Salaspils concentration camp - a story that they are trying to forget!
Marches and parades died down another Victory Day. I am glad that people remember the past on this day. It upsets many people to forget about the madness and senseless victims of that war. Indeed, on that day 73 years ago, most of the inhabitants of Europe, including the Germans themselves, rejoiced not at the victory over fascism, but at the end of the war in Europe and believed that such a thing should not happen here anymore. Life suddenly became again the most important of death!
Many of us on this day try to visit the military memorials and lay flowers to the dead soldiers. But there were other victims of that war, whose names have practically erased the history, but it is very important to remember them. Those were the victims of the concentration camps.
In my travels I always try to visitsimilar places, sometimes undeservedly forgotten and unnecessary. This time it will be aboutSalaspils. In this satellite city of Riga, during the years of the German occupation, the Kurtenhof concentration camp was created, sadly renowned for the fact that many children died here.And this place is worthy of our attention ...
A large memorial built in 1967 still stands 20 kilometers from the center of Riga in a pine forest. Giant concrete blocks with inscription in Latvian"The ground groans behind this gate!"meets rare visitors and immediately adjusts to a minor way.
Inside these blocks among the dark gloomy corridors you can find a small museum exhibition.
And from here there opens a general view of a large sculpture group located behind the blocks. At one time, the best sculptors of Latvia and the USSR worked on it, among them Ernst Neizvestny.
Deliberately rough figures bear the names that instantly endure in the 60s of the last century: Unbroken, Humiliated, Protest, Oath, Mouth Front, Solidarity, Mother.
It was here that the concentration camp was located. On the site of the former barracks are now concrete blocks. And, of course, walking on the path, you can find a lot of children's toys.
In general, the territory is looked after, the grass is mowed, garbage is not noticed. When visiting the memorial in Salaspils, there is a desire to learn more about the extremely confusing and ambiguous history of this place.
Here, on the territory of several dozen hectares during the Second World War, there were already several concentration and labor camps for both prisoners of war and civilians. In the fall of 1941, the Jews began to build it. More than a thousand of them remained forever on this earth.
Later, next to the Stalag-350 prisoner-of-war camp, the Germans staged what they themselves called the educational and labor camp for antifascists, deserters, draft dodgers and other disloyal persons. The management of the SS several times tried to clean up these territories in their hands, but officially they were always listed as the Reich Commissariat or our police.
Since 1943, they began to massively bring in villagers from Belarus, the Pskov and Leningrad regions. There punitive detachments cleaned areas of the partisan movement. Most of the men, old people and people with disabilities were then destroyed on the spot, while the rest were driven into camps like Salaspils. Here, most families were separated. The children were left in the camp, and the rest were driven to work in Germany.
It was then that famine and outbreaks of disease destroyed many very young children. There was no one to look after them.At the same time, rumors of blood transfusions among these children for Wehrmacht’s seriously wounded soldiers began to spread around the camp.
In August 1944 the camp was disbanded, the barracks were burned. At the same time, all the documentation was also destroyed, as well as part of the remains of prisoners buried nearby. The exact death toll in Salaspils, as is often the case in such cases, is still unknown and varies greatly depending on the goals and preferences of the person who counts.
In Soviet times, a figure of 100 thousand people was announced. They were probably greatly overpriced for propaganda purposes, in time for the construction of the memorial. According to modern estimates, the death toll is estimated at 53 thousand dead. But according to the latest data of Latvian historians, one can reliably speak only about 3-4 thousand who died in Salaspils.
Wikipedia data in different languages look very typical. The Russian and, unexpectedly, the Lithuanian version write about 53 thousand dead, the Belarusian one about 100 thousand, the Latvian and English versions write about 2-3 thousand, and the German one carefully voices all versions. It seems to me that the Letts deliberately underestimate the number of the dead, counting only precisely proved victims.
Also not officially confirmed on blood transfusions in children. The fact remains that Salaspils will forever remain a mass grave for thousands of innocent killers, among whom were many children separated from their families and killed here in terrible suffering. So, the memorial should stand and remind new generations of the terrible truth of war, where there is no place for love, compassion, understanding or kindness.
War is always dirt, hatred, death, pain and suffering! I hope, about horrors of Salaspils tell in the Latvian schools. And those who are ready to repeat that war, trying to prove something to someone, must be forced to take them to such places. Perhaps the head will start working ...
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