“TheCeļotājs” –
 “Beginning of the 1941 Terror Against the Jews in Riga Latvia”
 
The Jungfernhof Concentration Camp
 
Now long gone, the Jungfernhof Concentration Camp was an improvised concentration camp in Latvia, at the village of Jumpravmuiža, near the Šķirotava Railway Station about three or four kilometers from Riga. The camp was in operation from December 1941 through March 1942, and served as overflow housing for Jews from Germany and Austria, who had originally been intended for Minsk as a destination.
 
Improvised Housing
 
The new destination, the Riga Ghetto was also overcrowded and could not accommodate the Jewish people deported from Germany. The first transport train with 1,053 Berlin Jews arrived at the Skirotava railway station on 30 November 1941. All persons on board were murdered later the same day at the Rumbula Forest near Riga. The next four transports were, on the orders of SS-Brigadeführer Franz Walter Stahlecker, commander of Einsatzgruppen A, brought to Greater Jungfernhof, an abandoned farming estate on the Daugava River. Originally Jungfernhof was to have been established as an SS business enterprise, and being under the jurisdiction of the SS it could be employed without consulting with the German civil administration “Gebietskommissariat” in Latvia. Under the new plan, Jungfernhof would serve as improvised housing in order to make available labor for the construction of the Salaspils Concentration Camp.
 
Only the sixth transport, which arrived on 10 December 1941 with Cologne Jews on board, came to the “freed up” Riga ghetto, following the mass executions of numerous Latvian Jews.
 
Operations
 
The former estate of 200 hectares or approximately “495 aces” in size had on it a warehouse, three large barns, five small barracks and various cattle sheds. The partially falling down and unheatable buildings were unsuitable for the accommodation of several thousand people. There were no watchtowers or enclosing perimeter, rather a mobile patrol of ten to fifteen Latvian auxiliary police “Hilfspolizei” under a German commandant.
 
In December 1941 a total of 3,984 people were brought in four separate trains to Jungfernhof, including 136 children under ten years old, and 766 elders. On 1 December 1941, 1,013 Jews from Württemberg were entrained and sent to the camp. A further 964 were deported on 6 December 1941 from Hamburg, Lübeck leaving only 90 Jews resident in the city, and others from throughout Schleswig-Holstein. Further transports came from Nuremberg with 1,008 persons and Vienna with 1,001.
 
History of the prisoners
 
About 800 of the prisoners died in the winter of 1941 to 1942 of hunger, cold, typhus.
 
In March 1942 the camp was dissolved. As part of the Dünamünde Action under the false representation that they would be taken to an actually nonexistent camp in Dünamunde, where there would be better conditions and work assignments in a canning plant, between 1600 and 1700 inmates were taken to Biķernieki Forest. There they were executed on 26 March 1942 and interred in mass graves, as previously Jews from the Riga Ghetto had been. 450 inmates were held back and formed into a work commando. They were intended to be used to disguise the camp remnants as a farm. This work commando existed for one year. The survivors were then sent to the Riga Ghetto, which existed until November 1943.
 
Of the approximately 4,000 people transported to Jungfernhof Concentration Camp, only 148 persons survived.
 
Šķirotava Railway Station
 
    
 
Šķirotava Railway Station is located about three or four kilometers from Riga. This is where the Jews from Germany and Austria arrived before being taken to either Jungfernhof Concentration Camp or to Biķernieki Forest to be murdered.
 
This railway station was usually the terminal point for foreign Jews deported to Latvia. The first train with 942 Jews from Berlin arrived there on 30 November 1941. All of them were immediately sent to Rumbula Forest and mureded there. According to a German Security Service report 19,000 foreign Jews were brought to Latvia in early 1942. Trains began to arrive particularly often in the spring and summer of 1942, later on more seldom. Parts of those prisoners were sent to the Riga Ghetto, the young men were sent to Salaspils Concentration Camp, others to the Jungfernhof Concentration Camp. The Jewish barracks in Salaspils Concentration Camp and Jungfernhof Concentration Camp were liquidated in the summer of 1942. Only a few dozen Jews survived there. Still nost of the trains were death trains “literally and figuratively” the deported Jews either died of cold in locked carriages on the way or thet were driven directly to the mass graves. Most frequently they were murdered in Biķernieki Forest, sometimes in Dreilini Forest. In many cases trains passed Šķirotava Railway Station and went further to the east. Going to either Krustpils, Litene, Pitalova. In the environs of these stations mass graves of foreign Jews were found were also found. About 2,000 old and weak Jews, who could not move, were murdered on the territory of Šķirotava Railway Station. They were buried in three big mass graves. Later the German occupants built a new railway track above this place. 
 
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