“TheCeļotājs” –
"Karosta" Former Soviet Union Naval Base
 
Soviet Union Naval Guardhouse "Karosta Naval Port Prisons"
Now the Naval Port Prison Museum 
Lat: N56.54642, Lon: E021.02103,
Invalīdu iela 4, Liepāja, Karosta, Latvia
 
               
 
           
 
The two story building from red bricks is a former Navy Hospital Complex, which was built during period 1896-1904. From July 1905, this place was used as a short time disciplinary penalty place for navy sailors and non-commissioned officers, when there was no other place for the arrested rebellions. In large quantities, here were sailors also from other Baltic fleet commands in 1906 and 1908.
 
Since the first days of maintenance the house became a gloomy place for breaking down people’s fortunes and repressing free spirit. 
 
There are 69 rooms in the guardhouse, 39 of them are prisoners’’ cells, single seated and common. In the pre-World War I time the Territory of the Guardhouse was larger, as it encompassed marching sites, penalty sentries, instruments and appliance for physical exercise, labor and disparagement. The house was surrounded by a high forged metal fence, the fragments of which may be still seen at the small entrance gate.
 
During the 20 years of the first Latvian Republic and over the Soviet time too, the Guardhouse was the place of a short-term disciplinary punishment. The worst and the most bloody time for the Guardhouse of the Liepāja Naval Port was that of the Nazi occupation years during World War II. From June 1944 to May 1945, that was the place of the Nazi Court Martial consisting of three officers. Death penalty by
shooting was the only sentence of the court, whether towards trespassers against army and navy discipline, deserters of the Latvian Legion or the civilians who were suspected for being the Red Army’s spies. The doomed were kept in the first floor wards from the yard side and special red signs were attached to the respective door.
 
 
By the very date of the Nazis’ surrender on 8 May 1945, the victims were buried in a mass graveyard nearby. The prisoners were digging graves for themselves. It is estimated that the burial-ground contains the remains of about 90 victims. In 1957, the place was evened and a football ground for the sailors was arranged there.
 
The other victims, mostly civilians, were killed by a shot in the back of their heads and buried in random places in the nearby pine growth on the left from the sand hill.
 
The Guardhouse has gained the fame of fearful tragedies and historical edification. In and of the cells, under the thick black paint, you may see the convicts’ scratched calendars, drawings, slogans, catchwords and messages. The very fresh ones may be viewed in the windowless ward, the punishment cell, where the especially disobedient servicemen were imprisoned. 
 
From 1992 to 1997 the Guardhouse was used by the Latvian Navy. Then they revealed that were very strange and mysterious phenomena occurring in the place, the sound of footsteps, the bulbs that were unscrewing arbitrarily, inexplicable cases when closed cells were found open. And the worst of all were the surreal images that used to become visible in the corridors from time to time, sometimes in the
shape of a young lady in a white dress, sometimes in the shape of a small white dog.
 
 
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Revised: 12/28/2012 – 14:24:40