Eighty percent of Jews in Lithuania were “eliminated” prior to Hitler’s Final Solution being established. The government of Lithuania officially says their leaders call for ethnic cleansing of Jews was just an “incident of antisemitism”. Antisemitism?
Lithuanians and their Nazi accomplices murdered approximately 220,000 Jews in Lithuania. Lithuania did not punish a single Holocaust perpetrator. Antisemitism?
Putin is committing genocide in Ukraine. The death toll of Ukrainians does not reach 220,000, yet the Lithuanian government is united in condemning Russian imperialism and genocide. One wonders why the genocide of Jews is considered an “incident”, while an entirely different standard is applied to Ukraine? Antisemitism?
The position of the Lithuanian Government is that Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators must be considered “completely innocent”, unless tried and convicted during their lifetime. This Lithuanian standard would find Hitler, Stalin, and Putin all “completely innocent”. Yet, Lithuania has defined Putin as the perpetrator without him having been tried or convicted during his lifetime. A seemingly different standard for Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators than foreign perpetrators. Antisemitism?
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). Either these Survivors were delusional or mendacious, or the government of Lithuania is lying. Shimkaitsiai was a miniscule village. Not even in the smallest of villages could Jews find safety.
Lithuania had the highest murder rate of Jews in Europe. It was safer to be a Jew in Nazi Germany, than it was to be a Jew in Lithuania.
From the testimonies:
THE SLAUGHTER OF THE JEWS OF THE SMALL LITHUANIAN TOWN SHIMKAITSIAI
The testimony of Yeshayohu Krom of Raseiniai. (See “The Slaughter of the Jews of Raseiniai.“)
Testimonies from Raseiniai are :
The town is located twenty kilometers from Raseiniai and twenty five kilometers from Jurbarkas. The town is on the Raseiniai-Jurbarkas- Smalininken Highway. Six Jewish families lived in town. They were all occupied in trade. Krom’s father Artshik (Aron) was also a farmer. The Jews in town lived far apart from the wide world, far from politics.
As soon as the Germans arrived in town Stasys Skuzhinskas became the chief in town. There were only about thirty Jews in town, and all the Lithuanians knew them. The Lithuanians in town immediately armed themselves and began lording it over the Jews. There were no Germans in town at all. The few Jews went through the same experiences as the Jews of Raseiniai. After the 393 men in the camp at Raseiniai were shot, the healthier Jewish men in Shumkaitsiai were selected, and they were taken to the gravel pits near the village of Zhuvelishkiai, close to Raseiniai. The Jewish men from Shumkaitsiai were shot there.
Among this first group of Jewish men who were shot was the Jewish doctor in town, Galand, the pharmacist, a Jew from Memel; Leyzer Krom (Yeshayohu’s brother); Yankl Frank; Aron Kremer, and others. Peasants from the countryside were brought to bury the Jews who had been shot. Leyzer Krom was buried, but he had only been wounded in the shoulder and foot. As soon as the murderers left, he got out of the pit. Before the men were shot, they were stripped stark naked. Leyzer got an old shirt and a pair of pants from a peasant, and ran to a spot in the forest not far from Shimkaitsiai. Leyzer sent a Christian woman to his parents in Shimkaitsiai.
Leyzer’s mother Brayne came, bringing her son something to eat, and bound her son’s wounds. Leyzer stayed in the forest, and Brayne returned to town. A brutal Lithuanian murderer named Lukoshius stopped Brayne on the road, and began to beat her viciously to get her to tell where she was coming from. Lukoshius beat and tortured Brayne until she told him that she had gone to the forest to see her wounded son Leyzer. Brayne was seventy years old at the time. Leyzer was taken to the monastery camp at Raseiniai together with his mother Brayne.
They weren’t kept in the camp long. The day they were brought to the camp they were taken to Zhuvelishkiai. Both of them were buried alive. Juozas Radzhiunas, one of the peasants who was forced to bury them alive, personally told this to Yeshayohu Krom with tears in his eyes Juozas Radzhiunas related all the details of the gruesome death of Yeshayohu’s brother and mother, because he and others had personally performed the burial. Before the two of them were thrown into the pit, the murderers beat the mother and son so brutally that neither could move. Then they were thrown into the pit alive.
The rest of the Jews in town were all herded into a single house. A Lithuanian guard watched the house. For four weeks the Jews were kept in that house. Every day they were taken to do various tasks, tormented and beaten.
During the slaughter of the last Jews in Raseiniai, the Jews from this small town were also taken to Zhuvelishiai. There they were all shot on August 29, 1941.
Those among the local Lithuanian murderers who were outstandingly sadistic were Antanas Shimkus; Lukoshius; Stasys Skuzhinskas; and the three Stravinskiai brothers.
Next: The slaughter of the Jews of Kelm.