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Latvia unveils museum to WWII Jew rescuers

  • July 30, 2013 - 7:35 AM

RIGA, Latvia — 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 9 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, an Israel-based center for studying the Holocaust, recognized Zanis and Johanna Lipke as rescuers of Jews.

Lipke died in 1987 and his wife in 1990.

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