Rumbula Forest Memorial
Rumbula Forest Memorial
4.5

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zippy608
Gold Canyon, AZ2,078 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Couples
The memorial is located in the Rumbula Forest which was the site of Jewish Mass Killings during the Holocaust by the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units). It was here in 1941 that 25,000 people where shot and thrown into mass graves. The central part of the memorial is a Menorah with jagged rocks around it which have the names of the victims along with the streets of the Riga Ghetto. It is surrounded by mass graves which are marked by rectangular concrete borders. There is another path which leads to more mass graves for a total of 6 altogether.

This was a "must see" for me and it should be for you too. It is really quite moving especially the mass graves.

It is easy to get to from Riga. It is located on the A6/E22 and there is a large broken branch sculpture jutting into the road. That is the turnoff for the memorial. The GPS Coordinates are : Lat: N56.88547 Lon: E024.24579
Written 13 September 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hawk470
Baltimore, MD2,651 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
No memorial can do justice to the atrocities committed here or to the victims who were murdered, but as a memorial to remind the living of the worst that humans can do to humans, Rumbula is exceptional.

The event itself is inconceivable. Row after row day after day from 30 November - 8 December 1941, in a well planned and executed conveyor belt of slaughter, innocent men, women and children were lined up and murdered coldly and methodically by the Nazis and their collaborators bullet by bullet layer upon layer in the open pits which became mass graves. Over those nine days 25,000 innocents were executed at Rumbula. How is it possible for humans to do this to other humans?

Perhaps most haunting of all was climbing the stairs from the train track to the killing ground. My understanding is that the victims were force marched the 10 kilometers from the Riga Ghetto to Rumbula, with a few elderly or infirm trucked in, but these train tracks recalled for me the tracks leading to Auschwitz-Birkenau – built because the murderous methods deployed in the Baltics were not efficient enough.

The descriptive information at the site is pretty spare. A couple of tombstone-like plaques at the entrance in Latvian, English, German, and Hebrew provide an overview of the massacre and the creation of the memorial, so reviewing the Wikipedia entry or another source for the horrifying details of this crime is valuable for those who want more. That said, the reverence of the site speaks volumes. The path through the woods to the memorial is both peaceful and foreboding. The memorial structure itself -- the Star of David topped by a menorah – commemorates the dead. The star is formed from stones engraved with the names of the slaughtered and the streets of the Riga Ghetto. The concrete bordered mass graves surrounding the memorial give you a small sense of the slaughter’s scale.

We drove there on our way to Liepaja and missed the entrance because we did not know to look for the dark metal ensnaring-vine-like structure reaching out from the entrance to the edge of the highway at the turnoff, but our GPS gave us good directions. You can also get there by bus.

The Rumbula Forest Memorial is truly a place for reflection on what we humans can do at our worst and what we must do to prevent such atrocities in the future.
Written 31 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cleo
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Family
We were in Riga with our 10 year old daughter who was participating in an ice-sports competition when we found out that it was in Rumbula, in this mass grave that her great grandparents - a jewish couple from Hamburg - were brutally murdered in 1941 along with 1000 other German jews and 24000 Latvian jews.
We lit a candle and tried to explain to our daughter that among the 25000 bodies lying under our feet, were those of her great-grand parents. May the future generations never forget what "humans" are capable of.
Written 15 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter E
Suffolk, UK370 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015
It's a quite odd to rank holocaust related sites with any kind of score. There's no question for me that the Rumbula forest memorial is 100% worth visiting if you've the slightest interest in holocaust related history. It's a beautiful memorial in a natural setting that moved me greatly.

That said, the fact that 27,000 people were killed here in 2 days by the Germans and Latvians, and there's so little provided in terms of signage, information or basic recognition by the City of Riga and the Country of Latvia is quite disgraceful. There are brown tourist signs all over the country pointing out Christian pilgrimage churches, underwhelming natural attractions, picnic spots and animal parks, by contrast. You are left with the distinct impression they really don't care. Compare numerous memorials where far fewer people have died that are accorded far more prominence around the world. If 27,000 Latvian non-Jews had been murdered I strongly suspect they'd have a different attitude.

Therefore do not expect much of a "visitor experience" in coming here, which is reflected in my 2 star ranking. There are virtually no background information boards, no museum, the site is hard to find, and isn't signposted at all. There are no facilities of any kind (except a small car park and an overflowing rubbish bin).

You need to:

A) read up about the massacre before. Wikipedia is the basic that's required, but without it you'll get very little from your visit

B) take care to plan out how to get here carefully. I'll leave the bus instructions to other reviewers, but if you're coming by hire car, the location up to today given on Tripadvisor is entirely wrong. I've submitted a new pin location and hope they move it.

In essence the site is actually located on the A6 dual carriageway (Maskavas iela), sandwiched between it and a railway line. There's no street number, but it's on the Riga bound (eastbound) side just before the junction of the road with Janogu iela. Feed "skeltu iela" into your satnav and it will bring you to the right spot on the A6. On the westbound carriageway there's a Dinaz petrol station right opposite the sandy track entrance. You'll have to cross carriageways and head back towards town just at or after that point. On the eastbound side there's a large metal branch memorial filled with stones which makes the spot easier to find if you're aware to look out for it.

Do come here and pay your respects as a personal pilgrimage, but reflect too on the way this incredibly important site is treated by this city and country.

Finally, if you have time for only one holocaust related visit during your stay here I'd recommend the Bikernieki Forest Memorial instead. They're both in similar proximity to the city centre and although it differs from the same issues described above, it is larger, the setting is more dignified, and it touched me even more.
Written 13 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John L
Grand Bend, Canada2,181 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Solo
The massacre of roughly 25,000 Jews at Rumbula, a small railroad station 12 kms. from Riga, occurred on Nov 30 and Dec. 8, 1941. The actual massacre site was on a hill about 250 kms. from the station; this particular location was selected because it was close to Riga, located on elevated ground, and composed of sandy soil. Most of the Jews were from the Rigo Ghetto, and the murders represented one of the largest mass killings of Jews in Europe. The six murder pits were dug by Russian prisoners of war. A new memorial was inaugurated in 2002. The path to the memorial was the same path were the victims were driven to their deaths; slabs at the entrance describe the events, and six marked mass graves are located on the site. Visiting the site is a moving experience. The area is quiet and hushed, and the few visitors speak in reverent tones ... if they speak at all. In this solitude, it is possible to imagine the horror and fear of those who were marched to their deaths .... then shot in pits where their bodies would fall on top of those already massacred. I think it would be impossible to tour Rumbula without feeling disturbed, upset and haunted ...the very reasons why it is so important to visit and pay respect.
Written 2 August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Harry S
New York City, NY12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Solo
I arrived in Riga by ship. None of my fellow travellers were interested in this visit. I hired a taxi and headed here. This memorial crept up on me. As I walked through the stone gates, and up the short hill, I was overwhelmed. To know that more than 20,000 to 25,000 mostly Jews were marched here, forced to dig their own graves, shot and buried...who could not be moved. Well worthwhile if you are a student of history, and are willing to confront man's inhumanity to man. A must see.
Written 10 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

eilonglen
Ashkelon, Israel329 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Friends
Mere words are inadequate to express ones feelings about the unspeakable horrors perpetrated on the Jews of Riga by the Nazi occupiers in 1941, in this peaceful, bucolic parkland.
Innocent victims were transported by rail-car and truck from the Capital and surrounding areas and mercilessly exterminated, like so many vermin, their remains being burned and dumped in mass graves in order to hide the indescribable crimes against Humanity...
The site is reverently marked by an evocative menorah "growing' out of a field of small erectile rocks; each one carrying the inscribed name of a random victim. The six mass graves are raised from the earth and surrounded by concrete berms, with a simple rock marker on each.
Among the various execution sites visited in the Baltic States, Rumbula Forest Memorial is etched permanently in our memories...
Written 5 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laurenrenae
Lake Charles, LA207 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Couples
This was a part of our Jewish History tour of Riga, an excursion booked through our cruise ship. This particular site is quiet and located down a path in the forest. The memorial is beautiful, a menorah and rough stones inscribed with names of those murdered in 1941 by the Nazis. There are 6 mass graves situated around the memorial, bordered by concrete and with a single large rock marking each site. 25,000 people lost their lives and the memorial is both simple and moving. Leaving s small stone on one of the markers was a very special moment. Beautiful. And reminder that we must never forget.
Written 15 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pia41
Philadelphia, PA29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Couples
A walk in the tranquil forest... and then one sees the pits and the grave markers!! Other reviewers have described these memorials to innocent men, women and children, murdered by local people together with the Nazis. The memorials are poignant and should remind everyone of depravity that human beings can sink to... and hope "never again". 1 month after visiting, we continue feel the sadness...
Written 11 April 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally G
169 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
We travelled by bus 18 which is found opposite the Mercure hotel, it took 30 minutes... (Cost €2 each way) Rumbula forest is on a busy stretch of road, walk up to the traffic island it is easier to cross there as traffic is very fast moving. Look out for the wrought iron entanglement of fallen branches in the other side of the road. It is free to enter this historic area, please don't remove the stones that have been placed on the memorials as these have been placed by loved ones. At the back of the wooded area is the railway line.
Written 19 August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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