Jewish Population of Latvian Town Reduced from 5000 to 3 During Nazi Occupation

Only three Jews remain in the Latvian city of Rezekne of the 5,000 who were there when the Germans occupied the city in July of 1941, less than a month after the opening of the invasion of Russia, according to a report received here today.

The survivors are five-year-old Moti Tager, who was saved by his non-Jewish nurse, and 57-year-old Chaim Israelit and his 16-year-old nephew Jacob Israelit. The Israelits were sheltered in the home of a Polish neighbor all during the occupation, although other members of their family were murdered.

The story they tell of how the Germans wiped out the Jewish community is the now-familiar, but still horrible, recital of beatings, torture, mass-executions, children buried alive, and young girls raped. The killings proceeded at such a pace that eventually the Nazis had to move their execution place from the Jewish cemetery to the outskirts of the town. By 1943, there were virtually no Jews in Rezekne. Just before they retreated, the Germans exhumed the bodies of their victims and burned them, the Israelits revealed.

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