Žanis Lipke Memorial

Top choice in Ķīpsala, Āgenskalns & Torņakalns

There is hardly a place in Latvia that can tell such a poignant and optimistic story as this quietly stunning memorial. Žanis Lipke saved over 50 Jews from certain death during the Nazi occupation: he found a job with the German air force, which allowed him to smuggle people out of the Rīga ghetto under the pretext of using them as labourers. He hid them in a bunker under the woodpile next to his house – now the site of this memorial.

Lipke was helped by his wife and a whole network of volunteers, some of whom played with death by walking into the ghetto to pose as the runaways during the headcount. The memorial building is a masterpiece of understated design that amplifies the details of the story as it unfolds. Lipke's descendants still live next door.

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