Esthonian Officer Goes Mad Witnessing Execution of 14,000 Jews in Riga

The Belgian Information Center here today released a report stating that 14,000 Jews were killed by the Gestapo in Riga last April in mass-executions which continued for 14 days. Among the executed were several hundred Dutch Jews and about 100 from Belgium, the report declared.

“The head of the Gestapo directed the executions which took place in a wide field where a big ditch had been dug,” the report states. “The order was given to the Jews to disrobe completely. Then followed an indescribable scene, men and women crying, crawling on their knees, begging the German executioners for mercy, but without any effect. These unfortunates, who included young children, were lined up at the edge of the ditch and mowed down with machine guns. When the executions were completed, the ditch was filled without anyone bothering to ascertain whether any of the victims were still alive. An Esthonian officer who witnessed the executions was unable to stand this spectacle and suddenly went mad.

“Various pretexts were given by the German authorities when the Dutch or Belgian Jews were sent to the East,” the report continues. “It appears that in the beginning the Nazis proposed to employ them at difficult and urgent work, as for example, road building. These orders were changed and the unfortunates were executed with the other Jews of the Baltic countries.”

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