Skrunda (Schrunden) | Kurzeme

Arvids G., born in 1931: "I remember that before the war there was a small Jewish community in Skundra. There were no Jewish children in my elementary school, but I remember a Jewish man named Konkis.©Eva Saukane/Yahad – In unum Eriks G., born in 1944, took the Yahad team to the forest 5 km (3 miles) southeast of Skrunda, near the village of Pumpuri. In 1951, while grazing his animals, he found numerous bones at the site where Jews had been shot at the beginning of the occupation The site in the forest 5 km (3 miles) southeast of Skrunda, near the village of Pumpuri. At this place, on August 7, 1941, near the Sumata River, about 50 Jews from Skrunda and its surroundings were executed in a mass grave.  ©Eva Saukane/Yahad – In unum The monument located near the execution site. An inscription in Latvian says: ”On 7 August 1941, in this forest, fascists murdered approximately 50 Jews of Skrunda and its vicinity, including the Katskos.”    ©Eva Saukane/Yahad – In unum

Execution of Jews in Skrunda

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Forest
Memorials:
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1945
Number of victims:
Number of victims 50

Witness interview

Eriks G., born in 1944 : "I remember one day, when I was grazing my animals, I accidentally came across a mass grave. There were loads of human bones there. On my way home, my parents told me that it was the site of a Jewish shooting. Since most of the Jews were shopkeepers and merchants in the village, they were well known to the local people. In fact, my mother knew some of the victims." (Witness n°46LV, interviewed in Pumpuri, on October 2, 2019

Historical note

Skrunda is a town located 150 km (95 miles) west of Riga, in the Kurzeme region of Latvia. In 1935, 45 Jews were registered in the town, about a dozen families. They represented between 1 and 3% of the local population. They were mainly shopkeepers and traders of agricultural products. Their relations with the other inhabitants were good and some mixed marriages took place. In the summer of 1940, under the terms of the German-Soviet pact, the region was annexed by the USSR.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

On June 22, 1941, the German armies and their allies began their invasion of the USSR. On June 25, Skrunda was occupied. On August 7, 1941, about 50 Jews from the town and surrounding villages were taken to a forest 5 km (3 miles) southeast of Skrunda, near the village of Pumpuri. There, they were all shot in a mass grave near the Sumata River. Skrunda was liberated by the Red Army in May 1945.

Nearby villages

  • Aizpute
  • Saldus
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