Liquidation of the Ghetto and the Concentration Camp Kaiserwald

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 10 – Deportation and Death

Forced labour brigades that were of particular importance to the war effort were barracked at the AEG, the German National Railway, or the Army Clothing Depot Mühlgraben. With the exception of a small clean-up squad, the last residents of the Riga ghetto were transferred either to the concentration camp Kaiserwald or the extermination camp Auschwitz, depending on their ability to work.

In order to conceal their crimes in Riga from the Red Army, the Nazi henchmen ordered the exhumation and incineration of the bodies in the mass graves of Rumbula, Biķernieki, and Salaspils in the secret “Action 1005” that started in April 1944.

The concentration camp Kaiserwald was vacated as of August 1944. Only 18 to 30 year olds survived the last “selections”. In a journey that lasted several days, they were shipped via the Baltic Sea to Gdingen and from there, by waterways, to the concentration camp Stutthof – in the severe summer heat under deck, without water and adequate toilets.

Physically hard work, hunger, and sickness turned the conditions in Stutthof into martyrdom. Many inmates were sent from the overcrowded camp to other labour or extermination camps in the territory of the German Reich. Starting in January 1945, Stutthof was evacuated in stages with death marches to the west. The Red Army liberated the camp on May 8th, 1945.


Exhibition: Deported to their Deaths
Duration: December 15th, 2011 to January 27th, 2012
Location: Neues Rathaus Hannover, Bürgersaal
Panel: 10 from 39 – Deportation and Death
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond