Memorial to clergymen murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1919 in Riga

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken in Riga during the first week of September, 2007. The memorial is located in a place unrelated to the events it memorializes in the Lielie kapi park. It memorializes those clergymen who were killed by the regime during the period of Bolshevik rule in Latvia in 1918 and 1919. The biggest single incident was the execution of several pastors in the central prison on 22 May, 1919.

The memorial is very close to the memorial to the heroes of the Latvian awakening.


The small memorial marker stands in front of the New Chapel in the middle of the park.
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The front is in German. It starts with the words, "Remember your teachers" (Gedenket Eurer Lehrer) from Hebrews 13:7. It then lists the eight German pastors who were shot on 22 May, 1919, followed by the names of the 24 German pastors who were killed during the "Bolshevik reign of terror" in 1918-1919 in the Baltic. It then reads, "The blood of martyrs is the sewing of the church" (Das Blut der Märtyrer ist die Saat der Kirche). Then ***
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The back lists the names of five Latvian "blood witnesses" killed and two who died in prisons from 1918-1919. The quote at the end is from Rev.2:10 "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Esi uzticigs lidz navei tad es tevi dosu dzivibas vainagu).

The visit to this location was paid for by a research grant from the
American Public University System.
"Educating those who serve."



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