Rumbula Holocaust Memorial

The Commission sponsored and raised the funds needed to complete a memorial to the more than 25,000 Jews shot to death by Nazi German forces in the Rumbula Forest, outside of Riga, Latvia, during two days in November and December of 1941.

The memorial was a collaborative effort of the Riga City Council, the Germany's “The People’s Union,” the Embassy of Israel, and the Jewish Survivors of Latvia, an organization of Holocaust survivors headed by New Yorker Steven Springfield.

The Commission’s sponsorship of the project was proposed by then Commission Member Joseph Halfon. Then Commission Chairman Warren L. Miller raised the funds for the project.

The inscription on the memorial became an issue when some Riga officials wanted language that would have obscured Latvian complicity in the killings. Miller worked with the U.S. Ambassador to Latvia, to obtain a historically accurate inscription. It was finally agreed upon with the assistance of Latvia President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and other Latvian officials.

The memorial was dedicated on November 29, 2002. U.S. Ambassador Brian Carlson read a statement  from Miller. Also speaking were President Vike-Freiberga, and other dignitaries.