3. Riga: Jewish Heritage Private Guided Tour
The tour begins with pickup from your hotel and sets out towards the heart of Riga. Visit the Zanis Lipke memorial and learn about Zanis and his wife Johanna who helped create an underground bunker to save Jews from the Nazis. Then head to the memorial of the Great Choral Synagogue and pay respect to the events of 1941 during which hundreds of Jewish refugees were forced into the basement that was later intentionally burned to the ground. From this horrible event, only the ruins of a metal menorah and memorial stone are left but they still paint an incredibly somber image of the atrocity.
Afterwards, continue onto the Jewish Community Center, also known as the Museum of Jews in Latvia. At the center, learn about the history of Jewish contribution to the modern day Riga. Travel through the historical Jewish quarter of Maskavas Forstate suburb next, and look out for the little wooden houses where the Jewish people used to live. Following the walk, arrive at the Museum of Occupation of Latvia for an introduction into the history of how Jews survived under Soviet rule.
Follow your guide onto Riga’s Ghetto and Holocaust Museum where you can find the names of more than 70,000 people who were sadly killed during the Holocaust. In the museum, you can also see a photograph exhibition dedicated to antisemitism propaganda. The tour ends at the Bikernieki Memorial, one of the largest memorials of its kind dedicated to victims of the Nazi regime. Read the inscription on the memorials symbolic alter and take a moment to remember those who lost their lives.