We recommend reading Creative Museum’s conversation with Marger Vesterman, founder of the Museum of Jews in Latvia, and Ilja Lenski, museum director, as part of the “30 neatkarīgas muzejniecības gadi” series of conversations. This is not just an interview, but first and foremost a fascinating story about difficulties and obstacles on the way to a goal, mutual help and support, and about all kinds of people and their decisions that turned out to be life-changing.
The talk takes us back to a time when the Jewish community was just emerging, rebuilding itself after years of Soviet times. It was then, in 1988, that the change of political regimes allowed a group of survivors of the Holocaust to come together and decide to create a museum. What was at first the work of one man – Marger Westerman, who lived in a small room at Skolas 6 – eventually became an important part of the life of the community. The work that began with one man’s knowledge, memories and his desire to preserve Latvian Jewish history for future generations has led to the creation of a museum, a place of remembrance and education. What seemed to be important only to us is now recognised by the whole Latvian society.