Memorial to victims of WWII in Biķernieki

“Earth, don’t cover my blood, and let my cry have not place to rest!” These words from the Book of Job are engraved onto the black granite cube, which has been created as a symbolic altar of the memorial ensemble to the victims of mass murders committed by the Nazis at Biķernieki forest during WWII.

The thousands of stones around the memorial symbolize traditional Jewish graves. Between 1941 and 1944, 35,000 persons were murdered in these forests, including many Jews from Latvia and Western Europe, as well as Soviet war prisoners and political opponents of the Nazi regime. The architect of the memorial is Sergei Rizh (1947), and the memorial complex itself was unveiled in 2001. It was financed mostly by the German government and organizations, the Austrian State Fund, as well as donations. Some of the stones have the names of cities engraved onto them from where those slaughtered at Biķernieki came from. Altogether, 55 mass graves have been documented at Biķernieki forest.