Part 1 of testimony by Malke Gilis was released here: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/what-malke-gilis-witnessed/
Alongside her testimony was that of Khane Pelts. This was posted as Part 2: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/what-khane-pelts-witnessed/
Part 3 was posted here: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/3-what-malke-gilis-and-khane-pelts-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 onto Germans. 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).
Lithuania customarily identifies testimony inconvenient to them as “unreliable” and dismisses it from consideration. Truly “unreliable” data is manufactured to falsify the historical record.
Following is what Khane Pelts and Malke Gilis testified. Lithuania has not punished a single Holocaust perpetrator. Instead, they identify many of them as their national heroes. Bear that in mind as you read the victims words…….
Torture, Rape and Humiliation of Women – Rumors of Their Impending Slaughter
At that time no one understood the reasons why the women had been brought from the villages.
At that time women who had a trade, tailors, seamstresses and the like, began to be taken out of the ghetto. Every Lithuanian had the right to take “specialists” out of the ghetto. They only had to pay the director three marks for a day’s work. Many Lithuanian townspeople picked Jewish girls. The Lithuanians chose the best educated girls as servants, in order to take revenge on the Jewish intelligentsia. The women who had come from the countryside on the second day of Rosh Hashana related that the peasants were sucking the marrow from their bones, weren’t giving them enough to eat, tormenting and mocking them. Some of the peasants forced the women to sleep with them. The situation of the women in the villages was no better than in the ghetto.
At the time of the holidays, various rumors about the date when the women would be taken to be shot began spreading in the city. Committees began to appear frequently, checking on hygiene in the ghetto. It was not difficult to figure out what conclusions the committees made. The women and children lay on the naked ground, with neither beds nor bedding. There was no soap with which to wash themselves. The mud outside was dreadful. The nourishment was minimal. The head of the committees was the Lithuanian Dr Mikulskis from the city of Telzh. He was the county medical officer; a thorough, committed anti-Semite.
The women in the ghetto clearly imagined the conclusions the committees might make, especially when Dr Mikulskis was the head of the committees.
A rumor spread among the Lithuanians in the city that various contagious diseases were going around in the ghetto, especially typhus and spotted typhus. The rumor was deliberately spread. The Lithuanian townspeople began driving out of their homes the women who came from four to six in the afternoon to beg. The situation of the unfortunate women grew worse. For a certain time women were not even taken into the city to work. However, the Lithuanian murderers knew about the false epidemic scare, and people began bit by bit taking the women back into the city to work. Yet various rumors about shooting the Jews were spread even wider in the city and in the ghetto.
Once, in the middle of the night between Saturday and Sunday, precisely at 1:00 a.m., a German entered the ghetto. He went from house to house announcing to the women that the “Lithuanian swine” were going to come the next day, Sunday, and shoot all the women. He left the ghetto, taking with him a girl named Rostovsky, aged 15. He took her. to his hotel in the city. A few hours later he brought her back into the ghetto. She said that he had not bothered her at all. Many women escaped through the side open to the lake, from the ghetto into the countryside.
But nothing happened on Sunday, and the women suffered nothing worse than fear. Yet the women sought ways to save themselves. Everyone knew that finally the women and children would be shot. Many women succeeded in escaping from the Telzh ghetto to the Shavl ghetto. All of this was done in the greatest secrecy. Even the women’s closest acquaintances knew nothing about it.
At that time Rebitzin Rashl Bloch and Mrs Feyge Pet, with a three year old child, escaped. The partisans spotted and chased them. Mrs Feyge Pet and her child were brought back into the ghetto. Rebitzin Rashl Bloch was shot. Yet the escapes from the ghetto continued just the same. Several dozen women arrived in the Shavl ghetto where most of them later died. Only a few of the escapees survived the war.
Malke Gilis spent some three weeks in the hospital. The behavior of the medical personnel was very bad. Yet a Russian nurse did everything she could for Malke. Malke did not take the medicines which the Lithuanian doctors did provide from time to time. The Russian nurse stole medicine and brought it to Malke. The Lithuanian nurses asked Malke to give them the few things she still possessed. Malke had to keep her clothes and boots under her pillow.
The Lithuanian doctor, a thorough anti-Semite and hooligan, told Malke about the shooting of the women in Geruliai with a sarcastic laugh: “All the Jewish women were driven out of the Geruliai camp and shot. Your mother is never going to come to you now.” He told it with as much joy as if he had won a big lottery. The nurse, a Lithuanian woman, smiled as he said these words.
Malke’s sores on her torso and leg grew a little bit better and she was taken to the ghetto. She spent another ten days in the ghetto clinic, and then, leaning on a stick, she went out into the ghetto. She had nowhere to go. She moved in with Hadase Levin. There were nine women and a two-year-old child, Yosef Levin, in the room.
Sick and Not Working Will Be Shot; Those Who Convert Will Be Allowed to Live
Various rumors circulated to the effect that those who were sick and weren’t working would be shot. Mrs Gilis went out to the city to look for a peasant who would take her to work in the countryside. The peasants and Lithuanian townspeople made financial deals with the unfortunate women. On one hand they took many valuable things from the women in exchange for taking them as workers; on the other hand the women worked hard and earned money for them.
Malke Gilis easily found work in her trade. She was a good milliner and everyone knew that she was a specialist in ladies’ hats. The Lithuanian Mrs Kochanskiene took her on. The peasant woman was a widow; she lived with the German commandant of Telzh. All the Jew murderers used to come to her house. Among them were Jodeikis, Platakys, the brothers Indzhiulevichiai and others. At that time the woman ran a hotel, which had earlier belonged to the Jew Yoselovitz. She inherited all the possessions of the murdered Jew and his family. She also had many things belonging to women who had been shot; the murderers used to bring them to her as gifts. The women took orders for ladies‘ hats, and Malke did the work for her. She grew rich on Malke‘s labor.
In addition she had considerable income from the hotel. She had gold, silver, and sewing machines belonging to murdered Jews which the murderers brought her. Only German military personnel lived in the hotel. Malke had to go down to eat lunch every day together with the Germans. The Germans did not know that Malke was a Jew, and they used to invite her to go with them to the theater and the cinema. Malke would think up excuses. Malke was able to purchase potatoes, bread and other food from the woman with money. She made these purchases for her friends in the ghetto. One time a Lithuanian woman noticed Malke sitting in the hotel eating lunch together with the Germans. The woman, a tailor, was a steady customer of Malke‘s. The woman reported who Malke was to the German commandant, and warned him that Malke might poison the Germans in the hotel. Malke was forbidden to go downstairs to eat. She ate with the proprietress in the latter’s room.
One time Kochanskiene offered Malke poison, so that she could poison herself while she was being taken away to be shot. The proprietress explained that she was a good woman, and believed that Malke should always have poison in her possession, because shooting is worse. The “good Lithuanian woman” would not leave in peace the boots Malke wore on her feet. At every opportunity she asked Malke to sell her the boots, and she added that Malke would not be needing them in any case. Once Malke slept at Kochanskiene‘s hotel. Malke heard the proprietress giving her maid strict instructions to be careful with Malke, and not to tell her anything about the preparations for a slaughter of the women in the ghetto. Malke left her, and went to work for a German woman who was a teacher in the Lithuanian gymnasium. The woman’s name was Mrs Tornau. A son of hers worked in the German labor office; he brought Malke all the news. He was a young and worthy boy. Malke was there for a week, and then she was released from work.
A competition sprang up among the Lithuanians. Several people wanted to hire Malke. Of course, no one was thinking of Malke’s welfare. No one had any sympathy for her. But having Malke as an employee meant having someone who earned well, and hence the possibility of growing rich on Malke’s unpaid labor.
Malke arranged with the German labor office to be hired by a Lithuanian girl named Stase Baltmishkyte. While Malke was working for this girl, rumors began circulating once again that preparations were being made to shoot all the women in the ghetto; but that those who converted would be allowed to remain alive. An epidemic of conversions began. Most of these cases were young girls, who hoped that they could save their young lives through converting, and then return to the Jewish faith once the war was over. The converts had to go to church every Sunday. On Sunday morning they were let out of the ghetto, and just before noon they had to return. During the two hours from four to six p.m., when the women were allowed to go begging from house to house, the girls went into the church and converted. They immediately received baptismal certificates, and immediately put on crucifixes. The priests promised to save the girls from death.
The world will in any case never understand the terrible conditions in the ghetto at that time. It was in the autumn of the year 1941, which came early and very cold. There was no wood in the ghetto, nor anything to eat. The prospects of remaining alive were negligible. So it is no wonder that several women with a weakened will to resist temporarily converted.
The Executions of the Women and Their Children
During the day on Saturday, December 21, 1941, a rumor was spread in the city and in the ghetto that the women and children in the ghetto would be shot very soon. Malke went to the German woman Tarnau to find out whether the rumors were correct. The German woman answered Malke: “We will all see each other in Heaven.” Malke understood that the rumors were correct. She came to the ghetto and reported this to Dr Blat and also to Miss Dr Shapiro and Esther Bloch. They decided to announce this to all of the women in the ghetto. A short time later all the women knew that on December 25 all the women would be shot. On Sunday morning everyone noticed that the ghetto was surrounded by a reinforced guard of Lithuanian partisans and police. All the women began to be brought in from the countryside. All day Sunday and Monday the women were brought into the ghetto on wagons. The murderers promised the women that they were being taken for health examinations. The women thoroughly understood this “bloody joke.” But many peasants prevented the women from escaping. They locked up the woman and took them in horse-drawn wagons, their hands and-feet tied up. Malke herself saw peasants leading women with bound hands and feet. The women shouted and wept. All of the roads were guarded by Lithuanian police and partisans.
During the night from Sunday until Monday women escaped from the ghetto. Some of them crept through the fence. Some of them went into the waters of the lake and escaped from the ghetto by wading. The panic was dreadful. The women saw death lurking over them every minute. Many of them went insane. Women strangled their children with their own hands, so that the children would not have to be murdered by the Lithuanians or be buried alive. The unfortunate women saw that they had no hopes of surviving. They cried in a heart-rending way, begging the murderers to let them leave the ghetto, but the partisans enjoyed themselves, laughing and joking. The women ran here and there, wringing their hands, their eyes staring at the heavens which were dumb to their weeping and prayers. Nevertheless several hundred women managed to escape from the ghetto. Most of them were caught while escaping and taken to prison. From there they were taken directly to the pit.
Between Saturday night and Monday evening women continued to be brought from the countryside. On Monday, December 23, 1941 in the evening, the murderers packed groups of women onto wagons, and drove them to the forest near the Rainiai compound, not far from the spot where the men had been shot. The women and their children were taken to their deaths in groups.
Those who remained in the ghetto had to wait their turn. It was impossible to escape. Many of the village peasants brought the bound women directly to the pit to be shot. The shouts and weeping of the women and children did not frighten the murderers. They carried out their bloody task to the end.
On Tuesday December 24, 1941, the murderers finished shooting the women, and they immediately began preparing for their great, festive holiday of Christmas. The murderers celebrated that holiday with much liquor, wine, honey cake and music. The Lithuanian murderers of Telzh had rid themselves of the Jews forever. Nor did the girls who had converted save their young lives.
To be continued…..