Heroes Who Saved Lives

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Introduction   Overviews on the Web   Janis & Johanna Lipke   Robert & Johanna Seduls   Monument to Latvians who Sheltered Jews   Film & Video   Heroes   Read More About It
Photo by Rumbula.org


A small number of Jews survived the Holocaust in Latvia with the aid of brave and compassionate Latvians who risked death to hide them. Indeed, several were found harboring Jews and killed along with those they hid.

The names of 269 Latvians who hid Jews during the Holocaust are inscribed on the Saviors Monument in Riga. Unfortunately, the names of some will never be known. The humanity and courage of each of these heroes must not be forgotten.



The Savers
by Frank Gordon - Centropa Quarterly



U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum photo archives.

Janis Lipke (also spelled Zanis Lipke)
Janis Lipke, a wharf laborer in the port of Riga, rescued 55 people from the Nazis in Latvia. When the bunker under his home's shed became overcrowded with the saved, he rented a house in a rural area to accommodate more people. He then made arrangements to establish two more safe houses to accommodate the increasing numbers of rescued. Mr. Lipke accomplished this most dangerous and difficult achievement working with up to 25 assistants. Janis Lipke was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1977. A book about Mr. Lipke was published in Latvia in 2007. A museum is being constructed on the former site of Mr. Lipke's shed, on Kipsala (a part of Riga that is on an island in the Daugava river).

Memorial for Zanis Lipke to be built in Kipsala
Drawn from March 20, 2009 articles in the Latvian press. In English and Russian with photos. Written by Elihau Valk, Chairman of the Association of Latvian and Estonian Jews in Israel.
Memorial for Zanis Lipke to be built in Kipsala
Мемориалу Липке быть

Zanis Lipke Memorial Association
The Zanis Lipke Memorial Association has been working since 2005 to raise funds for, develop and now construct a museum to tell the story of Zanis Lipke's heroic acts. The museum is being constructed in Riga, on the site of Zanis Lipke's former shed, under which he harbored Jews during WWII. The association's excellent web site includes information both about Mr. Lipke and the museum. Donations may be made at the web site to support construction of the museum.



Robert and Johanna Seduls, harbored 11 Jews in a secret compartment in their basement in Liepaja (Libau), Latvia from 1943-1944. The wall creating the compartment was constructed with the bricks of the demolished Liepaja synagogue. As the number of Jews in the secret room grew, it became difficult for the Seduls to feed them all. So the Seduls began taking in work and became known as great craftsmen in leather and metal in Liepaja. Unbeknownst to their customers, the work was being performed entirely by hidden Jews.

Among those harbored in the basement were David Zivcon. Mr. Zivcon, while working in SD (Nazi security police) headquarters, managed to steal, copy and replace Nazi photos of the murders of Liepaja Jews at nearby Skede. The amazing Zivcon hid his surreptitious copies of the photos in a metal box in the SD shop, behind a brick in a repair pit (apparently used for vehicles). Due to the efforts of Mr. Zivcon, his associate Mr. Stein who copied the photos and the brave Seduls who kept Zivcon alive, these photos were retrieved after the war and used at war crimes trials. Today, they are on display in museums throughout the world, including Yad Vashem, as a photo record of how mass shootings were carried out.

Yad Vashem Article about Robert and Johanna Seduls
This article tells the story of how the Seduls harbored Jews in a secret room in their basement for more than a year, until the war's end in Latvia.



2007 Dedication of the Monument to Latvians who Sheltered Jews

Photo courtesy of Gita Umanovska and the Jewish Community of Latvia

A monument to Latvia's residents who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust was unveiled on Gogol Street in Riga on July 4, 2007. The monument shows a falling wall and seven columns that symbolize live people propping the wall up despite deadly danger. The names of 269 persons who harbored Jews have been engraved on the seven columns, the most famous of whom is Janis Lipke. Artist Elina Lazdina was selected by a 2004 design competition.

Individuals who saved Jews and who are still living were present at the ceremony. The first speech was given by the outgoing President of Latvia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga. Israel's Ambassador to Latvia, Chen Ivri, read a message from Israel's President elect, Simon Peres. Arkady Suharenko, Chairman of Latvia's Jewish Community, spoke and said that the monument will help us remember those good people who, despite the danger, saved Jews.

The monument was erected adjacent to the Gogol Street Synagogue Memorial. This was the site of Riga's great Choral Synagogue, which was burned down on July 4, 1941 with an estimated 300 Jews locked inside. Many other synagogues throughout Latvia were burned down that same July 4, 1941. July 4 is now Latvia's National Holocaust Memorial Day.

Coverage of the dedication appeared July 5 in the Latvian newspapers Diena, Latvijas Avize, Neatkariga Ritu Avize, Telegraf(in Russian), Tchas and Vesti Segodnya. All except Diena had photos. Latvijas Avize and Vesti Segodnya placed photos on the front page of their papers with President Vika-Freiberga and Chairman Suharenko.

Special thanks to Ellie Valk, president of the Association of Latvian and Estonian Jews in Israel, for the information contained in this article.

AP Article About Monument

Latvia Unveils Memorial to People who Tried to Save Jews During World War II
Associated Press article in the International Herald Tribune

Virtual Tour of Monument Dedication

  Virtual Tour of the Saviors Monument Dedication Ceremony
Courtesy of Gita Umanovska and the Jewish Community of Latvia



The Saviours and the Saved (29 minutes, 2000)
A Dedication to Zanis Lipke who saved 55 people



Alexandra Dagarova-Noim Honored as Righteous Gentile

Alexandra Dagarova-Noim Honored as Righteous Gentile in Tribute in Boston in April 2007
Alexandra Dagarova-Noim worked with the legendary Janis Lipke to save Jews from the Riga Ghetto.
Article and photo by Ivar Brod.

Names of Heroes Who Saved Lives

This preliminary list will be replaced by the list inscribed on the Saviors Monument in Latvia once we obtain it.

The source is indicated in [brackets]:
[LMW] is Liepaja Memorial Wall
[YV] is Yad Vashem

Adomyanets, Sofya
Afanasiev, Fadei & Evdokia [YV]
Afanasiev, Philip & Anastasia [YV]
Afanasiev, Piotr & Lutsia [YV]

Balconas, Adumas & Adela [YV]
Baltov, Modest & Malvina [YV]
Bankovitsh, Fred [YV]
Barkan, Anton & Helena [YV]
The Berzinsh Family
Binkevich (Sidirapulo), Valentina [YV]
Birzynia, Valentina [YV]
Brundzelis, J. [LMW]
Bushs [LMW]

Ciblis, Manya [YV]

Dave, Tereza [LMW]
Didrichson, Ansis [YV]
Dombrovska, Elizabete [LMW]
Dzene, Jeva [YV]

Eilenbergs, Karlis [LMW]
Enina, Grieta [LMW]
Enins, Margarita; son Fritz [YV]
Eninsh, Karlis [LMW]
Eninsh, Teodors [LMW]
Evels, H. and family [LMW]

Fimboyer, Ana [YV]

Gaevskaya, Emilia [YV]
Gintere [LMW]
Ginters [LMW]
Gludausis, Arnolds [YV]
The Goertners

Ignatiev, Piotr & Varvara [YV]
Indriksone (wife) [LMW]
Indriksons (husband) [LMW]
Indriksons (son) [LMW]
Ivanova [LMW]

Janaite [LMW]

Kaminski, Janis & Marija [YV]
Kandevicha, Ieva [LMW]
Karchevskaya, Maria [YV]
Karklins, Herta [YV]
Kateneva, Olga [YV]
Keller, Maria
Keller, Maria; son Arnold [YV]
Klebais, Margareta; sister Aleksandra [YV]
Kleibaises, Sasha & Greta (of Artillery Street in Riga)
Krumins, Arturs & Erna; daughter Ilga [YV]
Krumins, Paul [YV]
Kruzmane, Olga [YV]
Kumerow, Friedrich [YV]
Kupsis, Peteris & Erna [YV]

Lindenberg, Maria
Lipke, Janis & Johanna [YV]
    -- Yad Vashem
    -- U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
    -- USHMM Photograph
    -- Photograph

Matusiewich, Anna; child Jadwiga, Jan
Meters, Velta [YV]
Mezhulis, Mr. & Mrs.
Micko, Vladimir [YV]
Mieleike, Elsa; mother [YV]
Mikulova-Afanasiev, Minadora [YV]

Noim, Andriana [YV]

Ozolin, Eduard & Anna; sons Janis & Voldemar [YV]

Paich, Lina [YV]
Pavele, Zelma [LMW]
Pavels, Jekabs [LMW]
Peterson, Martin & Milda [YV]
Petrova, Yefrosinia & Fedot [YV]
Pilsroze, Lina [YV]
Pukis, Karlis & Elza [YV]
Pukis, Janis & Anna, [YV]
Pesla (of Chiekurkalns)
Purins, Peter & Marija; daughter Vilma [YV]

Rats, Janis [LMW]
Rats, Olga [LMW]
Resnais, Emils [YV]
Roze, Margrieta [LMW]
Rozentals, Friedrich & Putrinya; child Edgar, Bruno [YV]
Rudzit, Carola [YV]

Sameits, Kristaps [LMW]
Schiemann, Paul & Charlotte [YV]
Scheink, Frau (of Laimdotas Street in Riga)
Sedul, Robert & Johanna [YV]
Sermolina, Maija [LMW]
Shimelpfenigs, Otilija [LMW]
Skershkane, Leokardia [YV]
Skuyinsh, Katerina [YV]
Smilga [LMW]
Spers – mother and daughter
Spiridovich, Helena [YV]
Sprogis, Janis [YV]
Strelis, Amalia [YV]
Susters, Gerhards & Emilija [YV]
Susters, Janis [YV]

Trofimov, Sergei & Vasa; d. Stepanida [YV]

Vanags, Klara & Anton; d. Skaidrite [YV]
Vecvagare [LMW]
Verdins, Valdis [YV]
Vilmans, Petrunela [YV]
Viliumsons, Mr. & Mrs. (of Katlakalns); daughter Olivia, son Heinrich (of Kekava) & his wife Edith.

Warushkina, Ulita [YV]

Yunel, Anton & Anna [YV]

Ziverts, Sofija [YV]
Zvaigzne, Vilis [YV]
Zwirzgdinia, Anna [YV]



I Survived Rumbuli
By Frida Michelson
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Shop Memorial Council, February 1982.
Frida Michelson, as only one of two to survive, felt G-d chose her as a witness. Frida Michelson’s riveting story details the horrors she experienced and describes her survival of the actions at Rumbula. It goes on to tell of her survival of years of Nazi occupation with the aid of a series of righteous Latvians, a number of whom were Seventh Day Adventists.

A limited number of copies of the paperback edition are in stock at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Bookstore and is also widely available from sellers of used books and libraries.


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