The Great Vilnius Ghetto existed from 6 September 1941, to 19 September 1943, within the boundaries of Lida, Rūdninkai, Mėsiniai, Ashmyany, Žemaitija, Dysna, Šiauliai and Ligoninė Streets. There were about 29,000 Jews living in it; most of them were murdered in Paneriai. The house located on Rūdnininkų Street 18 marks the place where the main entrance to the ghetto was – this place is marked with a memorial plaque with the ghetto’s layout. The quarter of Ašmenos, Dysnos and Mėsinių Streets was the first reconstructed site of Old Vilnius. Currently, the Jewish Cultural and Information Centre is located here.
In 1921-1951, Žemaitija Street was called Mattityahu Strashun Street. Books from the M. Strašunas collection laid the foundation for the greatest library of Judaism in Europe, created in Vilnius in 1892. The library was destroyed along with the Great Synagogue. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the Vilnius ghetto liquidation day, September 23, became the day of the Jewish Genocide in Lithuania.