The Holocaust Exposition recounts the culture and history of the once abundant Lithuanian Jews, from their arrival in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to their tragic death during the Holocaust.
The first phase of the Holocaust in Lithuania took place in the summer and autumn of 1941, when about 77,000 Jews were killed and the number of Jews in major cities such as Vilnius, Kaunas and Šiauliai, decreased significantly.
The ghetto period started in the autumn of 1941, and Jews living in them were gradually exterminated.
In the summer of 1944, the Germans retreating from Lithuania brought the last Jews living in ghettos with them – most of who died in concentration camps in Germany, Estonia, and Poland. There were a handful of those in Lithuania who survived by hiding in ghetto basements or with the help of others who risked their lives to extend a helping hand.
One of the aims and biggest desires of the exhibition is to reach the younger generation of Lithuania and open up discussions and opportunities for co-operation. What is the Holocaust? Is it possible to feel the pain suffered many years ago? What did it mean to be a Jew in 1941-1944? These are painful, challenging issues that the exhibition hopes to start dialogues on.
Litvak Civilization – a lost world that witnessed Vilnius being known as the Jerusalem of the north, and where Litvaks lived in almost every village, town and city in the country. The nation that gave Lithuania and the world landscape artist Isaac Levitan, violinist Jascha Heifetz, artist Chaim Suotine, sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, pediatrician Zemach Shabad, and many more, lost about 94% of their people during World War II.
On 22 June 1941, when Nazi German troops entered the territory of Lithuania, about 240,000 Jews lived in the country. After the war, about 10,000 of the country’s Jews were left. About 94% of Lithuanian Jews were buried in Paneriai close to Vilnius, in the ninth fort of Kaunas, in pits near their native homes, in forests or in Jewish cemetery. They were often killed by their neighbours, sometimes even by a classmate or co-worker.
Closed during national holidays
€1.50 pupils, students, pensioners
€5 double ticket for the Tolerance Center and the Holocaust Exhibition