EVENTS FOR THE SEVENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIQUIDATION OF THE KAUNAS GETTHO

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The importance of Kaunas ghetto and the abundance of the Jewish community were only outmatched by Vilnius. The construction started on the 10th of July 1941, when the order instructing the Jews to move to Vilijampolė by the 15th of August was issued. The territory designated for Jews got separated from the city. On the 15th of August, the ghetto‘s space was fenced with barbed wire and all of the communications with the outside world been cut off. About 30 thousand Jews found themselves trapped at Kaunas ghetto. The lives of prisoners were continually constrained by various Nazi prohibitions and demands. They were killed separately and in groups, with mass massacres often called the Great Action. Ultimately, in autumn 1943, the Kaunas ghetto was transformed into a concentration camp with 8 thousand people still living there.

The story of Kaunas ghetto ended in July 1944. On the 8th -13th of July 1944, the Kaunas ghetto was liquidated: buildings were burnt down, 6-7 thousand of Jews moved to German concentration camps (Dachau, Stutthof, etc.), around a thousand of Jews were killed, and only about 300-400 of prisoners managed to escape. Only a few hundred Jews from Kaunas survived till the end of the war at Nazi concentration camps.

PROGRAM

June 29

12 pm (noon) Free excursion „Vilties balsai“  ("Voices of Hope") at Kaunas City Museum, M. and K. Petrauskai Department (K. Petrausko st. 31). Must register in advance tel. (8 37) 731 184 or e-mail mkp.kasa@kaunomuziejus.lt.

July 11

6 pm Film “Gitel” evening (directed by Robert Mullan, 2016) at Kaunas Public Library of Vincas Kudirka, Branch of Youth, Art and Music (A. Mapų st. 18).

7 pm Thematic Excursion „Holokaustas Lietuvoje“ ("Holocaust in Lithuania") at Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum (Žemaičių pl. 73).

8 pm Review and discussion of the film „Velnio aritmetika“  (“Devil's Arithmetic”) (directed by Donna Deitch, 1999) at Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum (Žemaičių pl. 73).

July 12

5 pm Free excursion „Vilties balsai“  ("Voices of Hope") at Kaunas City Museum, M. and K. Petrauskai Department (K. Petrauskas st. 31). Must register in advance tel. (8 37) 731 184 or e-mail mkp.kasa@kaunomuziejus.lt.

July 13

12 pm (noon) Free excursion „Vilties balsai“  ("Voices of Hope") at Kaunas City Museum, M. and K. Petrauskai Department (K. Petrauskas st. 31). Must register in advance tel. (8 37) 731 184 or e-mail mkp.kasa@kaunomuziejus.lt.

7 pm Documentary film (Hebrew) „Mėlynasis koncertas“ ("Blue Concert") (producer and editor-in-chief Ronen Peled Hadad) "Best Baltic Hotel Kaunas" (A. Mickevičiaus st. 28).

July 14

9.30 am Honouring of the Holocaust Victims at Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum (Žemaičių pl. 73).

12 pm (noon) Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the Liquidation of the Kaunas Ghetto beside the monumental stone of the gates of the Kaunas Ghetto (A. Krščiukaičio st. 21/ Linkuvos st. 2).

1 pm Excursion around the former territory of the Kaunas Ghetto and the unveiling of the newly built stelas (gates of the Kaunas ghetto – Demokratų square).

3 pm Opening of the Antanas Sutkus photography exhibition "Pro Memoria" at the M. Žilinskas Art Gallery of the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, 3a. (Nepriklausomybės square 12).

5 pm Concert dedicated to the commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the Liquidation of the Kaunas Ghetto at the Kaunas State Philharmonic (E. Ožeškienės st. 12). Participants: the Kiryat Ono Youth Concert Band (Israel), St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Rafailas Karpis (tenor).

 

Organizers: Kaunas Jewish Community, Kaunas City Municipality, Lithuanian Jewish Community, Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum, Kaunas City Museum, Kaunas Municipal Vincas Kudirka Public Library, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art.

May Kaunas City always remain the symbol of Lithuanian strength. 07/03/98

Former President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus

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