Memorial plaque on Roņu Street, not far from the lighthouse, was erected to commemorate the first mass shootings of Jews in Liepaja during the Nazi occupation.
The Holocaust in Latvia began on June 23, 1941.
On that day in Grobiņa, members of Sonderkommando 1A killed six local Jews, including the city pharmacist, at the church cemetery.
On June 29, German troops entered Liepāja. From the massive bombing, 117 buildings were completely destroyed, 450 were partially damaged. The greatest damage was caused to the areas of Vītolu, Graudu, Lielā Streets, around Roses’ Square and in the port.
The German Security Service (SD from Sicherheitsdienst) immediately overtook control and management of all places of detention in Liepāja and in the surrounding area. Their field of activity included: the Women’s prison (also called the interrogation prison) at 5 Tiesu St, the city prison for criminals at Dārza St, the concentration camp at 11 Dārza St, the Dulag 101 POW camp (short for German Durchgangslager – “Transit camp”), a transit camp for members of the families of the Red Army (in the school building at 16 Alejas St) and from 1942 the Jewish ghetto in the quarter of Dārza, Bāriņu, Kungu and Apšu Streets.
From the first days of the occupation, political arrests and murders of Jews began with the assistance of the Latvian self-defense organization “Selbstschutz”. According to Professor A. Ezergailis, about 5700 Jews of Liepaja and the surrounding area fell into the hands of the Nazis. Initially, the executions were unorganised and were carried out mainly in the city: in Rainis Park and near the lighthouse.