Valmiera, the Brethren Cemetery

Location of the monument:

Latitude: 57.538986
Longitude: 25.434704

The troops of Nazi Germany entered Valmiera on 5 July 1941, and already a couple of days later arrests of Jews started. In mid–July also the Jews that had been arrested in parishes of the district were brought to Valmiera. The course of the Holocaust in Valmiera is not clearly known. The Jews of Valmiera and its vicinity were murdered in a number of actions in July and August in the former shooting range in Ķelderleja (approximately 4 km from Valmiera), in the vicinity of the Valmiermuiža Prison and in the Iršuparks Forest (approximately 1 km from Valmiera). In the spring of 1942 also 30 Jews from Ukraine were shot behind the building of the Valmiera Parish Council House. The shootings were carried out by a German SD unit (“Arājs’ Commando”) together with local policemen.

In 1985 the Brethren Cemetery was opened in Valmiera with the aim to reinter Soviet soldiers and victims of the Nazi terror; Jews were reinterred separately, the place was marked by a granite plaque and an apple–tree, the place is called “Golden Apple–tree” and is part of the ensemble of the Brethren Cemetery.

Further reading:

  • Meler M. Jewish Latvia: Sites to Remember. Tel-Aviv: Association of Latvian and Estonian Jews in Israel, 2013.
  • Ezergailis A. The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941-1944: The Missing Center. Riga: The Historical Institute of Latvia; Washington, DC: US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1996.

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