A small town in Southern Lithuania
Where the Jewish Community is no more

"The Destruction of Jewish Vilkaviškis

The German Army occupied Vilkaviškis on the first day of the war – on 22 June,1941. After the occupation of the town, Germans burned the old synagogue and many Jewish houses. In the town they established the German Administration and Lithuanian police. Arrests of Soviet government activists and Jews started. On 30 June the arrested Jews were herded to the building of the former Vilkaviškis Priest Seminary. It was guarded by local “white-hands” and policemen.

On 14 July, 1941 the Jews were moved to the barracks. Every day able-bodied Jews were taken to the town to clean the streets and the ruins.

At the end of July those arrested were taken to the grounds near the barracks and in three days they dug a ditch 25 meters long and a few meters deep. On 28 July the arrested were taken out from the barracks and divided into several groups. Also a group of Lithuanians was brought here from the town to the barracks. Policemen took the arrested in groups to the ditch in the grounds. The condemned were shot by the German soldiers. The Lithuanian policemen guarded the barracks and firing place in the grounds. The massacre lasted for three to five hours. That day about 500 to 700 Jews and 60 to 70 Lithuanians – Soviet activists were shot.

On 15 November 1941 the remaining Jews of Vilkaviskis were shot. The Report of Karl Jäger (Karl Jäger Report), Commander of the German Security Police and SD, indicates that on that day 115 Jews (36 men, 48 women and 31 children) were shot. This time the Jews were shot by Vilkaviškis policemen.
This is how the Vilkaviškis Jewish Community that had existed for over 400 years was destroyed.

May the Lord remember
the souls of the holy and pure ones
who were killed, murdered, slaughtered, burned, drowned, and strangled
for the sanctification of the Name,
because, without making a vow, I shall give to charity on their behalf.

As reward for this,
may their souls be bound in the Bond of Life,
together with the souls of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah;
and together with the other righteous men and women in the Garden of Ed

The Stand Project was initiated and financed by the descendants of the Vilkaviškis Jewish Community represented by Ralph Salinger, Israel.
The Project partner – Vilkaviškis Regional Municipality"
"Memorial Grove
Within a few months of the German invasion of Lithuania in June 1941 almost all of the Jewish community of Vilkaviskis were murdered here.
Yet some of their neighbors risked their own lives to save them.
Over 60 people were recognized as "Righteous Gentiles" by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem or by the Lithuanian Government as Life Savers.
Many others helped but did not receive official recognition and they are listed here
We the descendants of those Jewish people who have their roots in Vilkaviskis are planting  these  trees in recognition of these brave and saintly people."

I had felt for some time that it was important to explain about the Holocaust in Vilkaviskis I had designed a memorial sign outlining the historical events.
The wording was translated in Hebrew and Lithuanian and pictures were added. Thank you to all the good people who so kindly donated their time and resources to this project.
Planning the project together with the Municipal authorites
Due to poor drainage the site was often waterlogged much work had to be done.
Part of the devdelopment works
The signs were carried out by my dear friend Reimas
This site was built by Ralph Salinger of Kfar Ruppin, Israel
It is built to the glory of the Jewish Community of Vilkkaviskis
You can contact me with any comments at,il