Latvian Partisans Rescue 600 Jews; 4,000 Jews Held in Baltic Coastal Town

Six hundred Jews who had been forced by the Germans in occupied Latvia to work on fortifications were recently liberated by Latvian partisans when transferred to Liepaja, it was reported here today by the newspaper Baltiska Nyheter.

No details of the liberation were given, but the report says the Jews who were rescued from the German hands are deportees from Germany, Czechslovakia, Hungary and Holland. All joined the Latvian partisan units immediately upon their liberation.

The same paper estimates that only several hundred Jews have survived in Lithuania of the 170,000 who were there before Germany invaded the Baltic countries. Most of the surviving Jews are hiding in the woods, the paper says. In the early months of 1944 there were still nine thousand Jews in the Kaunas ghetto, all of whom were used for forced labor. But in March the Gestapo discovered a secret tunnel dug by Jews from the ghetto to the Neris River. For this “crime” about half of the Jews in the ghetto were shot. The last 3,000 Jews in the Vilna ghetto were likewise exterminated during the month of March, the paper states, adding that the victims fought against the Germans on the barricades before meeting their death.

About 4,000 Dutch and Belgian Jews are now still alive in a concentration camp which the Germans established in the coastal town of Krestinga some six weeks ago, the paper reveals. They are engaged in the heaviest manual labor. The worst is feared for them when the Germans are forced soon by the Russian Army to withdraw from that area, the paper declares.

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