Latvia's Empty Gesture

Janis Lipke lived and died in a squalid and freezing hut by a river in Riga, Latvia. He and his wife, Johanna, lived there without money and without honor. Many of their countrymen saw them as traitors. When I met the Lipkes in their hut in the winter of 1986, there were even rumors afoot in Riga that they were part-Jewish. How else to explain their inexplicable behavior during World War II, when they rescued Jews from the Riga Ghetto, a ghetto maintained -- and then liquidated -- with the enthusiastic help of the Latvian people?
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