Peres Attends Holocaust Museum Opening in Latvia

RIGA, Latvia (AP) -

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Tuesday took part in a ceremony to open a museum honoring a couple who saved some 50 Jews from extermination in Nazi-occupied Latvia.

The museum in downtown Riga, Latvia’s capital, is located next to the property once owned by Zanis Lipke, a port worker who, together with his wife, hid Jews in an underground pit measuring some nine square meters (90 square feet).

The three-story museum of dark gray wood resembles an overturned ship and is designed to give visitors a claustrophobic sense of life in a tiny bunker.

Peres took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony together with his Latvian counterpart, Andris Berzins.

In 1966, Yad Vashem in Israel recognized Zanis and Johanna Lipke as rescuers of Jews.

Lipke died in 1987 and his wife in 1990.