Salaspils Concentration camp memorial complex, about 15km southeast of Riga, is a memorial for the people who died there during the Nazi regime in Latvia.
Salispils concentration camp (in Deutsche: Kurtenhof) was built by the Jewish labourers captured by the Nazis during 1941. Thousands of people including 12,000 children, Jews, Russian POWs, and political prisoners from the Baltic states were held here. Most of the children were sent to the concentration camp without their parents and were used as involuntary blood donors for the German military hospitals.
UnderstandThe memorial consists of a museum and huge statues signifying the psychological, physical and emotional turmoil of the inhabitants.
Getting to the Salaspils in not very easy and needs a little effort on the traveler's part. But when one visits the place, every effort put into journey seems worth it.
Taking a train from Riga is the best way of getting to Salaspils.
This is a beautiful walk through the green forest and should take you about 15-20 min. In late November 2011, there were small, paper signs tacked to trees along this path. They don't have arrows leading you, but provided they are still posted, you will know you're going in the right direction if you see them.
If you buy a one-way ticket to Darzini, you can buy your return ticket on the train on the trip back to Riga. An official will come around and check tickets and you may buy a return ticket from them.
There is an unpaved bicycle path from Riga to the memorial. Ask at the tourist information center and they will hand you the map.
There are several mini-buses which leave from Riga for Salaspils, at higher frequency during the day. But it is difficult to get from the Salaspils bus station to the memorial.
All in all this is an important reminder of history and deserves a visit, but this is a deserted place and having company is always advisable.
The statues and the museum are the two main attractions at this memorial. The barracks are all destroyed.
This place is neglected by the tourists and the officials, and needs to be revived for the sake of the history. Because anyone who forgets the history is bound to live it again.