VALDEMARPILS: Talsi, Kurzeme Print

Alternate names: Valdemārpils [Latv, since 1926], Sasmaka [Latv, until 1926], Sassmacken [Ger], Shasmaken [Yid], Sasmaken [Pol], Sasmacken, Saßmacken.  57°22' N, 22°35' E, in NW Latvia, 8 miles N of Talsi. 1900 Jewish population: 899.

Cemetery on Ezera St dates from the 18th century.

The Jewish cemetery is just E of the town center, between Dzirnavu iela and Ezera iela, on a wooded hillside overlooking Lake Sasmaka. Unfortunately, little visible remains: two small gravestones and one tomb box. Apparently, the cemetery survived in fairly good condition until the late 1960s when it was destroyed with the tacit approval and perhaps participation of the local Soviet authorities. Private residents, for use in construction projects, took some gravestones. I was shown three large stones in very good condition lying in the mud behind a private home. However, it seems that most of the stones were crushed for use in surfacing roads. Source: Abraham Lenhoff; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date?]

planned Holocaust memorial sketch. Very little remains, but a new collumbariam monument from gravestones removed from the cemetery is planned by the Valdemarpils Town Council and Jewish Museum of Latvia. photos of cemetery [March 2009]

A pile of tombstones was at another place in the town. Stolen from the cemetery, sanded down and re-used, a few are left. The site of the mass killing of Valdemarpils Jews, those who were "able to work", on August 7, 1941 is rather far into the woods and marked by a rectangle of evergreen trees, but no stone. The site was marked with the trees shortly after the war. Those that were able to work were forced to dig peat for fuel for a month before they were killed. Others were killed in July at another location. See burial list All Latvia Cemetery List [March 2009]

Last Updated on Friday, 28 January 2011 20:54