This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Testimony of Vytautas Petkevicius, author and member of the Lithuanian Seimas (published in “Uzrase Sud” Vilnius, June 2001)
“What I saw that day in the Lietukis garage yard will be ingrained in my memory for as long as I live. Can you imagine what it must have been like for a child to witness people being brutally murdered in broad daylight? It was a gruesome spectacle. I was twelve at the time and had just got off the ferry that had brought my schoolmate Ricardas Pakulis and me from the district where we lived on the banks of the Nemunas River (I lived in the Freda neighborhood). We reached Vytautas Prospektas at eleven o’clock sharp and headed for the Lieutakis office building where company employees were queuing to receive two free loaves of bread each (the father of one of my friends worked as a truck driver for Lieutakis).
“We couldn’t find Ricardas’ father so went downstairs to the garage. The parking spaces in the yard were empty as the Russians took all the trucks with them when they fled Kovna. The adjacent Defense Ministry offices were also empty and were eventually used to house Lithuanian members of the “White Armband” patrols. We could not find Ricardas’ father there either but we hung around to see what all the commotion was about. As we stood there a number of Lithuanians began to grab Jews of the street at random and drag them into the center of the yard.
“At around one in the afternoon after several dozen Jews had been assembled in the yard, the Lithuanians set upon them with clubs and iron bars. They battered them until they were senseless and then, as the victims lay prostrate on the ground they set upon them with hosepipes (usually used to wash cars) which they forced up their rectums and then turned the water on and left it on until the victims’ bowels burst under the pressure. I stood at the side of the yard and watched it all together with my friend Ricardas. I will never forget what I saw for as long as I live.
“Just then the headmaster of school passed by. Upon noticing us standing there he approached and slapping us sharply on our faces he shouted: “what do you think you’re doing here? Clear off at once!!” We didn’t see anybody in uniform, neither among the murderers nor victims. I recognized one of the killers, he was a neighbor of ours named Zigmas Juodis. There were a few other familiar faces there as well but I cannot remember their names.
“After a while, a member of the White Armband patrol showed up and announced that the “members of the Klimaitis group (who carried out the pogrom at Slabodka on June 25) should now leave the area as they are needed for another job elsewhere.” A number of Lithuanians then left the scene while the rest carried on with their “work.” They were all under the command of the L.A.F. (“Lithuanian Activist Front”) Chief
of Staff Alexandras Bendinskas (who later became a member of the Seimas following the declaration of independence).”
michael mills wrote:The boastful claims made by Stahlecker in his reports back to his superiors are essentially irrelevant to the dynamics of the ethnic conflict between Lithuanians and Jews.
If Jonathan Harrison is interested in finding out about such dynamics, then I recommend to him the book "The Final solution : origins and implementation", edited by David Cesarani ( London ; New York : Routledge, 1994), which contains an essay on the Holocaust in Lithuania by Dina Porat.
Ms Porat directly addresses the issue of why Lithuanian nationalists collaborated so enthusiastically in the physical destruction of Lithuania's Jewish minority, and concludes that there was a genuine clash of interests between ethnic Lithuanians and Jews, the former seeing the Soviet occupation as the crushing of their national aspirations and the latter welcoming it as rescue from the possibility of German rule.
That conflict existed independently of the German Government's own attitude toward Jews, although of course the German occupiers of Lithuania instrumentalised it for their own purposes, just as they instrumentalised the pre-existing ethnic hostility between Jews and other nationalities elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
Again, this fails to address Stahlecker's assertion that "To our surprise it was not easy at first to set any large-scale anti-Jewish pogrom in motion there."
In the few days between the beginning of the Soviet pullout and the arrival of the German advance guard, Lithuanian nationalists and mobs of civilians began to attack persons linked to the Soviet regime who had not managed to get away.
Klimatis, the leader of the partisan group referred to above, who was the first to be recruited for this purpose, succeeded in starting a pogrom with the aid of instructions given him by a small advance detachment operating in Kovno, in such a way that no German orders or instructions could be observed by outsiders.
Lithuanian jews again. Are they the only ones in the whole world that knows anything on the subject?
Grellber wrote:Jonathan. I followed your link and ended up with:
This is the html version of the file http://www.lithuanianjews.org.il/media/ ... etukis.doc.
Lithuanian Jews again. Are they the only ones in the whole world that knows anything on the subject?
I suggest to Jonathan Harrison that he read through this thread:
In it the question of Stahlecker's claims in relation to the period immediately after the Soviet retreat from Lithuania is canvassed in detail, including a large amount of information from the book "Bitter Harvest". The information from that book shows that Lithuanian nationalist activists were acting on their own initiative in the interim period before the establishment of firm German control.
Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 5 guests