Baruch Liber, a Chazaan (cantor) and Sofer (religious scribe who can write and repair Torah scrolls, Mezuzah scrolls, etc.) was born in 1874.

He was the oldest son of Chana Beilah and Rabbi Labe Meir Lieber. He taught his brother, David, to also be a Chazaan and Sofer. David was seventeen years younger than Baruch, and Mitchell Lieber's grandfather.

In the film, viewers learn what Mitchell Lieber learns about Baruch Liber and his life, and the lives of other Jews from Latvia.


Chana (neé Klubinov) Liber, wife of Baruch Liber, was born in 1878. Chana is the daughter of the Vitebsk (a city in Belarus) Sofer (a religious scribe who can write and repair Torah and Mezzuzah scrolls and other sacred parchments), Baruch's teacher. [She should not be confused with Chana Beila Liber, her mother-in-law.]

In the film, viewers learn what Mitchell Lieber learns about Chana (neé Klubinov) Liber and her life, and the lives of many other Jews from Latvia.


Moshe Liber is the son of Baruch and Chana Liber and was born in 1909 . This means he is a first cousin of Mitchell Lieber's father. After this photo was taken Moshe matured, started a clothing business, married and had a daughter.

In the film, viewers learn what Mitchell Lieber learns about Moshe Liber and his family and their life, and the lives of many other Jewish families from Latvia.


The Riga Ghetto which was in existence from 1941-1943. The sign warns, in both Latvian and German, that those who attempt to enter the Ghetto or contact its inhabitants will be shot.

Created in August 1941, the Riga Ghetto initially held only Latvian Jews. Beginning in December 1941 it also housed Jews from Germany and other European countries and had outposts such as Kaiserwald and Lenta.

In the documentary, viewers learn - in detail - about the fates of Lieber family members and of other Latvian Jews taken to the Riga Ghetto.


Rumbula Forest, outside of Riga Latvia, is 8 kilometers from the Riga Ghetto. This forest played a pivotal role in the Nazi liquidation of the Riga Ghetto's Latvian prisoners.

In the late 1960's and early 1970's, Rumbula Forest became a gathering place for young Jews who cleaned up the site and marked the mass graves. A series of memorials were erected at Rumbula over the years, some of which only stood for one day. The history of Rumbula and its memorials illuminate the environment in Latvia for Jews under the Nazis, Soviets and after Latvian independence. The Soviet era memorial stone at Rumbula Forest is believed to be the first official Holocaust memorial in the USSR.

In the documentary, viewers learn about Rumbula Forest's history and contemporary role. After seeing the film, viewers will have more than one answer to the question, "What is Rumbula Forest?" More importantly, viewers may ponder the question "Why Rumbula Forest?"


The generations in this 1951 wedding photograph link Mitchell Lieber to Chana Beila Liber. The wedding couple is Mitchell's parents, Herbert & Suzanne. To the left of the groom is his father, David Lieber, son of Chana Beila. Immediately in front of David is his wife Rose, who is Herbert's mother.

Mitchell Lieber knew David and Rose well, and David was his link to Chana Beila, although grandfather David and his wife Rose never spoke of their family in Russia (Latvia).

An older offspring of Chana Beila and Rabbi Labe Meir Liber is also in this photograph. The groom's Uncle Reuben Lieber is just to the right of the young boy seen in the left portion of the photo.

In the documentary, viewers learn how Reuben, then young David and eventually Rose leave Latvia for the U.S. amidst intense life challenges.


Mitchell Lieber holds his newborn daughter in 1998. Naming her for great grandmother Chana Beila Liber, a rebbitzen (rabbi's wife) from Latvia, led to his search for information about her as well as her place, time and family. This genealogy story is the narrative device that brings viewers to the film's main story of Jews in Latvia.

In 2001-2002, the fruits of this genealogy research moved Lieber to create the web site www.Rumbula.org. The history that he continued to learn led to this documentary. Those who see the film will understand why. Some may investigate their own family connection to history.

New web site launches autumn 2017

A Documentary Film and TV Program

How a huge mass shooting of the Holocaust changed a family, a country and our world today.

Rumbula's Echo is the first film and TV program focused on documenting the Rumbula Forest murders of 25,000, more than a third of Latvia's Jews. It is among the largest mass shootings of its kind of the Holocaust.

The documentary places this genocide within the setting of the Holocaust in Latvia, during which Nazis and collaborators murdered an estimated 98% of Latvian Jews trapped in the country. Its weave of archival film and photos is narrated by those who were there as viewers see Latvia's Jewish community wiped out in six months in 1941. Rumbula's Echo is documenting Rumbula, and other pivotal Holocaust history in film, while the few remaining survivors can tell the story behind historic photos and silent film images. Rumbula's Echo offers the most profuse and detailed eye witness descriptions of a large Holocaust mass shooting, within a local context, ever seen on film or television.

This is wrapped within the remarkable story of Jews in Latvia before and after the Holocaust. Rumbula's Echo begins with a narrative device, an American father's true genealogy search for his new daughter's namesake, his great grandmother from Latvia. That leads him and the film's viewers to the documentary's story. The pre-war period includes luminaries such as philosopher Isaiah Berlin, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and painter Marc Rothko. The post-war Soviet era sees young activists gather on Sundays to express their Jewish identity and mark the unmarked massacre site at Rumbula, transforming it into a major birthplace of the historic Refusenik movement.

The film's ending is a unique, poignant and thought provoking commentary on this Holocaust story, and by extension, on all genocide.

 

Web site creative consultant, logo design and photo assistance: Marc Ziner

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