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Salaspils Memorial Complex Where you can find the Invincible, the Mother, Solidarity and Defeated

Salaspils Memorial Complex

Salaspils, Latvia

  • SPACE TYPE: Monument

Tags: Latvia, memorial, monument, Totally Lost 2015

Set in a pine forest southeast of Riga, near the town of Salaspils, Kurtenhof Concentration Camp was the bigger of two camps built in or near the Latvian capital for civilians and Jews from the occupied territories. Set in a clearing a few hundred meters from the Riga-Salaspils railway line, served first as a transitional camp and later, by personal order of Himmler, as the site of mass executions.

Salaspils Concentration Camp was established in October 1941 till its liberation in September 1944 located 18 km southeast of Riga and east of Maskavas iela. The Nazi bureaucracy drew distinctions between different types of camps. Officially, Salaspils was a Police Prison and Work Education Camp “Polezeigegfängnis und Arbeitserziehungslager” to house 15,000 deported Jews and political prisoners. Approximately 12,000 persons went through the camp during its existence. 2,000 to 3,000 people died here.

Estimates differ of how many people were murdered at Salaspils. The Soviets claimed over one hundred thousand, Latvian textbooks half that, recent studies offer a figure of under three thousand. What is certain is that this was a dark and terrible place.

 After the war, the Soviet authorities left the camp as a memorial site, constructing huge stone statues called: “The Invincible”, “The Mother”, “Solidarity” and “Defeated”.





Now it’s the site of a public park/memorial to all those who died here and at other sites around the world and one of the most moving places you will ever visit.




I have been taking photgraphs on an amateur basis for a few years but have recently discovered the strange and very appealing world of Urbex. Latvia and Lithuania was my first trip oustide of the UK wth my camera. Find me on Flickr-Tbolt

CONTRIBUTOR: Chris Shepherd