Jaunjelgava Municipality, Beku Pine Forest

Site of massacre:

Latitude: 56.568882
Longitude: 25.215725

The Nazis occupied Jaunjelgava on 27 June 1941, and arrests of Jews started already at the beginning of July. The arrested persons were placed in two synagogues – men were separated from women and children – and were made to do various jobs. Approximately within a month a Latvian SD unit (“Arājs’ Commando”) began massacres (exact sites are unknown). The majority of Jaunjelgava Jews were shot in the Beku Pine Forest: 65 Jews in July 1941, and 430 – in August 1941. Part of the Jews (approximately 70 persons) were taken and murdered in a place not far from Bauska, in the Likvertene Forest. Some Jews of Jaunjelgava (25 in total) were shot by self–defenders of Sērene already at the beginning of July in Sērene, close to the Lauce Lake.

At present no memorial signs have been placed at the site of massacre in the Beku Pine Forest. During the first post-war years the remains from Bekas Pine Forest and other sites of massacres were reinterred in the Jaunjelgava Jewish 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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