The slaughter of the Jews of Vidukle

Source: Google Maps. Location: Vidukle, Lithuania.
Source: Google Maps. Location: Vidukle, Lithuania.

The tune sung by Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators and revisionists has remained constant. Apparently few, if any at all Lithuanians witnessed who was murdering Jews. They supposedly did not see, did not hear and did not notice. As the common story is told, it could only have been Nazis that perpetrated the murders while unaware Lithuanians were busy rescuing Jews.

This Philadelphia Inquirer article dated March 12, 1995, is illustrative of the Lithuanian Government’s continuing position that Lithuanians were heroic innocents, even those so busy murdering Jews, while secretly, they were actually rescuing Jews from themselves. These legal positions of the State are absurd, dishonest and offensive. I addressed some of the Holocaust fraud by the Government of Lithuania in a speech at the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Center on October 27, 2022.

Read the eyewitness testimonies from the victims, and understand the depths of the Holocaust deceptions presented by the Government of Lithuania.


The testimony of two eyewitnesses:

  1. Hirsh Hirshovits, born November 3, 1928 in Vidukle. His father’s name was Khayem-Ber. Until the war he lived in Vidukle. He was a student in the Lithuanian elementary school until the beginning of the war.
  2. Peshe Icikovits, born in 1922 in Vidukle. Her father’s name was Moyshe. She lived in Vidukle all her life until the war.

The town of Vidukle lies on the highway between Kaunas and Klaipeda (Memel), fifteen kilometers from Raseiniai. Until the war, some 190 Jewish men, women and children lived in town. The Jews of the town were occupied in trade and artisanry. The attitude of the Lithuanian population toward the Jews was good before the war.

The Outbreak of War Between Germany and the Soviet Union

Hirshl relates:

On Tuesday, June 24, 1941, the Germans arrived in Vidukle. A large number of the Jews escaped and hid in the countryside.

The Lithuanians in town immediately changed their position vis-a-vis the local Jews. Many of the local Lithuanians put white armbands on their sleeves, started calling themselves “partisans” and began to oppress the Jews. They all had weapons. The police and the leadership of the town were immediately recruited from their ranks. The German military only marched through town; no Germans remained in town. There were only a few Germans at the railroad station, three kilometers from town.

A few weeks after the war began, Lithuanians and Germans went to all the Jewish houses. They drove the Jews out of their homes and robbed everything they desired. The Lithuanians kept for themselves the best of the things they had stolen. Then they placed the rest of the things in wagons and took them to the police station.

The bakeries in town were owned by Jews. The Jews had to bring the bread they baked to the town co-operative, where only Lithuanians with ration cards were allowed to shop. If there were leftovers, the Jews were allowed to buy them. This situation continued for one month.

Peshe relates;

Every day the able-bodied men and women were taken to work at the railroad station, two kilometers from town. Lithuanian police guarded the Jews at work. Among them were the following local Lithuanians: Antanas Rainys, Petras Radavitsius; and Stepas Teretska. The murderers used to beat and torment the Jewish men while they worked. They were forced to dance and sing, and meanwhile they were murderously beaten. Every evening the Jewish men and women returned to town. The Jews were not given any food in exchange for their work. All the Jews without exception were forced to wear a yellow Star of David on their backs.

On Sunday, July 20, 1941, police went to all the Jewish houses registering the names and ages of all the Jews. They announced that early Monday morning all the Jewish men, women and children, including the elderly and sick, had to come to the square next to the municipal building. When everyone arrived for roll call, the elderly men and women, as well as the children, were told to go home. The rest of the men were taken to the train station, and herded into a house which belonged to the Jew Fridman. The same day all the Jews from the nearby town of Namakshtsiai were brought to Fridman’s house. The Jewish men were detained at Fridman’s house for three days, until Thursday, working at the railroad station. Peshe Icikovits was working at the railroad station then, and she saw how the Jewish men were being tortured:

The men had to run very quickly to and from work. Those who stopped were viciously whipped. Next to Fridman’s house there was a dirty swamp. The Lithuanian murderers forced the Jews to strip naked and go into the swamp. Lithuanians from town stood by, enjoying the scene.

Throughout the day, a Wednesday, the Jews dug pits behind the railroad station. Peshe watched the Jewish men calmly digging the pits. They did not know that they were digging their own graves, while they were digging the graves, they were guarded by the same Lithuanians who took them to work. On Thursday morning, the women went to work, just like every other day. Peshe went to work that day as well.

At 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, a car drove up to Fridman’s house, and three Germans got out. Peshe saw all the men being driven out of Fridman’s house, and policemen forcing them to sit down on the ground. All the men had to take off their boots, shoes and jackets. They were left in their shirts and pants, with bare feet. After that, they were lined up in rows of three and taken past the station. After the men were taken from Fridman’s house, all the Jewish women who worked near the station were taken into the house. A guard was immediately posted next to the house. A short time later, automatic fire was heard coming from the area where the pits had been dug the previous day, Wednesday. All the women in the house understood then that the men who had been taken away had been shot. With tear-filled eyes the women saw through the window that Lithuanian civilians were running to Fridman’s courtyard, and quickly snatching up the shoes, boots and jackets of the murdered, men. The murderers watched as their brothers from the countryside “wagged their tails” with joy at inheriting the Jews’ clothing.

Peshe remembers only some of the local Lithuanians who took part in the murder of the Jewish men. Among them were Felius Teretska, Stepas Teretska, Norushas, Adamas Radavitsius, Petras Radavitsius, Shidlauskas, Petras Gruzhinskas, Bronius Pavilauskas, and Karys.

In town all of the mothers and other women knew that the men had been shot. The women still had to go to work every day.

Before the men were shot, the Lithuanian murderers announced in town that all of the elderly and sickly men were to sleep in the synagogue. The elderly and sick men spent one night in the synagogue.

In the morning they were taken to the railroad station, where they were herded into Fridman’s house. The elderly and sick men were shot together with the rest of the men.

After the men were shot, Peshe spent another week in town, and then she went to a peasant friend in the countryside, with whom she stayed until the end of the war.

Before she left town and went to the countryside, people in town began saying that the women and children were to be taken from town. Peshe’s mother pleaded with her and her sister Brayne to go to the countryside. Brayne was older, and didn’t want to leave their mother alone. Their father Moyshe had been shot together with the rest of the men near the railroad station.

Hirshl relates:

When all the Jewish men were brought to Fridman’s house, the men from the town of Nemakshtsiai, seven kilometers from town and four kilometers from the station, were brought to the Vidukle railroad station. In all, roughly three hundred men were packed into Fridman’s house and were kept there for just three days. At work they were tormented in various ways. The Lithuanian murderers forced the Jews to perform various calisthenics, such as ordering them to run and fall down. At night the Jewish men were not allowed to rest. They had to stand next to each other all night. The next day they were again taken to work. They were not given any food, nor were they allowed to bring anything from home. The situation for the men in the house was so bad that they all pleaded for death. Among the men in the house was this witness’ father, Khayem-Ber. Their father sent one letter to his wife and children, in which he gave them some idea of the Gehennom at that house.

On Thursday, July 24, 1941 (the 29th of Tammuz), everyone was forced to strip and then shot next to the station. On Thursday, while the men were still being shot, the murderers announced to the women in town that they would bring their men food. When the women arrived at a spot not far from the station, they were not permitted to continue. The women heard shooting, and understood the tragic fate of their fathers and husbands.

Women and Children Shot at the Jewish Cemetery

Several days after the men were shot it was announced to the women and children that they had to move into three houses in the area of the synagogue. They were permitted to take along whatever they wanted. The women and children lived in the three houses for about a month. The younger women were taken to do various tasks. The women fed themselves. There was no especially heavy guard. Peasants from the countryside brought the women food for sale, and bought various items from the women.

During the first weeks of the war, a group of young people had been taken from the town to Raseiniai. They were accused of Communism. The men died in Raseiniai prison. The women were released, and they came to the three houses near the synagogue yard.

On the evening of Thursday, the 28th of Av (August 21, 1941), a Lithuanian policeman came and announced that the next day, Friday, no one had to go to work, and that no one should go out of the houses. The murderer explained that those without adequate means would be registered, so that there would be a record of those who needed assistance for the winter. The majority of the Jews sat and waited to see what news the morrow would bring.

On Thursday night and Friday morning, the women noticed that Lithuanian murderers were keeping a tight watch around the houses. It was too late to escape. The women and their children were driven out of the three houses and into the synagogue. Armed Lithuanians stood around the houses, preventing anyone from going outside. The panic of the women and children in the synagogue was terrible. Everyone wept and screamed. Everyone was looking for a way to escape. Women opened the ark of the Torah, pleading with the Jewish God for mercy. The Lithuanian bandits only laughed at this.

Osher Icikovits, the tanner, was still living freely in town and working at his trade. That Friday he and his family were also brought into the synagogue. He was the only man among the women and children, who were maddened with terror.

A Lithuanian policeman entered the synagogue, and checked everyone’s name off on a list to make sure everyone was present at the synagogue. Meanwhile, he calmly asked who needed assistance for the winter. But the women understood clearly what was happening. Unfortunately it was too late, and there was nothing they could do.

A group of Lithuanians from town walked past the windows of the synagogue to the Jewish cemetery carrying spades, the women understood that graves were being dug for them. A Lithuanian policeman with whom Osher Icikovits was quite friendly came into the synagogue and told him that the situation of the woman and children was quite serious. But the policeman did not try to save Osher. The women saw the peasants returning from the Jewish cemetery with their spades.

Hirsh turned to his mother, pleading with her that they should try to escape, Hirsh’s mother Rokhel-Gite refused. Hirsh’s sisters Dvoyre-Ite and Tobe-Rivke and his younger brother Moyshe were with them as well. Of course, their mother Rokhel-Gite couldn’t leave her other children. It was impossible for them to escape together. Hirsh slipped out through the window. He managed to escape from the synagogue. Hirsh survived countless threats to his life from the Lithuanian murderers who were guarding the synagogue, and eventually he managed to escape town and get into the countryside.

That same Friday, August 22, 1941 (the 29th of Av), all of the women and children were taken away from the synagogue to the Jewish cemetery, where they were all shot.

Dozens of local Lithuanians, and also Lithuanians from nearby villages, took active part in the slaughter of the Jews of Vidukle.

Hirsh remembers the following last names of Lithuanian men who took active part in robbing the Jews in town, and who later actively participated in the slaughter of the men, women and children of the town: Adomas Radavitsius (the warden of the prison under President Smetona), Petras Radavitsius, Feliksas Teretska, Steponas Teretska, Kazlauskas (a son and a father), Grushinskis (a merchant), Anton Kazrlauskas, and others whose last names Hirsh does not remember.

Hirsh survived various dangers, until he managed to reach a village three kilometers from town. He went to the home of the peasant Petrartis, a friend of Hirshl’s parents. Hirsh stayed with that peasant from Friday until Sunday morning (for two full days). A peasant from town named Domarkas knew where Hirshl was. Domarkas took Hirshl to an uncle in Shavl. Hirsh was in the Shavl ghetto for three years. Then he was at Stutthof, Germany, and finally at Dachau Camp Ten. From Camp Ten, he and other Jews were taken to the Tirol. On the way they were liberated by the American army.

Peshe relates;

Two weeks after she left town, Peshe received a letter from a cousin of hers named Rivke Hirshovitsh. Rivke wrote that all the women and children had been shot next to the Jewish cemetery. Rivke had run away from her house several days before the women were shot. Rivkes sister Gite, aged 17, escaped with her. Unfortunately, however, Gite stayed with her mother on the night the women and children were taken to the synagogue.

Immediately after the men were shot, the women and children were taken to three houses next to the synagogue. One night before they were taken to be shot, the women and children were driven into the synagogue. Only one boy, Hirsh Hirshovits, escaped from the synagogue. All the women and children were taken to the Jewish cemetery in automobiles and shot.

After the war Peshe returned to town. She found her cousin Rivke Hirshovitsh. The two.of them went to the Jewish cemetery where the women had been shot. At the cemetery there is one long pit, in which all the women and children are buried. There is no fence. The peasants walk on the grave. The cemetery is wrecked, the gravestones are scattered. Some of the peasants used gravestones taken from the Jewish cemetery as the foundations of houses.

A peasant woman named Ona Butvinate, who lived near the cemetery, described the murder of the women and children. She related that the women and children who had been brought to the cemetery were forced to strip stark naked, and then they were herded toward the pit. Most of the children were thrown into the pit alive. The peasant woman lives right next to the cemetery, and clearly heard the screams of the women and small children.

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:
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