Something else Apr 14, 2012
I had some free time in Riga and had received a travel book from my friends as a birthday present about the Baltic states. In it I found a short story about Salaspils concentration camp and a couple of pictures.
Looked up some information about it on the web as it didn't tell me how to get there in the book.
I downloaded the map on Google maps on my mobile and took the train from Riga to Darzini where I walked on foot for about 20 minutes along the trails and roads through the forest using the GPS on my cell phone to find my way. The train tickets costs only 0,98 Lat to Darzini and 0,50 Lat the other way to Riga. Just make sure you have plenty of time. Not every train was on time and I had to wait at the Darzini "station" for an hour before a train finally arrived. :)
I found the trip through the forest quite nice. No people around before I reached the main road to the camp. The camp was everything I expected it to be.
The metronome was pulsating to remind people of the heartbeats of people long gone and the statues are truly a socialist monument unlike most others I'm used to.
There were some people there, but I was probably the only tourist. The rest seemed to be local people taking a walk or just curious Latvians wanting to see the site.
There is one man working there and taking care of the place. He's old and has a dog probably as old as himself... ;)
He's nice though, but unfortunately doesn't speak english.
There are different stories about how many people died in this camp. From 2-3000 to over 100,000. The first is probably closer. Nonetheless people died here in their thousands and you can see local people putting down flowers and toys around the camp. There is no problem finding the children's barracks as it is full of flowers and teddy bears...
Recommend a visit if you have plenty of time in Riga. :)
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