Holocaust Memorial at Paneriai (Ponar) near Vilnius

2009-07-03 Vilnius-6.jpg

(click to enlarge)

2009-07-03 Vilnius-21.jpg

(click to enlarge)

More than 100,000 civilians, including 70,000 Jews, were killed here. The executioners included both Nazi Germans and their local sympathizers. According to the web site

"During World War II, the Nazis turned the Paneriai forest into mass killing site. Between 1941 and 1944, at least 100,000 innocent Vilnius civilians, prisoners of war, priests, partisans and underground fighters were killed here and buried into pits. Seventy thousand of those killed were Jews, who were systematically annihilated from the time the Germans arrived in Vilnius in 1941 up to 1944 when Soviet army drove out German troops. The territory of several kilometers has become a common grave for the people of different nationalities: Lithuanians, Russians, Poles and Jews.

"The first monument in Paneriai was erected in 1948, but in 1952 it was replaced by the new one. Probably, because of the fact, Jews on the first monument were mentioned among the victims of fascism. That was unacceptable in the country, where the policy of anti-Semitism was carried out. The second inscription was more "correct": "Here the Nazis shot over 100,000 Soviet people." Only in 1990, with the beginning of the Lithuanian Revival Movement, a new text in Hebrew was added."

Comments on the web site http://www.pbase.com/chmoss/2004_07_11_panariai emphasize the difficulty in finding this memorial and understanding its significance, indicative of many Lithuanians' unwillingness to come to terms with this terrible episode from their past.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Victor Bloomfield published on August 9, 2009 12:30 PM.

Jewish Cemetery on the Outskirts of Vilnius was the previous entry in this blog.

Jewish Places in Vilnius is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.