Jungfernhof Concentration Camp

Riga, Latvia

The Jungfernhof concentration camp was an improvised concentration camp in Latvia. It was in operation from December 1941 through March 1942, and served as overflow housing for Jews from Germany and Austria, who had originally had been intended for Minsk as a destination.

The former estate of 200 hectares in size, had built 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 the German commandant Rudolf Seck.

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 December 1, 1941, 1,013 Jews from Württemberg were entrained and sent to the camp. A further 964 were deported on December 6, 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.

About 800 of the prisoners died in the winter of 1941 to 1942 of hunger, cold, typhus. The testimony of an eyewitness, that there was a gas van assigned to the camp, is no longer believed and is treated as unsubstantiated.

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 nonexisting) 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 shot on March 26, 1942 and interred in mass graves, as previously Jews from the Riga Ghetto had been.

Of the approximately 4,000 people transported to Jungfernhof, only 148 persons survived.

 

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Maskavas iela 344, Riga, Latvia
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Founded: 1941
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Historical period: World War II (Latvia)

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