German occupation, persecution of Jews, burning down of the Great Choral Synagogue on Gogoļa street, imprisonment of families in the ghetto, mass killings of people in Rumbula on the 30th of November and the 1st of December in 1941 proved to what unfathomable cruelty men are capable of.
Whereas the actions of the Lipke family proved how magnanimous human behavior can be. Even before the start of mass killings Žanis Lipke and his wife Johanna secretly went to ghetto to bring food to the people imprisoned there.
Žanis Lipke organised and helped the escape of numerous Jews from Riga ghetto, Whilst working at Luftwaffe warehouses (Maskavas 9). With the help of chauffeur Jānis Briedis, Žanis Lipke brought out of Riga ghetto a group of approximately ten people, starting from december, 1941. These people were then located in different hiding-places located in the centre of Riga:
— Lāčplēša 103 and Brīvības 11 (in the basement under cafe Flora, in the leather processing workshop of Bernets Rozenbergs);
— Peldu 4 (in the basement, at the workshop of Bernets Rozenbergs);
— Avotu 75 (in the basement of janitor Andrejs Graubiņš and in the back-up hiding-place on Stabu 75);
— Miera 15 (in the apartment of Eduard Zande);
— also in the back-ip hiding-place on Stabu 72;
— Marijas 101 (together with Marija Lindenberga and Kārlis Jankovičs and garages on Marijas 104;
In January 1942, Žanis Lipke created a bunker underneath the barn, in the yard of his Ķīpsala home (Mazais Balasta Dambis 8). The bunker accommodated up to 12 people simultaneously until the end of the Second World war.
As a result of Žanis Lipke’s and his helpers’ actions, more than 50 people were saved from death in Riga ghetto and nazi work camps.
Choose which side you would like to accentuate in your project and set in motion the time machine by using VR, in order to immerse the contemporary viewer in the events and choices of the time of Žanis Lipke.
What would you do? Would you save yourself or would you try to save your peers and neighbors in seemingly impossible circumstances? How would you look for your friends and convince them to do the same? How could you not give into fear?
There are no “black and white” answers in this story!