Monument to the Victims of World War II

Location: Audriņi, Latvia

Completed: 1973

Architects: A. Ķišķis (architect) and A. Veinbah (sculptor)

Alternative name: Audriņi Massacre Victims Memorial

Genre: War memorial, Soviet monument, former USSR

The monument commemorates atrocities that took place in the eastern Latvian village of Audriņi during World War II. On 3rd January 1942, the settlement was razed to the ground and all of its population, who were predominantly Russian Old Believers (Eastern Orthodox Christians), murdered by Latvian Nazi collaborators. In total, 215 inhabitants were slaughtered, including 51 children. Most of the population were taken to the Ančupāni hills to be put to death but 30 men and teenagers were rounded up and transported to the nearby town of Rēzekne where they were shot in the market square the following day. The reason for the slaughter was that one of the female villagers had concealed her son, who was a soldier in the Red Army, and five of his comrades. When discovered by the local police, they put up a fight and several of the policemen were killed.

Boļeslavs Maikovskis, the Latvian police chief who instigated the massacre fled to the United States by way of Austria at the end of the war. He left America in 1987 after it became apparent his deportation to the Soviet Union was to be a certainty. He ended up in the West German city of Münster where he died of a heart attack in 1996, aged 92.

Monument to the victims of World War II (Audriņi Massacre Victims Memorial) in Audriņi, Latvia | War memorial | Soviet monument | former USSR

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