Construction is Completed on Kaiserwald Concentration Camp

Kaiserwald was a Nazi German concentration camp near the Riga suburb of Mežaparks in Latvia.

Kaiserwald was built in March, 1943, during the period that the German army occupied Latvia. The first inmates of the camp were several hundred convicts from Germany.

Following the liquidation of the Riga, Liepaja and Daugavpils (Dvinsk) ghettos in June, 1943, the remainder of the Jews of Latvia, along with most of the survivors of the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto, were deported to Kaiserwald.

In early 1944, a number of smaller camps around Riga were brought under the jurisdiction of the Kaiserwald camp.

Following the occupation of Hungary by the Germans, Hungarian Jews were sent to Kaiserwald, as were a number of Jews from Łódź, in Poland. By March 1944, there were 11,878 inmates in the camp and its subsidiaries, 6,182 males and 5,696 females, of whom only 95 were gentiles.

Unlike Auschwitz and Treblinka, Kaiserwald was not an extermination camp, the prisoners were put to work as forced laborers for German companies. Notably Allgemeine Elektrictats-Gesellschaft, which used a large number of female prisoners from Kaiserwald in the production of electrical goods. Other prisoners worked in other factories, mines, and farms, as well as inside the camp.