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.
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 Khane’s words…….
THE SLAUGHTER OF JEWS IN THE LITHUANIAN COUNTY SEAT TELZH (TELSHIAI)
Eyewitness testimony of Khane Pelts. Her father’s name was Gedalye Pelts. She lived with her family in Telzh until the Jews were completely annihilated.
Eyewitness Testimony of Khane Pelts
In one group were the town rabbi, Rabbi Yitshok Bloch, his brother Reb Zalmen Bloch, Rabbi Azriel Rabinovitz, Rabbi Pinchas Elfand and several other pious Jews with long beards. Together with them were many students of the yeshiva. It was told that at the grave Rabbi Zalmen Bloch gave a speech to the Jews, telling them that they should die proudly for the glory of God’s name, repenting for the sins which the Jewish people had committed over the course of many years. Yitshok (Iske) Bloch (not a relative) also made a final speech. He was a Revisionist. He said to the murderers: “You are sprinkling the trees with our blood, and the floors will be washed with your blood in revenge.” Iske Bloch was sliced into pieces with knives. The rabbis‘ beards were torn out along with pieces of flesh, and then they were shot.
When one of the last groups was led off to be shot, among them was Gedalye Peltz, the father of Khane Pelts; the shipping clerk of Telzh, Avrom Levit; Khayem Yazgur; Nokhum Rostovsky; Zeydl Levin; Shakhne Rudman; Sheykhet Berkman; Tevye Leybzon; Shmuel Pelts, a brother of Gedalye Pelts; Merkin, a Hasid from Leipzig; the two brothers Yoselevsky; Zale Ordman; and others.
At the precise moment when they were already in their underwear and were supposed to go to the pit, powerful storm winds suddenly sprang up. Thunder and lightning began, and the Lithuanian murderers remembered God. The rain cooled them down. They ordered the men to put back on their underwear, and brought them back into the barracks. Fate decreed that these Jews who returned would be able to tell the world all of the terror and all of the brutality that took place during the annihilation of the Jews of Telzh. They didn’t walk into the barracks; they fell in. None of them looked like he had before, like a person.
All of them were grey and half insane. Their relatives were joyful and simultaneously frightened. Dark clouds of animality were reflected in the terrified eyes of the men who had come back, and in the eyes of their families, wives, mothers and children. Gedalye Pelts told his wife and two daughters that he had seen his son being shot. He added that he was content that his son Fayvl had been hit by a bullet, and that Fayvl had immediately fallen dead into the pit. Leybzon recounted that he had had to bury his son alive. His son Berl, a fellow student of Khane’s had begged his father: “Papa! What are you doing? I’m only wounded!” Yet the father had had to bury his son alive. Zeydl Levin recounted that he had had to shovel dirt over his still-living father. Gedalye Pelts’ group returned to the barracks, and was able to recount everything. Gedalye’s group of men had to bury those who were shot from a group before them.
Buckets of water poured outside. The flood from Heaven continued for some three hours. The thunder and lightning was awesome. “The Heavens interceded,” the pious men said among themselves. The Lithuanian guards had real misgivings at that moment.
The men who had returned told of everything they had seen at the pits, and sat like lumps of clay, like congealed stone statues. The storm and rain continued thus for three hours. Gedalye’s group of men was fated to live for three more hours. These three hours were the most terrifying the men had faced in their lives. They all sighed, moaned and tore the hair from their heads. Yet it was impossible to run.
There was a heavy guard outside. In addition, all of them were physically exhausted. All of them had broken bones and torn muscles. None of them would have been physically capable of running away, even if it were possible. The rains came to an end. The skies cleared up, and the murderers appeared once again. They took the men who had returned from the pit back there once again, and shot them all.
Shmuel Pelts and a few other Jews who had returned from the pit temporarily, survived by hiding in the hay in the barrack. In fact, they all later recounted in more detail what they had lived through by the pits. It is also interesting that during the heavy rain, a bolt of lightning struck the barrack and caused a beam to collapse. But no one was hurt. This was on July 15, 1941. On that day almost all the men of Telzh and other towns near Telzh were shot. That day some 5,000 men were shot.
There were two Jews who were stabbed at the edge of the forest: Yakov Dambe and one other. In one group there were two boys, named Berl Vaynes and Avrom Desyatnik. While the group of Jews were slaughtered, two Germans were also present. Berl Vaynes and Avrom Desyatnik were still young, small boys. They managed to convince the Germans that they shouldn’t be shot, because they were still young and didn’t know anything. The Germans ordered them to get their clothes back on and run into the barracks. They recounted that everyone had been ordered to strip to his underwear and stand next to the pit, where everyone was shot. Avrom Desyatnik survived. He recounted that the Lithuanians wanted either to stab the men with knives, or cut their throats. The Germans were “humanitarians,“ and did not permit this. After the men were liquidated, a German came back into the barrack with a bloody knife. Waving the knife around, he announced that the men had to be shot, because they were all Communists. He promised to let the women and children live, and to establish a ghetto for them.
Testimony of Malka Gilis
Many Jewish men and their families were in the villages, where they worked for the peasants.
During the night from Tuesday, July 15 1941 to Wednesday, July 16, some of the men and their families were brought on wagons from the villages straight to the Rainiai compound near the barns. The murderers gave the new arrivals an order to disappear into the barns in the space of five minutes. Everyone left his packages in the wagons and fell into the barns half-dead.
On Wednesday morning, July 16, 1941 men only were brought from the villages. Everyone came on foot. They were conducted past the camp. The doors of the barns were open. Malke Gilis saw the Lithuanian murderers tearing boards and poles from a porch and using them to beat the Jews on their heads, sides and all over their bodies as they passed by. After that all of the newly-arrived men went bloody, limping, with broken ribs and bones, directly to the pit in the Rainiai forest, where they were immediately shot.
On the same Wednesday morning the Lithuanian partisans drove out of the barns all the men who had come from the countryside on the night of Tuesday, July 15-16, 1941. In all there were about 25 men. They were all given spades and led off to the graves. The men had absolutely no desire to live anymore. They all wanted to die as quickly and easily as possible. That same Wednesday morning the 25 men were brought to the pits and forced to fill them with dirt over the bodies of dead men. After they had done so, they were shot at the same pit. After the shootings the murderers poured lime over the dead bodies as well as on the wounded who screamed in pain.
After the graves were covered over, the last group of men were forced to dig a pit for themselves, and they too were shot. That same Wednesday evening a Jew named Garb from Alsedzhiai, who had worked distributing Russian passports during the period from 1940 to 1941, was killed by the Lithuanian murderers with poles and boards next to the outhouse, not far from the barns. The Jew lay dead next to the outhouse.
On Thursday, July 17 Germans and partisans riding motorcycles arrived at the barns. They demanded that the women hand over money, gold, silver and other valuables. Everything had to be piled up at the doorway to the barn. Malke had a bundle of 17,000 roubles. She hid it under the doorway to the barns. The Germans took the money, gold and silver and left. They did not find Malke’s money. Malke later took it and burned it.
Immediately afterward came two German SS men and partisans. The Germans had knives in their hands and ordered the women to hand over all their wallets, leather shoes, boots, fur coats, and so forth. The women handed these things over as well. One of the SS stood with a long knife in his hand and gave a speech to the women. He said: “Nothing will happen to women and children. But you will never see your men again.” The women became utterly hopeless at the dreadful news about the death of their husbands, fathers and children.
On Thursday, July 17, 1941 the possessions of the men who had been shot were brought from the pits and laid out next to the camp command post, in the building owned by Kipras Petrauskas. The Lithuanian murderers ordered the women to go identify and take the possessions of their murdered fathers and husbands. The women ran out. Then their great wailing began. Women recognized possessions of their husbands and fathers. They found photographs of themselves, of their children. They recognized the overclothes. Everything struck blows into their terrified hearts. The women took everything to their places in the barn as mementos.
The Lithuanian murderers divided the better things among themselves right at the grave, after shooting the men. They brought the worst things back for the unfortunate wives and mothers so that they, the murderers, could see how women weep and scream at the cloudy sky and the Jewish God. The murderers wanted to demonstrate to the women that they had no reason to think about their men. It was a special sadistic tactic to amuse their murderous minds.
Every day and night the women had to withstand much trouble and various torments at the hands of the Lithuanian murderers. They would sneak in among the women at night, frightening and waking them. There were many cases of rape then. The murderers who had earlier murdered the husbands enjoyed themselves immensely as they raped the women.
Every night while the women lay asleep they would appear with knives in their hands. They would shine flashlights in their faces, frighten them and order them to come along.
On the morning of Friday, July, 18 Malke, her mother Sheva Rabinovitz and Lea Kopel went off to the pits in the Rainiai forest. They risked death for doing so. There was no close guard over the barns by this time. Only the drinking water, which was very hard to obtain, was guarded. The murderers had to have it for their personal use. When the women arrived in the forest they saw three pits, one next, to the other. Phylacteries, prayer shawls, hats and bits of brain were scattered around the edge of the graves. Passports, documents, photographs and so on were also scattered around.
As Malke relates, blood seethed over the largest pit. The pit looked like it was spitting blood. (Presumably owing to the still-active lime – L.K.)
Malke fainted at the pit. Miss Shapiro, a doctor at the Rainiai compound, came and revived Malke. The pits were no more than 100 meters from the barns. Malke came back to the camp barely alive and related everything to the rest of the women. The tragedy was terrible. Young women and mothers mourned for their near and dear ones with heart-rending cries and weeping.
There was also bitter hunger in the camp at that time. The women received nothing to eat, neither for themselves nor for the children.
To be continued…..