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Grant Arthur Gochin

The slaughter of the Jews of Pabradė

Pabradė-Google-Maps
Pabradė-Google-Maps

The collective testimony of:

  1. Yisroel Bavarsky, born December 23, 1906 in the town of Pabradė. He completed four grades of Polish gymnasium in Vilnius. By profession he was a lumber merchant. Yisroel’s father’s name was Hirsh-Leyb and his mother was Esther, born Frumer. When the war broke out on June 22, 1941, and later when the Jews were taken out to the military compound near Švenčionėliai, Yisroel lived in Pabradė.
  2. Feygl Bavarsky, born November 10, 1924 in Pabradė. She completed two grades of Polish gymnasium. Feyge’s father was named Berl Bavarsky and her mother was Peshl, born Volyak. Until the Jews were taken to the compound near Švenčionėliai, Feygl lived in Pabradė.

 

Economic, Cultural and Geographic Situation of the Town

The town of Pabradė is located 48 kilometers northeast of Vilnius and 28 kilometers northwest of Švenčionėliai. The streams Zhejmiana and Dubinka divide the town into two parts. Pabradė has a railroad station on the line between Vilnius and Švenčionėliai.

The town is surrounded by pine forests, thanks to which Pabradė became a summer resort. The villages around the town were occupied by Poles, a few White Russians and, closer to Švenčionys, Lithuanians.

Until the outbreak of war between the Soviet Union and Germany on June 22, 1941, just about a thousand Jews lived in Pabradė, along with a larger number of Poles. The vast majority of the Jews were occupied in trade, and a few were engaged in artisanry. Almost all the Jews in town had their own homes and large gardens, and some of them had small fields. The Jews had their own horses, cows, goats and poultry. There were no major Jewish owned enterprises in town. The only pharmacy in town belonged to a Jew named Moyshe Khavkin. The Jewish doctor in town, Moyshe Reyztievsky, was well-known and popular, not only among the townspeople, but among the country people as well.

Among the major Jewish lumber merchants the following must be mentioned: Nosn Shapiro, Dovid Suzhan, the two brothers Shmuel and Yisroel Bavarsky and Borukh Blushinsky.

Among the dry goods dealers: the rabbi’s wife, Etl Abramovitz; Elke Mirsky; Rivke Skurkovitz; and Yehoshue-Nokhm Feler. Hardware dealers: Aron Gordon, Meir Blitz. Shoe stores: Yisroel Bratinishky, Elye-Meir Mahofis. A beer and lemonade factory belonging to the brothers Khayem and Hirsh Vilyan.

A small number of Jews received support from their relatives overseas. In general, the economic situation of the Jews in town was not bad on average. After the Soviets arrived in town in the summer of 1940, the economic situation did not worsen.

As far as the cultural and social life of the Jews went, there was a Hebrew elementary school with six grades; a Yiddish, Hebrew and Polish library containing around 4,000 volumes, and housed in its own building; a free loan society; an old study house and a new, brick study house. After graduating from elementary school some of the Jewish youth would continue their studies at a gymnasium in Vilnius or at the Vilnius technical school.

The vast majority of the Jewish youth belonged to Zionist movements. A smaller number took active part in the illegal Communist Party during the period of Polish rule, and under Smetonas. A few young people belonged to the Bund.

The Jews got along well with the Polish population in town throughout the pre-war period. After Pabradė was assigned to Lithuania in the fall of 1939, Lithuanians from the interior came to Pabradė and established the civil administration.

The Poles bitterly hated the new Lithuanian bosses. When the Red Army came to Lithuania in the summer of 1940, the Poles’ hatred of the Lithuanians was transformed into hatred of the Soviets and the Jews.

Some of the young Jews threw themselves body and soul into the new Soviet life, which gave them a range of opportunities for the future. The Jews sensed that they were equal to other citizens. Meanwhile the Poles were just like the Lithuanians in their hatred of the Soviet Union.

The War Breaks Out

The Jews in town found out about the outbreak of the war between the Soviet Union and Germany on Sunday, June 22, 1941. That day the Jews stayed relatively calm, because they didn’t believe that the Germans would advance quickly.

On Monday the German airplanes bombed Vilnius. That day before noon the Soviet authorities began to evacuate. About twenty young Jews fled that day into the Soviet Union. That Monday afternoon a large number of Jews locked their doors and closed their shutters. They packed their movable goods onto wagons, bringing along their cattle and poultry, and went to the homes of peasant friends in the countryside, in order to avoid suffering from the anticipated German air raids.

On the morning of Tuesday, June 24 a reconnaissance group of Germans riding motorcycles appeared in town and immediately went away again. At the beginning of the second week of the war German military units marched through town. A small number of them remained in town. The rest hurried forward to the east. The Christians in town and in the countryside joyfully welcomed the Germans. Lithuanian Red Army units had settled into the barracks at the edge of town. As soon as the war broke out, many of them deserted and began hiding, together with their weapons. When the Red Army hurriedly evacuated, the deserters shot at them on the roads and in the forests.

Armed civilian Christians also appeared, and they joined forces with the Lithuanian deserters from the Red Army.

In a number of villages peasants pelted the hidden Jews with stones. The more decent peasants became afraid to keep Jews at their homes any longer.

Between Thursday, June 26 and Saturday, June 28 almost all of the Jews returned from the countryside to their homes in town, and found everything in order. Nor were the Jews detained by anyone on their way from the countryside to town. However, there were a number of Jewish victims:

  1. The brothers Dovid and Leyzer Mirsky were found murdered in a forest near the village of Padubinky.
  2. Shmuel Yeverovsky, aged 40, committed suicide. He hung himself in the village of Nowosiolky. Shmuel clearly foresaw the tragic fate of the Jews, and since he was unwilling to suffer all of the horror, he ended his own life.

Until the beginning of the second week the Jews remained confined to their houses, afraid to go out into the streets. The streets were full of armed Lithuanians who called themselves partisans and wore white armbands.

The Polish townspeople pushed the Jews out of bread lines at the Christian owned shops in town.

Robberies; The Civil Administration; Eight Jewish Men Murdered

Immediately after the Germans arrived in town the civil administration was set up by Lithuanians who had occupied responsible positions during the year of Soviet rule, and by former Red militia men who hadn’t evacuated and who had joined the partisans instead. The men who had deserted the Lithuanian units of the Red Army also participated in setting up the civil administration.

  1. The new mayor in town was the Lithuanian who had been the secretary of the investigative committee in town during the year of Soviet rule.
  2. The new police chief was a Lithuanian.
  3. The main partisan leader was [?????]
  4. The chief of the secret police in town was the Lithuanian Kondratavitzius.

During the day on Saturday, June 28, 1941 a group of Lithuanian partisans led by an officer arrived in town. They were all well-armed, and they began seizing Jewish men in their houses. The men hid wherever they could. The mood in town that Saturday was utterly depressed. Feygele, the eyewitness, miraculously managed to rescue her father from the murderous partisans, with whom she was able to converse in fluent Lithuanian.

That day the partisans took eight Jewish men out of town. None of them were seen again. A few days later peasants reported that the eight Jews had been shot that same Saturday evening near the barracks, and they had been buried in a single pit. A few days later announcements concerning the death of the eight Jews were hung in the streets of the town. In these announcements the eight Jews who had been shot were designated as Communists and friends of the Soviet Union. The eight Jews who were shot were: the young rabbi, a refugee; Idl Kulbak; Yitzkhok Gilinsky; Avrom and Yoysef Liberman; Kopl Shklarovitz; Khayem Shanevsky and Khone Shnayderovitz.

Immediately after the Germans arrived in town .and the civil administration was set up, announcements in Lithuanian and in German appeared in town. These announcements ordered the Jews to put on two yellow Stars of David, one on the left side of their chest and the other on their back. Jews were forbidden to have any dealings with Christians, to walk on the sidewalk, to leave town, and so forth.

Every morning all of the able-bodied men, women and children had to come to the police station at Keysun Street to report for work. From there the Jews were sent off in groups to do various jobs along the roads, cleaning the streets in town, pulling out weeds from between the paving stones. Some of the men worked on the railroad tracks and chopped wood for the Lithuanian and German big shots in town. The women washed the windows and floors of their offices.

The Jews were not paid anything for the work they did. They weren’t even fed. On the contrary: the Germans and Lithuanians robbed everything they could from the Jews. They took the Jews’ horses, bicycles, radios, and everything they found worthwhile. Of course, there was no one to complain to. The Jews no longer had any rights.

The Jewish Council

According to a directive of the Germans and Lithuanians, a Jewish Council was established in town. The Jews of the town selected the following individuals to serve on the Council: Dr Reyzhevsky; Ben­Tzion Vilian; Borukh Blushinsky; Elye Likht; Yisroel Bratinisky; and Dovid Suzan. The chairman of the Jewish Council, Ben-Tzion Vilian, was responsible for carrying out the orders of the Germans and Lithuanians. There was no specially-designated place for the Jewish Council to meet.

The members of the Jewish Council often met at private houses. The main task of the Jewish Council consisted of offering bribes and trying to intervene so that various decrees aimed at the Jewish townspeople would either be revoked or made less severe. The Jewish council did not manage to accomplish much on the Jews’ behalf.

The Lithuanian and German authorities threatened the Jewish Council in various ways, forcing them to fulfill various “requisitions” and to offer them “gifts.” The Jewish council often assembled money from the Jews in town, in order to be able to “satisfy” the desires of the Lithuanians and Germans, who often promised to protect the Jews of Pabradė from any danger.

Sixty more Jewish Men, Women and Children Murdered

One morning the Jews of Pabradė found out about a very tragic incident. Some of the Jews had been taken away from town at night, along with their wives and children. Their houses were locked. That same evening all the Jews in town knew that sixty Jews had been taken away by Lithuanian partisans, headed by the painter from town, the Lithuanian Shablinskis. The sixty Jewish men, women and children were taken out of town that same day, and all of them were shot in a forest near the town’s water mill.

The town rabbi’s son Velvl Abramovitz was a survivor of that group. He related that when the sixty Jews had been taken from their houses in the middle of the night, the partisans told them that they were being taken to work, and allowed them to bring along packages they could carry in their arms. Everyone was taken to the police station, and from there to the pit.

When the Jews saw the pit, they understood their fate. Yitzkhok Zilber, his wife and their lovely one-year-old daughter were among the sixty. Yitzkhok begged a partisan whom he knew to shoot him and his wife, but to let his beautiful little daughter live. The Lithuanian answered Yitzkhok by hitting him on the head with the butt of his rifle. Yitzkhok fell. The men were outraged, and they threw themselves at the Lithuanians. Velvl Abramovitz took advantage of the confusion and began to run. Other Jews did the same thing. The partisans opened fire at the Jews as they fled. Velvl safely reached town. The rest were shot.

Among the sixty Jews who were shot were:

  1. The rabbi’s wife, Etl Abramovitz, and her two sons Avrom and Leybe (Velvl’s brothers).
  2. Kopl Shklarovitz, his wife Khaye and his daughters Basya, Yakhe and Mere (young people!).
  3. Abrasha Shklarovitz, his wife Helena, his son Yashke and daughter Gitl (young people!).
  4. Shloyme Tod, his wife, his daughter Nekhame and two sons, Hilke and Khayemke (young people!).
  5. Leybe-Nokhum Glaz, his wife Esther, daughters Rokhl and Dina and a boy named Dovidl.
  6. 6 Yisroel-Borukh Bavarsky, aged 73, his niece Raichl Levin and her husband Yosl, along with their two small children Khonke and Khaye­ Sorele.
  7. Khonon Levit, his wife Leye and a young nephew named Ruvele Lubotzki.
  8. The family of Shmuel Potashnik, including his wife and their small children.

The Ghetto in Pabradė

At the beginning of September 1941 it was announced to the Jewish Council that all the Jews had to settle in a single neighborhood and set up a ghetto in Baijoreliu, Arnioniu and Malunu Streets. A small number of Christians lived in these three streets, and they had to move out of the neighborhood and move into Jewish houses outside the neighborhood. In the course of a few days the Jews managed to move the things they most needed. There wasn’t much room in the area designated as the ghetto, and the Jews left behind most of their furniture and other valuable possessions that were hard to move.

The new Polish townspeople who moved into the Jews’ houses inherited everything. There was no fence around the ghetto area, nor was it guarded. The Jews had to leave the ghetto to work, just as they had gone from town. They also returned from work to the ghetto on their own, without being guarded.

There were no Jewish “police” as in other ghettos. The Jewish Council continued its activities in the open ghetto, just as it had in town. The Jews in the ghetto lived in crowded conditions. There was a constant shortage of food. The Jews used to exchange their possessions with Christians in town for groceries. Peasants from the surrounding villages also used to come, knowing they could get valuable things in exchange for just a little food.

In the ghetto area there was an empty store belonging to the Jew Yank Engeltzin. A bread distribution station was set up in the store. Lithuanians used to bring a ration of 150 grams of bread per Jew from a nearby bakery. The eyewitness Feyge Bavarsky and her girlfriend Hene Lap would distribute the bread to the Jews in the ghetto. Feygl asserts that there were between 800 and 830 Jews in the ghetto at that time.

The Jews in the Pabradė ghetto began hearing reports about the terrible slaughter of Jews in the nearby towns of Jonishkis, Inturkiai and others. Survivors from these towns who had fled the slaughter near the pits began to arrive, and they told everything. The Jews from Pabradė reassured themselves, saying that it wouldn’t happen to them because they were in former Polish territory, and furthermore they had a German commandant who wouldn’t let the Lithuanians slaughter the Jews.

On Rosh Hashana 1941 the Jews of Pabradė learned that on September 20 the Jews of Nemenčinė had been shot. The Jewish Council paid a Christian to go to Nemenčinė and find out the truth. When he returned from Nemenčinė, the Christian corroborated the tragic reports.

On several occasions the Jewish council appealed to the Lithuanians and Germans who held the power over the Jews’ lives, begging them to clarify the Jews’ situation. The Jewish Council was told that what had been done elsewhere would not take place in Pabradė. But after the news about the slaughter of the Jews in Nemenčinė, the majority of the Jews in the ghetto didn’t believe the promises of the Germans and Lithuanians.

The family of Borukh Blushinsky and his wife, daughter and father; and the family of Alter Zilber, his wife, son and daughter, fled town at that time. The brothers Shmuel and Yisroel Bavarsky left town and went to peasants in the countryside to find places for their families to stay. But they were too late. Their family was taken away to the compound at Švenčionėliai.

On September 23, 1941 the Jewish Council was ordered to tell the Jews in the ghetto about a requisition. The Jews themselves had to personally bring to the police all of their gold and silver items, as well as money and valuables. A high-ranking Lithuanian official came from Vilnius to supervise the requisition. The helpless Jews handed over almost everything they had, hoping that they would be able to buy a few more days of life.

The Liquidation of the Ghetto and the Slaughter of the Jews

On Friday, September 26, 1941, the day before the Sabbath between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Jews in the ghetto learned from reliable sources that everyone was going to be taken away to the concentration camp near Švenčionėliai. The panic was terrible, because no one believed the Lithuanians, especially after the terrible news about the slaughter of the Jews of Nemenčinė had been confirmed.

By midday that same Friday the majority of the Jews had left the ghetto. They went out of town to the homes of peasant friends in the countryside, or they hid in the nearby fields and forests until the situation became clearer.

The Lithuanian police and partisans noticed that the ghetto was emptying out and the Jews were running away. In the afternoon they began watching all the Jews who were leaving town. They detained a number of Jews on the roads, and returned them to town. Some of the Jews who were stopped bribed the Lithuanians and managed to avoid being brought back to town. Deprived of the possibility of escaping the town, the Jews began hiding in the town itself, either at the homes of peasants or in hiding places that had been prepared in the ghetto.

Shortly before candle-lighting time that Friday evening, police and organized groups of forest keepers appeared in the ghetto neighborhood, armed with rifles and automatic pistols. Some of them surrounded the ghetto, so that the Jews wouldn’t be able to escape. They spread out in groups, entering the Jewish houses and brutally driving the Jews outside. The Lithuanians allowed the Jews to take along everything they wanted. Most of the Jews in the ghetto brought along almost nothing because they understood where they were going. When they said goodbye to each other, the women and children wept bitterly and kissed each other. Their eyes filled with tears, they took a last look at their homes. After the Jews were driven out of their homes, the partisans themselves locked the doors and closed the shutters.

The Jews were herded into the old study house. A heavy guard of well-armed police was posted around them. The Jews sensed that they were caught in a trap, without any hope of surviving.

The partisans began hunting for hidden Jews in the ghetto and in town. A number of Jews were seized in various hiding places and brought to the study house that same Friday evening. Some of them were caught the next day, Saturday. The Jews lived through a terrible Friday night in the study house.

The more pious Jews opened the Holy Ark, and wept as they begged God to help them. Everyone wept, kissed each other took their leave of each other. Mothers pressed their children to their breasts, soaking them in rivers of tears and kissing them. Some of the women and men tore their hair out of their head and struck themselves with their fists. The wailing of the women and children could be heard throughout the entire town.

Early in the morning on Saturday, September 27, 1941, Christians from town drove into the yard near the study house with their horses and wagons. The Jews were driven out of the study house into the wagons. An armed Lithuanian sat in every wagon. The caravan full of sorrowing Jews left town. With heart rending screams and bitter weeping the Jews took eternal leave of their home town.

The Jews destroyed their valuables while they rode the wagons. They broke their watches, tore up money and documents, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Lithuanians. As they rode along Kaltinenai Street toward Švenčionėliai, the Jews in the wagons saw all of the Jewish houses locked, and white notices attached to the walls. The Jews of Švenčionėliai had already been taken to the military compound.

The Jews of Pabradė were taken to the compound in 42 wagons. A total of about 120 Jews went, out of the eight hundred who had been in the ghetto. The vast majority of the Jews escaped the ghetto before this, mostly on Friday morning.

All of the Jews in the towns in Švenčionys County were taken to the Baranowka compound near Švenčionėliai that Saturday.

Every wagon bringing Pabradė Jews to the compound would drive up to a barrack and leave the Jews there. Then they would ride over to the side, where the names of the owners of the horses and wagons would be recorded on a list by the partisans. When the peasants returned to Pabradė, they were paid with items that had been gathered from the Jewish houses.

Concerning the further fate of the Jews of Pabradė at Baranowka, read the testimony of Frume Hochman from Švenčionys, and the collective testimony of the Švenčionys Jews Dr. Binyomin Taraseysky and Yankl Levin.

Those Who Died After the Jews Were Taken from Town

The hidden Jews who were found after the Jews were taken from town were imprisoned at the police station by the Lithuanians. From there the people who had been seized were taken out of town to the hill near the mill, where they were shot. The participants in the collective testimony remember the following cases:

  1. On Monday, September 29, two days after the Jews were taken to the compound, the Lithuanians found 22 Jewish men, women and children hiding in the attic of the study house. The Lithuanians shot the 22 Jews on the hill near the water mill outside of town.

Among the 22 were:

  1. Leyzer Ringer, his wife Beyle, their three daughters Basya, Klara and Khaye, and a grandchild from Kaunas.
  2. The caretaker at the study house Rosen, his wife Nekhome and two daughters, Hadasa and Tzivye. Hadasa was nine or ten years old at the time. When she saw that her parents had been shot, Hadasa ran away from the pit back toward Pabradė, where there was a market that day. No one spotted her. Little Hadasa walked to the nearby White Russian town of Kemilishkis and went into the ghetto there. When the Jews of the Kelimishkis ghetto were shot, Hadasa escaped from death again. She hid with peasants, where she worked as a shepherdess and survived until the liberation.
  3. Yerukham Bigson and his wife Gitl were also among the 22 who were shot.
  1. That same Monday Lithuanians seized another group of Jews who lay in hiding in a cellar in Kemilishkis Street, near the German cemetery. The group of Jews lay in prison for a day and a night.On Tuesday, September 30 the Lithuanians drove all the Jews out of the prison and shot them all on the hill near the water mill. The group included:
  2. The family of Avrom Taytz, his wife Reyzl, his son Leybe and their little daughter Feyge-Merele, along with his nephew Leyb Yeverovitz, aged 16 (his father Shmuel had hung himself!).
  3. On Sunday, September 30, a woman named Sore Bavarsky who was in her eighties was captured hiding in some grain in a barn.
  1. That same day Sore’s daughter-in-law Leye and her two small children Rashele (aged eight) and Khayeml (aged 15) Bavarsky were caught hiding in some brush in a swamp. A peasant who took the family away to be shot later said that the Lithuanians had bound Leye to the wagon hand and foot.

The Lithuanians dumped the elderly Sore directly into the pit, and buried her alive. The family was shot by Lithuanian police and partisans.

  1. Nosn Kharmatz, his wife Bunye, daughter Sonya and one-year-old child and Nosn’s sons Yoysef and Gershon were captured, and they were taken to a pit on the hill near the water mill. Near the pit Yosl struck a partisan in the face with a hard object and began to escape. The partisans opened fire at him with their rifles, but didn’t hit him. Yoysef managed to escape. Some time later he went to the Vilnius Ghetto, where he died. The rest of Yoysef’s family were shot after he escaped from the pit.
  1. Basya Bavarsky and Hirshl Vilian were seized in a cellar in the ghetto on Tuesday, September 30. That same day they were shot on the hill near the water mill.
  1. An old woman named Ite Kruk, aged about 50, hid together with a small boy named Daniel Mirsky (aged eleven or twelve). They were both shot on the hill near the water mill.

Those Who Died in the Countryside

After the Jews were taken to the military compound, the Jewish doctor from town and his daughter-in-law, wife and daughter hid at the home of the Lithuanian Kondratavitzius, who was the chief of the secret police in Pabradė. The doctor’s daughter-in-law gave birth to a child, whom the doctor killed. Kondratavitzius couldn’t hide the family any longer. The doctor and his wife obtained documents permitting them to settle in the village of Barani and allowing him to practice medicine there.

  1. Jews hiding in the area often visited the doctor, and consulted with him about everything. In the month of November 1941, German SS men captured the Jews in that village and shot and buried them on the spot.

The group included:

  1. Dr Reyzhevsky, his wife, daughter and daughter-in-law.
  2. Berl and his brother Ben-Tzion Engeltzin. Ben-Tzion was a law student.
  3. Yoyne Levin, a butcher from the town of Pabradė.
  4. The brothers Yisroel and Yoysef Zak.
  5. Avrom from Barani and his wife and daughter.

There was a well-founded suspicion that the Jews in the village of Barani were reported by a Pole named Schukewitz, a miller from the nearby village of Bujki.

  1. Two kilometers from Pabradė at a settlement called Migelki at the home of the peasant Jusefowitz, ten Jews hid in a bunker that had been set up under the house. In the month of May 1943 two Lithuanian police came to the peasant’s home and demanded that he hand over the hidden Jews. The good peasant denied that he was hiding Jews. One of the policeman began writing a report, while the second went out into the yard and shot at birds several times. A child in the bunker grew frightened hearing the shots, and began crying. The bunker was discovered. The hidden Jews were taken away together with the good peasant to the police station at Pabradė and from there to Vilnius, where all of them died. The good peasant was murderously beaten by the police, and died in Vilnius together with the Jews.

The ten Jews were:

  1. Khaye-Rivke Menitz (born Vilian) with her three-year-old child.
  2. Feygl Bavarsky and her two children Avreymele (aged 8) and Hirshele (aged 6).
  3. Shmuel Shmit, his wife Tzivye and a child who was exactly three years old.
  4. Malke Potashnik, a five-year-old child.

At that time it was suspected that the Pole Bidulsky from the village of Pabradė had reported the ten Jews to the police, in order to get a reward.

  1. A Jewish engineer was hiding at a compound three kilometers from the railroad station called Geliadniai. A young man from Pabradė named Moyshe Zilber (his father’s name was Alter) was hiding with him. In the month of July 1943 the Gestapo caught them at the compound and shot them on the spot.
  1. In the area between the villages of Suzani and Purwinishki there were some thirty Pabradė Jews hiding. In the summer of 1944, shortly before the liberation, they were killed by White Poles in various ways.

Shortly before the Pabradė Jews were taken to the military compound, about 800 Jews were still living in the ghetto. 120 Jews were taken to the compound, and the rest escaped from town. A small number hid in the ghetto and in the town proper, at peasant’s homes or in gardens. The majority were caught and shot on the hill near the water mill.

A second group escaped to the surrounding villages, and a number of them died there in various ways. The vast majority of the Jewish escapees died in the ghettos in White Russian towns, especially in Kemilishkis, nineteen kilometers from Pabradė.

When the Jews in White Russia were slaughtered, the refugees from Pabradė also died together with the local Jews in the ghettos.

A total of about thirty Jews, among those who had escaped from town, before everyone else was taken to the compound at Švenčionėliai, survived and were liberated by the Red Army. Among the survivors were the participants in this collective testimony, Yisroel Bavarsky and his cousin Feygl Bavarsky.

Feygl’s mother was killed at the compound at Švenčionėliai. Her father managed to hide in a closet until the following Friday, September 26, in the evening. He went to Kemilishkis then. Feygl and her mother were already at the compound. A Lithuanian peasant took pity on her and helped her to return from the compound in a peasant-style wagon. The sixteen-year-old Feygl began a heroic struggle for her life. She stayed with various peasants in the countryside, each of whom would keep her for a short time and then drive her out of their homes. She found out where her father was and joined him in the Kemilishkis ghetto.

Before the Kemilishkis Jews were slaughtered she and her father moved to the Bistritsk ghetto. Later her father worked at the Jonishkis camp near Shauliai. From there he was taken “to work” with a group of Jews at the Ninth Fort near Kaunas, where he died. Later on Feygl was in a camp near Panevezhys and then in a concentration camp in Germany, where she was liberated.

About the Author
Grant Arthur Gochin currently serves as the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Togo. He is the Emeritus Special Envoy for Diaspora Affairs for the African Union, which represents the fifty-five African nations, and Emeritus Vice Dean of the Los Angeles Consular Corps, the second largest Consular Corps in the world. Gochin is actively involved in Jewish affairs, focusing on historical justice. He has spent the past twenty five years documenting and restoring signs of Jewish life in Lithuania. He has served as the Chair of the Maceva Project in Lithuania, which mapped / inventoried / documented / restored over fifty abandoned and neglected Jewish cemeteries. Gochin is the author of “Malice, Murder and Manipulation”, published in 2013. His book documents his family history of oppression in Lithuania. He is presently working on a project to expose the current Holocaust revisionism within the Lithuanian government. He is Chief of the Village of Babade in Togo, an honor granted for his philanthropic work. Professionally, Gochin is a Certified Financial Planner and practices as a Wealth Advisor in California, where he lives with his family. Personal site: https://www.grantgochin.com/
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