18. August 1945
|Station: presumably halt Vārve|
|Main Camp Riga presumably in today's building of RTU or of Northproject|
18 Aug. March to the station. This time it works. A tiny light railway steams with us to Riga. The old-fashioned locomotive is heated with thick wooden blocks. In the evening we arrive at the Main Camp Riga. Of course we are immediately "frisked" again. Officially it is a search for weapons and illicit objects (e. g. fixed knives). In reality, the guards steal everything from us that they can use or sell themselves. The camp is apparently a former barracks. We spend the night on the rock-hard trampled ground of the barracks yard, where we set up tents with our tarpaulin. To avoid lying completely on the bare ground, I lay down on a bare board. But that's no use, because it's just as hard as the ground. I think of St. Francis and his bitter voluntary poverty. He took it upon himself out of love for God. So let me also take this hardship upon myself, even if not entirely voluntarily. Only let him help me through his intercession.
The camp is overcrowded. It is not only the sleeping places that are lacking. The food rations are also being cut. Compared to this life here, the camp in Windau was a paradise, because there we didn't lack much, except freedom. That's how different it is from camp to camp.
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- Initially they will have travelled from the Vārve halt on the narrow-gauge railway (750 mm) from Libau to Windau or Stende (the light railway (narrow-gauge railway) connecting at Windau went only as far as Stende); from there it will have been a light-railway-like train (with perhaps small, obsolete vehicles) that took them on the main line to Riga. Bogg (p. 26) speaks of cattle cars.
- Bogg (p. 28) calls it "a barbaric shaking-down".
- Bogg (p. 29) describes the area around the camp: "Next to the camp is a small Orthodox church with several onion shaped towers and turrets." The only such church (still existing today) near barracks-like buildings is St. Trinity Church. The buildings now house parts of the RTU to the northwest and Northproject to the southeast.
- Bogg (p. 28) writes: "The main camp of Riga certainly housed a thousand prisoners, perhaps even more."