Museum of Genocide Victims

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I visited this place in 2012. I’d just like to point out that in Vilnius, along with many other places in the Baltics, they tend to emphasize the admittedly heinous post-WWII Soviet depredations upon native Lithuanians, Latvians, etc., but to minimize or even ignore the earlier, much larger, and savage Nazi massacre of tens of thousands of Jews. This building was used by the Nazis before the KGB was even a thing, to perform the same types of imprisonment and torture on Jewish people. If you’re interested, my blog has an entry on it… The Eff-Stop: Museum of Genocide Victims, Vilnius

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Three things must be noted. First of all only a relatively small portion of the Lithuanian population participated in any atrocities and, secondly, fully 50% of the Lithuanian communist party was Jewish. These USSR conspirators sent many innocent Lithuanians to their deaths before the German invasion. It is understandable that there would be extreme resentment although, again, many innocent people got caught up in the violence and were killed just because they were Jewish and nothing else. Finally, Western powers have given exhaustive coverage to the Holocaust but precious little attention to the horrors suffered by the non-Jewish Eastern Europeans. Many more of these were killed by Stalin than Jews by Hitler and yet this is, effectively, ignored!

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Vilnius is well-known for being a multi-cultural city. It’s a home for many nations and religions for hundreds of years. Tragedies that happened throughout the XX century showed that in every society, no matter how tolerant it is, there always are some frightened people, who make some terrible decisions. However, I’ve heard many stories on how a lot of Lithuanian people managed to remain noble, emphatic and did a lot to save Jewish people. Even now, more and more notable Lithuanian persons – e. g. well-known writer Marius Ivaškevičius – raise their voice and try hard to emphasize the tragedy of Jews.

By the way, the Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius is really a good, educational place. I would like to recommend you some other, really interesting and cool sights you can find in Vilnius. Enjoy!