Riga, Latvia, July 2014

 

A few shots from the streets of the ex Soviet Occupied territory of Riga, Latvia.

 

Riga's historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for its Art Nouveau and 19th century wooden architecture, Riga was voted the European Capital of Culture in 2014.

The following gallery is a testament to some of the colour, life, history and vibrance found on the streets in 2014. 

K.G.B Museum Latvia, 2014

 

This is where, during the Soviet occupation, officials of this totalitarian regime used violent methods to commit genocide against the Latvian people, organising deportation to Siberia, torturing and destroying people in the cellars, controlling the persecution and torture of countless people until 1991.

This photo exhibition is a journey into the dungeons and cellars where countless Political prisoners and Latvian civillians were tortured, executed and kept captive.

Auschwitz Camp I 

 

Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of German Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germanyduring World War II. It consisted of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration / extermination camp) and 45 satellite camps The site was used as a prison, labor camp, torture site, extermination camp, as well as the base for the experiments of physician Dr Josef Mengele.

Wigry National Park, Poland July 2014

 

Wigry National Park is situated in north-eastern Poland. It covers parts of the Masurian Lake District and Augustów Primeval Forest, which is a large virgin forest complex which stretches across 1,600 km² and spans across  Poland northern Belarus and southeastern Lithuania.

 

Over 1,700 animal species have been found in the Park, including 46 species of mammals, 202 species of birds, 12 species of amphibians and 5 species of reptiles

 

This gallery is a testament to some of the parks' natural wonders, ancient monastic architecture and glorious landscapes.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

 

The Wieliczka salt mine reaches a depth of 327 metres (1,073 ft) and is over 287 kilometres (178 mi) long.

 

During World War II, the shafts were used by the occupying Germans as a facility for various war-related industries. The mine features an underground lake as well as a 3.5 kilometres of passages that include historic statues and mythical figures carved out of rock salt in. The Wieliczka mine is often referred to as "the Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland."Even the crystals of the chandeliers are made from rock salt that has been dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance. 

 

In 1978 it was placed on the original UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites. 

Auschwitz Birkinow Camp II

 

Construction on Auschwitz II-Birkenau began in October 1941 to ease congestion at the main camp. 

 

SS Heinrich Himmler originally intended for the camp to house approximately 50,000 POW's, who would be interned as forced laborers. Plans eventually called for the expansion of the camp to house as many as 200,000 inmates. By March 1942 Hitler had decided that the Jews of Europe were to be exterminated, so Birkenau was repurposed as a combination labor camp / extermination camp.

 

In 1983, French scholar George Wellers was one of the first to use German data on deportations to estimate the number killed at Auschwitz, arriving at a figure of 1,471,595 dead, including 1.35 million Jews and 86,675 Poles

Przemysl, Poland, July 2014

 

Przemyśl owes its long and rich history to the advantages of its geographic location. The City lies in an area connecting mountains and lowlands known as the Przemyśl Gate, just north of Ukraine. Between the years 1888 and 1914 Przemyśl was turned into the third largest first class fortress in Europe.

 

The older fortifications were modernised to provide the fortress with an internal defence ring. The fortress was designed to accommodate 12 000 soldiers and was the center of many battles and seiges for over 2000 years.