2 – What Khane Golemba witnessed:
Eighty percent (80%) of Jews in Lithuania had been murdered (almost entirely by Lithuanians not Nazis) prior to the formulation of the “Final Solution of the Jewish People” by the Nazis.
Lithuania has an entire government department dedicated to falsifying the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania, exonerating Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators, and shifting all blame elsewhere. Those opposing Lithuanian government fraud are identified as “Russian agents” and are subjected to Soviet style, government intimidation.
Leyb Koniuchowsky collected 121 testimonies from Holocaust victims, which were made public in: The Lithuanian Slaughter of its Jews: The Testimonies of 121 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in Lithuanian, recorded by Leyb Koniuchowsky, in Displaced Persons’ Camps (1946-48).
It is customary for Lithuania to dismiss and discard “inconvenient” testimony, declaring it “unreliable”. The actual “unreliable data” comes from the bowels of Lithuania’s revisionist history.
When the quoted testimony refers to “partisans”, they mean Lithuanian partisans only. Every single Holocaust testimony in this series is well known to be in direct conflict to the position of the Government of Lithuania.
Can it be that all 34 signatory nations of IHRA are wrong, blind, or lying in finding Lithuania to be a Holocaust distorting state?
Can it be that all the Survivors were delusional or mendacious?
Or, is the Government of Lithuania lying?
Lithuania has not punished a single Holocaust perpetrator. Instead, they identify many of them as their national heroes. The Lithuanian Government tells us Jews that our families are “lost”. Read Khane’s eyewitness testimony on how they came to be “lost”, and wonder if they will ever be “found”.
Part 1 of Khane’s testimony is here: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/1-what-khane-golemba-witnessed/
Following is part 2 of Khane Golemba’s testimony:
Horrible Slaughter of All the Men in the Vieshvenai Camp
Roughly during the third week of the Jewish month of Tammuz (in the middle of July 1941), a truck with partisans on it drove into the courtyard. They drove all the men out of the barns and stalls and closed the gates and doors. The women saw a terrible sight through the gaps in the walls: The men were arranged in a circle. Then they were forced to dance, jump and run constantly. The “performance” was accompanied by beatings of the men with coils, poles and sticks.
Whoever tried to stand still was immediately beaten especially hard, until he bled and fainted. The older ones couldn’t keep up with the younger, and therefore received most of the blows. One man from Telzh who had escaped to Navarenai when the war broke out, and been taken to Vieshvenai together with the rest of the Jews, asked a partisan whom he knew to shoot him rather than torment him. The partisan agreed to this “favor” and immediately shot him. The Jew was Avrom Itzikson. During the “performance” the doctor from the town of Tverai and a young boy from Rietavas were shot. (See the testimony about the slaughter of the Jews of Rietavas by Yenta Alter-Gershovitz. The boy who was shot was a brother of Yenta. L K )
After all the men had been terribly beaten and bloodied, they were herded back in with their wives and children. The women saw flecks of blood on the heads and faces of their husbands and sons, and a bitter wail began. All of the women looked for their husbands and sons and had trouble recognizing them. The men were pale, exhausted, and bloodied as they climbed into the attic or gathered together in the corners of the stalls and barns. It was very hard to converse with them.
Later the Jews found out about the three who had been shot. Khane went out into the yard to see the three who had been shot. They all lay without shoes or overclothes. After the “performance” the partisans had immediately taken the clothes off them. Terrible scenes took place near the three dead men who were recognized by their families.
The three men who were shot lay in the courtyard for two days. Khane’s brother had already harnessed a horse and wagon, in order to take the three dead men away to the Telzh Jewish cemetery. At that moment a truck full of partisans appeared in the yard once again. They were the same ones who had come the first time for the “Demon’s Dance,” but there were others with them. Like wild animals they broke into the stalls and barns and drove out all the men over the age of 14. The old men who did not move quickly enough were thrown out of the attics. In the yard the partisans arranged the men in a row and the terrible “Demon’s Dance” began once again. This was the name of the inquisition in the camp.
All of the men in the barn felt faint. The screams of the children were dreadful. The women heard the men running constantly, along with the blows from sticks and poles, and echoing shouts: “Hear O Israel.
The “Demon’s Dance” came to an end. Elderly people lay on the ground. Khane does not know whether they had fainted or been murdered. The rest of the Jews, bloodied, were lined up in rows of four. The stronger ones had to bring along the men lying on the ground, as well as the three corpses remaining from the “performance” (this was the expression used by the Lithuanian murderers — L.K.) The column of men who had been horribly bloodied and tormented began to move in the direction of the nearby forest.
At that moment the wife of the Jewish doctor from Rietavas, Dr Zaks, tore open the door of the gate, and holding a small child in her arms, wild and furious as a tiger, she ran toward the retreating column and her husband. She tried to tear her child in half with her own hands. The partisans prevented her. With a heart-rending cry she turned to the partisans: “Remember murderers, this will not pass in silence! The world will not be silent! I am a Communist! I want to go and die with my husband!” The partisans tore the child away from her.
She threw herself at them with her fists. They gave her the child and led her off with the men, including her husband. Exactly a half hour later shots were heard in the forest. No shouts or weeping were heard. That day all the men were shot not far from the Vieshvenai compound. Dr Zaks‘ wife and child were also shot that day.
The day after the men were shot partisans came into the barns and stalls and began searching for men in hiding. In the stall where Khane Golembo was, the partisans found four men, all of them from Zarenai; two brothers, a brother-in-law and a cousin.
In a second barn they found two Jews from Varnai, a father named Mikhe Pivarnik and his son Yitskhok, aged 18. They found one Jew dressed in women’s clothing. His last name was Shnayder. His son was shot in the town of Zarenai before the Jews were taken to Vieshvenai.
The Jews who had been caught had to leave the stalls with their hands in the air. They were bitter, pale, frightened and hopeless. A terrible inquisition began when they were taken out into the yard. Some ten Lithuanian partisans in civilian clothing, wearing clothes belonging to the murdered Jewish men, began getting the seven unfortunate Jews “ready for death” with whips, sticks, and pieces of steel coil. The whistling of the whips, the blows on the heads of the men were mixed with dreadful cries of “Shema Yisroel!” Blood began to pour from the mouths, noses and ears of the men. Their clothes got wet. They were all beaten for a long time, until their heads and faces looked like one mass of bloodied flesh. Several fell faint.
After the seven men had been “readied” for death, the stronger ones had to pick up the Jew Mikhe Pivarnik off the ground. They were then led off to the pits. About a half hour later shots were heard in the woods.
The wives and children of the unfortunate Jews saw what took place in the yard. Their shouts could be heard all around. Some tried to go out of the barn to help their relatives, and attempt to beg mercy of the partisans. The murderers stood with a murderous look on their faces, warning that whoever left the stall would be shot.
The women and children in the stalls and barns tore their hair after they heard the shooting. Some beat their fists against their heads. Some struck their heads against the walls. Many fainted.
After this dreadful execution the partisans came in to the women and children in the stalls and barns. One Lithuanian from the region of Memel announced in German that all of the men were already dead, and would never return. The women and children, he promised, would be kept free from harm and would remain alive. But he strictly commanded that everyone must hand over the money, gold, silver, new shoes, better underwear, overclothes and coats which they were still hiding. After his speech the partisans, their eyes staring, reddened with the bloodiness of their murder, raced up to the attics and forced the women to surrender everything they had. The women brought together in each attic their better clothes, wedding rings, earrings, valuable possessions and underwear. The partisans took new boots from Khane and her fifteen year old son. Khane had a large golden wedding ring. She told a partisan that she could not get it off her finger. The partisan threatened in all seriousness to cut off the finger bearing the ring. Women helped Khane to get the ring off her finger. The partisans packed all the collected items into sacks and left satisfied.
The next morning the peasants brought into the yard a wagon loaded with the clothes of the men who had been shot. One woman, Sheyne Katz from Varnai, recognized her only son‘s pants and underwear on the wagon. She fainted. Other women noticed the clothes of their murdered children, husbands, fathers and brothers on the wagon. The clothes were thrown into a granary in the yard.
A few days later Khane saw hundreds of peasants with their wives and children coming into the yard. They selected clothes belonging to the murdered men, and contentedly set off for home with the bloodstained clothing. The partisans divided the better clothing amongst themselves.
Khane asserts that both during the first “Devil’s Dance” and during the second, as well as when the Jewish men were being driven to the pit, there were only Lithuanian partisans dressed in civilian clothes, some with leather jackets. German clothing was worn by one man who spoke to the women in German, when he demanded that the women surrender their valuables, money, gold and silver.
Khane Golembo does not know who gave the order to shoot all the Jewish men in the Vieshvenai compound.
After the men in the Vieshvenai compound were shot, a dreadful life began for the women and children. The women had to take care of their children on their own. Their mourning for their husbands was weakened and interrupted by their daily worries over the lives of their children. Women began to risk their lives, going more frequently to the village for food, a bit of bread and milk for their small children.
The dirt in the stalls and barns was great. Most of the women no longer had any clothing for themselves or their children. They all became dirty and lousy. Every morning the partisans took groups of able-bodied women off to work. Sunken in mourning for the murdered men and in their daily worries, the women remained in Vieshvenai for some two weeks after the men were shot.
Geruliai Camp – Hunger, Torment and Tears; Men, Women and Children Shot
One morning it was announced to the women that everyone had to prepare to be transported to a camp at Gerulai, nine kilometers from Telzh.
The partisans had requisitioned peasant wagons, which stood in the yard. The older women and women with children sat in the wagons. The rest went on foot. One woman from Rietavas died on the way. She was buried next to the Geruliai camp. She was mourned by two young daughters. The tragic caravan of hopeless women and children going to the Geruliai camp was guarded by Lithuanian partisans.
Barns with bunk beds had been prepared for the Jews in the Geruliai camp. There was no straw on them. The women and children “settled in” on the bunk beds.
At Geruliai Khane found her husband’s sister, Mrs Leybzon, and other women from surrounding towns whom she knew. The women, along with a large number of men, had been brought just one day previously from the village of Dusheikiai, where they had been working at digging peat. All of the men who had been brought were shot the same day next to the Geruliai camp. Among those who were shot was Khane’s husband, Mikhe-Yosl, and her brother-in-law Heyshl Leybzon.
Who were the Jews who had been brought from working at digging peat?
Three or four days after the Jews from all the towns had been driven into the Vieshvenai compound, partisans arrived and selected 150 men and women. In the Rainiai camp as well 150 men and women from among the Jews of Telzh were chosen that day. The total of men and women from the two camps was roughly three hundred, all healthy and capable of working. They were all taken away to the village of Dusheikiai to dig peat. Among them were Khane’s husband, her brother-in-law Heyshl and his wife, Sore Leybzon.
After the men were shot in Vieshvenai, Sore had stayed with a peasant in a village not far from the work site at the peat bogs. The peasant told Sore about the slaughter of the Jewish men in Vieshvenai. When she arrived at the camp, Sore told all the Jews about it. Neither her husband nor Khane’s husband believed her, believing that she had lost her mind. The Jews continued working with the peat under terrible conditions. From all sides they received news about the tragic end of the Jewish men in the camps at Rainiai and Vieshvenai. But most of the Jews would no way believe in such a mass murder. The rest were doubtful.
A few weeks later, after the men in Vieshvenai had been shot, that is one day before the women and children had been brought from Vieshvenai to Geruliai, all three hundred men and women were brought from the village of Dusheikiai to the Geruliai camp. The men were separated from the women and shot the very first day, next to the camp. The information concerning the life in the village, the work in the peat bogs, and the shooting of the men at Geruliai, was related to Khane by women who had worked in the peat bogs. Among them was Khane‘s sister-in-law Sore Leybzon.
Khane went to the commandant of the Geruliai camp, a Lithuanian, and with tears in her eyes convinced him to let her go to her husband’s grave.
Khane, Mrs Fleysher, Khane’s mother, Mrs Hene Kleyn and other women went to the mass grave of the men who had been shot one day earlier. Not far from Geruliai there is a forest. On their way to the forest the women had to cross a deep stream. In the forest, along a narrow path, the women found torn shirts, ritual fringes, camisoles. When they went deeper into the forest, the women found a new mass grave. Around the grave were scattered passports, photographs and various documents. The women recognized a number of photographs and passports belonging to the men who had been shot.
Several days after the men from Geruliai had been shot, partisans brought all the women and children from the town of Laukuva (in Tawrik County). The Jewish men of Laukuva had already been taken away to the camp at Pagegai. (Heidekrug camps — L K )
After those from Laukuva all the Jews from the town of Alsedzhiai, men, women and children, were brought.
The life of the Jews was no better in Geruliai than in Vieshvenai. Hunger was a daily plague. The dirt was dreadful. The crowding was horrible. All the partisans from the Rainiai compound, together with their commandant and the partisans from Vieshvenai, moved to the Geruliai camp, where no-one disturbed them from bossing around the unfortunate Jews.
There was no fence around the camp. But partisans with machine guns kept watch around the yard. No one was allowed to leave the camp without permission of the partisans. Khane‘s fifteen-year-old son Yoynele went to the village once to get a bit of potatoes. Yoynele noticed that a Gentile boy was wearing his murdered father‘s cap. He burst out weeping. The Gentile boy told him that the hat had been bloody when he had torn out the lining. The Gentile boy had pity on Yoynele and gave him back his murdered father’s hat as a memento.
Yoynele lay on his cot in the barn all day and wept.
One day the partisans selected all the boys aged fourteen and fifteen and took them out of the camp to dig a grave for a woman who had died. Yoynele was among the boys. Khane followed them. All the boys were taken into the forest, not far from the mass grave. There they were forced to dig a grave. The partisans frightened the boys, shooting automatics over their heads. Khane reached the children, who were happy to see her. They were all pale and frightened.
The partisans were very angry at Khane and threatened to shoot here. They demanded that Khane tell them who had permitted her to come. Khane lied, saying that the children wouldn’t be able to bury the women, and the commandant had permitted her to help them. Khane took the shovel out of Yoynele’s arms, and helped dig the grave. In Khane’s presence the children felt more secure. She was a mother, in whose presence they felt protected against the Lithuanian murderers, who constantly shot in the air, hurrying the children to dig the grave faster. After the woman was buried, everyone returned to the camp.
The partisans took some of the women who were capable of working to work in the city. Peasants in the villages received permission from the commandant to take Jewish women to work. The women went to work quite willingly, because of the hunger in the camp. (For more details about the life of the Jews in the Geruliai camp, see the testimony of Malke Gilis, Mrs. Fleysher and Mrs. Zak —L K )
On Friday, August 22, 1941 (the sixth day of the month of Elul) in the evening, partisans at Geruliai brought two Jewish families from Varnai: Khayem Nayerman, his wife and children and Khayem’s father, and the tanner’s family. The women in the camp already knew during the day that something terrible awaited them. Peasants asserted that the partisans were getting ready to shoot all the woman and children at the Geruliai camp. Most of the women did not believe this. When the two Jewish families were brought from Varnai, the panic of the Jews in camp only increased.
On Saturday morning, August 30, 1941 (the seventh day of Elul), the partisans announced that all of the Jews had to pack, and would be transported into a ghetto in Telzh on wagons. Everyone was ready with his packages in the yard.
An order was issued for everyone to line up in rows. The partisans selected five hundred of the younger and healthier women from the rows, and placed them separately. No-one knew for certain what was happening. The partisans promised the women that they would arrange a kindergarten for the children. The partisans shot several women who did not get into the rows properly.
The partisans led away the five hundred women to a ghetto in Telzh. The rest of the women and children were shot next to the Geruliai camp, and there they were thrown into one mass grave. (For more details on this, see the report about the slaughter of Jews in the town of Rietavas by Yente Alter-Gurshovitz and the testimony of Malke Gilis about the slaughter of Jews in Telzh — L K )
Khane’s relatives who died at Geruliai were: Her mother Hinde, two sons named Yoynele and Aron-Shloymele; her sister Masha Katz, with her three sons Yosl-Shloyme, Moyshe-Khayeml (aged four) and Minele (aged six); a sister-in-law, Meyte Gandz and her four children Sholeml (aged fifteen), Shime-Yankele (aged ten), Minele (aged five), and Merele (aged eight); Khane’s mother-in-law Gite Golembo; her sister-in-law Alte (a sister of her husband), and her six children. In addition close relatives of Khane died in Geruliai, including uncles, aunts and so forth.
Khane requests that an interesting incident be recorded in this testimony.
On Wednesday, the fourth day of Elul, in the middle of the day, women noticed a terrible phenomenon in the heavens just above Geruliai. Massed clouds gathered in the heavens, in the image of heaped heads of adults and children. In the camp there were rabbis who said Psalms together with the few children in the barn. The women told the rabbis about the heaps of large and small heads in the heavens. They came out into the yard to see this phenomenon. The following conversation took place among them:
First rabbi: “It is a sign of evil decrees from Heaven.”
Second rabbi: “It is a sign of the coming of the Messiah.“
Khane stood near them and overheard the conversation. The Jews in the barns grew extremely discouraged.
To be continued…..