Rumbula After The War
Michael Genchik lost seven of ten members of his family at Rumbula Forest including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. He maintained the mass graves after the war as a member of the Soviet Army and has since immigrated to the United States. Here are his answers to questions about Rumbula Forest.
MICHAEL GENCHIK REMEMBERS
What do you personally know
of the history of Rumbula Forest, the graves and any markers there the
Then young Jewish activists from the Riga synagogue decided to take care of the place. They brought trucks with soil close to the place and dropped it on the ground by the highway. From there they carried the soil on stretchers to the gravesite and formed graves.
After that the officials erected the tombstones, but were afraid to write on them, that there were mostly Jews among the killed, instead saying that there are buried war prisoners and other soviet citizens.
In later years the officials held memorial services every year in November or December. There were speeches reminding of the atrocities of the Nazis. But saying kaddish was forbidden. Once after the official part of the meeting, Jews tried to say Kaddish and tell a little about the ghetto, but the police didn't permit to do so. Until 1972, when I retired from the army, I did my best to keep the place neat.
Earlier in 1941, did the Germans
intentionally attempt to fool people that they wouldn't be so bad, thus
preventing a large scale and universal opposition before they developed
What should young people
today, who were born several generations after these events, learn from
Rumbula and the Holocaust in Latvia?