University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Memorial to Murdered Jews of Lithuania

Photos of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Lithuania at Ponar (Panieri Woods), outside of Vilnus, Lithuania. Taken by Stephen Feinstein, September 23, 2002, Memorial Day for the ending of the Vilna Ghetto and destruction of the Jews. At this ceremony, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus  spoke, as well as diplomatic representatives and officials from the Lithuanian Jewish Community, which now numbers 4000.

Recognition of specific Jewish losses during World War II has been slowly recognized since Lithuania re-established it's independence in 1991.  More recent historical investigations through newly released documents have proven Lithuanian complicity with the Germans in the annihilation of Lithuanian Jews. At the end of the 19th Century, half of the population of Vilna (Vilnius) was Jewish and it was affectionately called "The Jerusalem of Lithuania."

Entrance to Panieri Memorials outside Vilnius

Honor Guard of Lithuanian Army laying wreath at Jewish Memorial

Emmualis Zingeris, Community leader in Vilnius giving speech about the significance of the Memorial and september 23 as a memorial day.

Community leader from Vilnius

Journalists cover the wreath laying by Lithuanian Army Honor Guard.

Group of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in Lithuania gather during memorial ceremony.

Honor Guard and Children's Choir from Jewish Day School in Vilnius sang the "Song of the Partisans" in Yiddish.

Survivors laying wreath at Memorial

Lithuanian Jewish Survivors.

Lighting of Memorial Candles during Ceremony.

Original Soviet built memorial to the Soviet Victims in the Panieri Woods. Soviet ideology considered all victims "Soviet citizens" without reference to German race considerations in the genocide of the Jews.

One of the many execution pits in Panieri.

Execution site of Jews and Soviet soldiers, with memorial stone. "Hitlerite forces Used this site as a mass grave for corpses."

Another mass grave with same inscription.

Stone with inscription: "In this eight meter deep pit, the Hitlerite Invaders brought those who were rounded up, burned their corpses and  disposed of their bones."

Recently built memorial for non-Jews killed in Panieri.

For other monuments see: