause it is the only monument in former Soviet Union specifically dedicated to the Jews when it was erected in 1964. Until then, the victims in Rumbula had been described as Soviet citizens. This was done under pressure from Jewish organizations. After the fall of Soviet Union, there is a small plaque on this 1964 monument that informs about this. Rumbula is just like Bikernieki a peacefull memorial.

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