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Destruction of Latvian Jewry Reported by Soviet Investigating Commission

The destruction of Latvian Jewry by the Germans is disclosed in a report of the State Commission Investigating German Atrocities released here today. The report points out that the Nazis began murdering the Jews almost from the first moment they occupied the country.

More than 2,000 were burned to death, in October, 1941, in the synagogues on Stolbnaya and Gogol Streets in Riga and in the Jewish cemetery there. More than 35,000 were jammed into a ghetto in Riga in that same month. For a time they were used for forced labor, being subjected to beatings and, in the case of the younger women, physical abuse. In Nov., 1941, the Germans selected 4,500 men and 300 women, the most able- bodied, for labor, and all the rest of the ghetto residents were shot. The executions occurred, according to an eye-witness, in the Rubmulsky Forest, twelve kilometors from Riga.

In Dvinsk, 3,000 Jews were rounded-up and shot in July, 1941, and all other Jews in the city were confined in a ghette, together with the Jewish populations of Vyshky, Kraslava and Dogda. There were 30,000 Jews in the ghetto, of whom only 400 remained aftera series of mass executions which began shortly after the ghetto was established, and which ended on May 1 and 2, 1942.

Some Jewish women in Riga who were married to non-Jews were spared, but they were compelled to undergo sterilization by Nazi physicians, at the orders of a Herr Vittreck, German commissar of Riga, the report declares.

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