Peres Attends Unveiling of Latvia Museum to Honor WWII Rescuers of Jews

President Shimon Peres, Latvian counterpart Andris Berzins attend opening ceremony in Riga.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

President Shimon Peres took part in a ceremony marking the opening of a museum in Latvia dedicated to a couple who saved some 50 Jews from extermination.

The museum in downtown Riga, Latvia's capital, is located next to the property once owned by Zanis Lipke, a port worker who together with his wife hid Jews in an underground pit measuring some 9 square meters.

The three-story museum resembles an overturned ship and is designed to give visitors a claustrophobic sense of life in a tiny bunker.

In 1966, Yad Vashem, the museum and research institution in Jerusalem that safeguards the memory of Jews who perished in the Holocaust, recognized Zanis and Johana Lipke as rescuers of Jews.

Peres took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday with his Latvian counterpart, Andris Berzins.

Bergins had only last week confirmed his participation in the ceremony, following pressure over what senior Israeli officials described as his apparent reluctance to attend the memorial. The officials said they believed that the Latvian president did not want to appear to be taking responsibility for acts committed by the Nazis, together with local collaborators.

Peres, center, and Berzins, left at the Zanis Lipke Memorial in Riga, June 30, 2013.Credit: AP
Peres, right, Berzins, left during the museum’s opening ceremony in Riga, June 30, 2013.Credit: AP

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer