The Salaspils Memorial Ensemble was erected where an extended police prison and labour correctional camp (Erweitertes Polizeigefängnis und Arbeitserziehungslager) of National Socialistic Germany was located from 1941 to 1945. It was built by deported Jews from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. The camp imprisoned Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian civilians and military personal, as well as transit prisoners, including small children from Latgale, Belarus and Russia. Over the various periods that the Salaspils camp was in operation, more than 20,000 individuals found themselves there. Because of heavy labour, illness, starvation and inhumane treatment and punishments, at least 2,000 to 3,000 people died in the camp.
In 1967, one of Europe’s largest monument complexes commemorating victims of Nazism was opened on the camp territory. The memorial creates a symbol of the border between life and death with a 100 metre-long concrete wall, on which is written – “Beyond these gates the land groans”. There are also seven concrete sculptures: “Mother”, “The Unbroken”, “The humuliated”, “Protest”, “Red Front”, “Solidarity”,“The Oath”. The Salaspils Memorial Ensemble is part of Latvia’s cultural canon. An exhibition is constructed at the gates of the monument. Sculptors Ļ. Bukovskis, O. Skarainis, J. Zariņš; architects – G. Asaris, O. Ostenbergs, I. Strautmanis, O. Zakamennijs.
In 2008, the German POW cemetery was opened on the memorial grounds.
The new exposition, which was opened February 2018, is open every day 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (April – October); 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (November – March).
The Salaspils Memorial Ensemble is located about 5 km from Salaspils Railway Station and Tourism Information Centre.
Allowed to visit with dogs!