Latvian parliament
Latvian parliament iStock

Latvia commemorated the war crimes that took place during the Nazi era and the mass killing of its Jewish community on July 4, which was Jewish genocide memorial day in the country, ngs.lsm.lv reported.

The Nazi occupation of Latvia in 1941 included atrocities in which Jews were mass murdered in Riga, Daugavpils, Liepāja and small towns.

“Latvia mourns tens of thousands of Jews that have been murdered by Nazis and their collaborators in 1941. [The] Holocaust is a stark reminder [of] dictators who are not stopped and defeated immediately. Hate speech and totalitarian ideologies form the basis for such horrific crimes,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs said.

The day was mourned with remembrance ceremonies, including at the site of the former Great Choral Synagogue in Riga, which was where one of the worst atrocities occurred.

Flowers were placed at the memorial by Latvian President Egils Levits, whose father’s family are Jewish.

“The remembrance of the Holocaust in Rīga is getting stronger every year,” explained Riga Mayor Martiņš Staķis.

From 1941 to 1944, three quarters of Latvia’s pre-war population of 93,000 Jews were murdered.