1759: William Davis, St. Croix slave revolt suicide 1794: Jean-Baptiste Carrier, of the Noyades de Nantes

1941: The massacre at Skede in Liepaja

December 15th, 2013 Headsman

The World War II occupation of the Latvian town of Liepaja (Libau, to the Germans) produced mass executions throughout 1941.

This date in 1941 commenced one of the largest such actions: over 2,700 Jews as well as 23 Communists forced over the course of two-plus days to strip on the freezing Skede dunes overlooking the Baltic and there shot by German and Latvian teams into a vast pit. It’s one of the most recognizable Holocaust atrocities because it was extensively photographed.*

As one can see from the pictures, the victims here were mostly women.


Some of the women in this photographs can be identified by name (pdf). Left to right: (1) Sorella Epstein; (2) presumably Rosa Epstein, her mother; (3) unknown; (4) Mia Epstein; (5) unknown. Alternate identification makes Mia Epstein (5) instead of (4), and (2) Pauline Goldman.

Almost all of Liepaja’s Jews perished during the war.

* Germany’s Bundesarchiv (search on Libau 1941) confirms the precise December 15 dating for these images; it also has some other photographs of atrocities in Liepaja/Libau on other occasions.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,Germany,History,Jews,Known But To God,Latvia,Mass Executions,Mature Content,No Formal Charge,Occupation and Colonialism,Shot,Summary Executions,USSR,Wartime Executions,Women

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4 thoughts on “1941: The massacre at Skede in Liepaja”

  1. STEPHEN says:

    Sorella,

    I’ve known about you for years though I never knew your name or your birthday until today. I have cried with my brother in law when I first told him of you. i have two daughters and so could not bear the pain of seeing you struggle behind your Mom. i am with you and will see you and your Mom some day, God be willing.

    Sincerely,
    Steve

  2. RODOLFO CLERICI says:

    Onore per sempre a queste donne, al loro dolore, al silenzioso coraggio di fronte alla bestialità umana.

  3. daniel says:

    so sorry for you Litte Sorella, i fell so sad when i’m looking at you my tears fall if we could have the ability to change the past…..Never forget you, never …

  4. JCF says:

    Oh, humanity….

    Memory eternal.

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