Zanis Lipke Memorial, Riga

#13 of 55 in Museums in Riga
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Žanis Lipke Memorial (Žaņa Lipkes memoriāls) is a memorial museum located on the island of Ķīpsala in Riga, Latvia, at Mazais Balasta dambis, 9. It was opened in 2012 next to the former home of rescuer of Jews Žanis Lipke, where he had arranged a shelter for rescued Jews from the Riga Ghetto during World War II.

At the beginning of World War II, Žanis Lipke hid the first Jewish refugees in temporary hiding places in different locations in Riga. During winter of 1941/1942 harboring people in hideouts in Riga and his own house became too dangerous, so he started building a shelter under the woodshed that stood next to his house. In January 1942 he dug out the first bunker all on his own, working at nights. At the beginning this bunker housed four people. In 1942 it collapsed when the spring thaw set in. Žanis Lipke immediately built a better-designed replacement. This improved bunker housed 8-12 Jews at a time, from 1942 to the summer of 1944.

After the war Žanis Lipke used the bunker as a car pit. Over time, the pit caved in and the shed burned down in 1980s. Before the construction of the Memorial, a new shed was built for the Lipke family in the same place where the old shed with the secret bunker once stood.
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190 reviews
  • If you’re in Riga, please make your way to this museum. It is worth the visit and education and shows the beauty and compassion people are capable of having. We learned a great deal and were...  more »
  • What a place, what a location and what a person. This is a must. Very human with no nonsense hero stuff. Really liked the feel of this place, small cobblestone street, the house, the atmosphere and...  more »
  • A free audio-guided tour is provided in multiple languages. The museum paints an impressive picture of the deeds of Janis Kiple and his family. Absolutely worth a visit.
  • The museum is exceptional. It tells the most remarkable story of Janis Lipke, his family, supporting Latvians and the people he helped to save in a very clear & powerful way.

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