The “Reichsjudenghetto”

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 17 – Perpetrators

After Bloody Sunday, the ghetto was scaled down to a smaller perimeter in the west. In the northern blocks of houses, a labour camp was established, the so-called “Small” or “Latvian Ghetto”. In the southern section, the “German” or “Reichsjudenghetto” (ghetto of the Reich Jews) was located which, after December 8th, 1941, housed deportees from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.

In order to prevent unauthorized contacts between the inhabitants of the two ghettos, or with the outside, the ghetto was guarded by Latvian police. The guards were under the supervision of the German Uniformed Police (German: Schutzpolizei) which, in turn, was subordinate to the SS commander Kurt Krause. Inside the ghetto, Jewish camp police had to perform guard and patrol duties.

In total, nearly 25,000 people were deported to the “Reichsjudenghetto”. Many died of hunger and illness or were murdered by Nazi henchmen in one of their “operations”, such as the notorious “Operation Dünamünde” with approximately 4000 victims. Through the arrival of new deportation trains, there were always between 11,000 and 13,000 people living in the ghetto.

Picture credits

1: Peter Palm, cited in: Angrick, Andrej and Klein, Peter: Die “Endlösung” in Riga. Ausbeutung und Vernichtung 1941-1944, Darmstadt 2006.

2: State Archives Hamburg.


Exhibition: Deported to their Deaths
Duration: December 15th, 2011 to January 27th, 2012
Location: Ort: Neues Rathaus Hannover, Bürgersaal
Panel: 17 from 39 – Perpetrators
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond