What really happened at the Lietukis garage, 25 June 1941?

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Grellber
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Post by Grellber » 12 Jan 2008 13:11

David Thompson wrote:Grellber -- You remarked:
Lithuanian jews again. Are they the only ones in the whole world that knows anything on the subject?

Given what happened to them, they're probably the ones who have the greatest interest in the subject. You might try asking the Lithuanian government for information if you're dissatisfied.



I agree. But it is a pity, that the credibility of "the only source" (Website) is questioned. (At least by myself).
As I´ve stated earlier on this forum such is the perfect soil for extreme revisionists and others why history is at risk of becoming even more distorted. I do not want that to happen. I want to understand.
Last edited by Grellber on 13 Jan 2008 16:52, edited 1 time in total.

Grellber
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Post by Grellber » 12 Jan 2008 13:46

OK, "Lit". I just ordered the DVD (Quite an excercise doing it in the Lithuanian language but I think it worked). I´ll let you all know if it adds avalue to this topic. By the way "Lit", who is behind the production of this DVD?

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Lit.
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Post by Lit. » 12 Jan 2008 14:45

Grellber wrote:OK, "Lit". I just ordered the DVD (Quite an excercise doing it in the Lithuanian language but I think it worked). I´ll let you all know if it adds avalue to this topic. By the way "Lit", who is behind the production of this DVD?


There are two main persons: Dr. Arvydas Anusauskas (Assoc. Prof., Vilnius University, Director of Genocide and Resistance Research Department) and Grazina Sviderskyte - a Lithuanian newscaster and author, currently working on documentary films.

Grazina Sviderskyte:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gra%C5%BEi ... skyt%C4%97

http://www.fotokronika.lt/fotografija/l ... skyt%C4%97

Arvydas Anusauskas:

http://www.pliadisfoto.lt/galerija/main ... temId=2906

Both:

http://www.pliadisfoto.lt/galerija/main ... temId=2904

Jonathan Harrison
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Bitter Legacy

Post by Jonathan Harrison » 12 Jan 2008 22:22

Michael, to refute Stahlecker's words, you have to show that Lithuanians instigated the pogroms before ANY German advance guard arrived in the region. The burden of proof thus lies with you to supply a date when the advance guard arrived. Stahlecker clearly states (see above) that it arrived before the actions started. You have to refute that.

Quotes from Jewish victims in "Bitter Legacy" don't do that, for the obvious reason that (as Stahlecker again stated) the German involvement was covert. It seems to me that Stahlecker is clearly the one and only source who we can rely on for this info: only he (among the sources we have) was really "in the know" about this question.

I believe you need a stronger reason for dismissing his words than simply an unsupported assumption that he was lying in order to cover up an alleged lack of control over events.

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Post by David Thompson » 12 Jan 2008 23:52

Grellber -- You wrote:
David Thompson wrote:
Grellber -- You remarked:
Lithuanian jews again. Are they the only ones in the whole world that knows anything on the subject?

Given what happened to them, they're probably the ones who have the greatest interest in the subject. You might try asking the Lithuanian government for information if you're dissatisfied.

I agree. But it is a pity, that the credibility of "the only" source is questioned. (At least by myself).
As I´ve stated earlier on this forum such is the perfect soil for extreme revisionists and others why history is at risk of becoming even more distorted. I do not want that to happen.

If you have fact-based problems with historical interpretations, feel free to raise them. If your problems are based solely on the ethnicity of the historian, leave them at home and don't bring them up here.

Grellber
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Post by Grellber » 13 Jan 2008 10:53

Grellber wrote:Hmmm...
The documents at the following link also deals with the Garage-incident:
http://lithuanianjews.org.il/media/uplo ... 20ACTS.doc
A quote from the document refers to both "the garage" and Luksa:
"The pogroms which started in Slabodka spread to the "wealth" sections of Kaunas. On Vitiates Prospectus, groups of L.A.F. "partisans" broke onto the nearby Jewish homes, dragged the residents. Among them several Rabbis, out into the streets and pulled them into the nearby "Lietukis" garage. There were about 60 people brought in. after a significant number of Lithuanian spectators gathered, including mothers with their children, and surrounded the scene, the "partisans" began their bloody orgy. Several Rabbis were pushed and pulled by their beards along the garage floor the hair torn out together with the flesh from their blood-stained faces. The decisive moment of the "show" approached. All the victims had to take off their shoes and were led barefooted to a light-haired, blue-eyed man standing nearby (Juozas Loksas). He held a big iron crow-bar in his hands. One by one, the victims had to approach his iron bar down on the victim's head who fell bleeding. After each blow the crowd applauded and shouted "valio" (hurray!). If a victim was not finished by the blow, the other "partisans" rushed to put a rubber hose in his mouth and sprayed water until his intestines burst. Then, another cheer from the crowd followed Limbs, severed fingers, and torn out tongues floated in pools of blood. After the massacre, the young man put aside the crow-bar, took up an accordion, stood on the bodies of the murdered people, and from his vantage point on a pile of corpses began to play the Lithuanian national anthem joined by the cheerful crowd.

etc..etc...Mass murderers like Impulevicius Norkus, Klimaitis, Simkus, Luksa Vitkauskas, Zemaitys-Vytautas, Misiunas and thousands of others, most of massacre Jews even before the Nazi "Einastzgruppen" entered Lithuania They continued their vicious actions on the whole Lithuanian Jewry. Most of these murderers also continued to murder myriads of Jews outside the borders of Lithuania".


NO! I do not base any opinion on ethnicity. Just concluding that there is non-correct info at the mentioned site. English is not my native language and If I have expressed myself in a way that has hurt anyone I do humbly apologise.

One additional thing. I have with great interest been taking part of the info on this tharead as well as another tread , also created by mr. Mills:
viewtopic.php?t=76709&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=
From the provided info. I draw the conclusion that the "LAF" was more or less in control of Kaunas from the end of the day June 23 until the Germans took over. Do you guys agree with this?

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Post by michael mills » 14 Jan 2008 02:37

Michael, to refute Stahlecker's words, you have to show that Lithuanians instigated the pogroms before ANY German advance guard arrived in the region. The burden of proof thus lies with you to supply a date when the advance guard arrived. Stahlecker clearly states (see above) that it arrived before the actions started. You have to refute that.



The crucial issue is not the date on which the very first German soldiers arrived in Kaunas, but whether Lithuanian nationalists, particularly the members of the Lithuanian Activist Front, acted independently and without German instigation in the period between 21 and 28 June 1941, in attacking and imprisoning or killing persons whom those nationalists claimed were collaborators with the Soviet regime that had just collapsed.

In my posts, I have relied on the essay "Nazi Policy toward the Jews in the Reichskommissariat Ostland, June-September 1941: From White Terror to Holocaust in Lithuania", by Michael McQueen, in the book "Bitter Legacy : confronting the Holocaust in the USSR" (edited by Zvi Gitelman: Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1997).

McQueen concludes that the killings carried out by Lithuanian nationalists before June 28 were independent actions. He states that by 28 June, the German authorities had put an end to those independent actions and dissolved the Lithuanian nationalist organisations such as the LAF. Thereafter, some of the nationalists were recruited into ppolice units by the German occupiers, who used them to institute a "White Terror", beginning on 4 July.

Readers may wish to disagree with McQueen's thesis, but I suggest they read his essay first.

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Post by Grellber » 02 Feb 2008 14:28

David Thompson wrote:Grellber -- You remarked:
Lithuanian jews again. Are they the only ones in the whole world that knows anything on the subject?

Given what happened to them, they're probably the ones who have the greatest interest in the subject. You might try asking the Lithuanian government for information if you're dissatisfied.


Lithuanian authorities seem really helpful, at least in participating in the "private investigation" conducted by a Lithuanian TV-team (See Lithianian DVD earlier and below in this thread)

Grellber
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Summary

Post by Grellber » 02 Feb 2008 14:38

Tread summary this far:


A summary of stated dates

- Karl Roeder (Report of a Gefreiter/lance-corporal in 562nd Bakers' Company): June 23.

- Alexandras Bendinskas (Lithuanian Activist Front): June 25.
- Wilhelm Gunsilius (Report of a photographer): June 25.


- Colonel L. Von Bischoffshausen (Report of an Oberst): June 27
- Xxxxx (Erich Dedlov? / Lesch?) (Report of a sergeant-major from 562nd Bakers' Company): June 27
- Petras Cepas: June 27, from Website Lithuanian Jews)


-Vytautas Petkevicius: (No date, from Website Lithuanian Jews)
- Leonas Survila (from a deposition taken by the State Attorney’s Office, January 1961) (No
date, from Website Lithuanian Jews)
- Stasys Lekciaskas (No date, from Website Lithuanian Jews)
- Yyyyyyy (Schmeink?) (Report of a further member of 562nd Bakers' Company): (No date)
- Vaclovas Vodzinskas No date.

“Kashner” and “Deterance” has suggested that there might have been more than one incident (25:th and 27:th of June 1941)

Grellber
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A Sumary of the Lithuanian DVD I´ve just watched:

Post by Grellber » 02 Feb 2008 14:39

The DVD box referred to by “Lit” earlier in this thread comprises 4 DVD´s. The entire third DVD is dedicated to a “private and independent investigation of the events in the garage of co-operative union Lietukis”. It is devided into 2 main sections (47:35 + 55:10 minutes).

The entire material refers to events on the 27:th of June, and that date only. The only deviation is a short reference to the “unique” testimony of Alexandras Bendinskas. However they conclude that nobody else supported the version given by Bendinskas. Also, the memory stone at site shown in the film relates to the 27:th only.

The DVD refers to investigations in Germany 1958, By KGB/NKVD 1960-61 and by Kaunas City prececutors office 1994.

Timing:
23/6: Universal revolt
24/6: Stahlecker in Tilsit.
25/6: It is possible that Stahlecker has reached Kaunas.
25/6: Stahlecker meets Lithuanian nationalists at this date or later. Not before. He is supposed to have contacted Algirdas Jonas Klimaitis who was used by the germans as a signal man in connections with the partisans. Among others Klimaitis got contact with Kazys Simkus and Bronius Norkus. (Later, Klimaitis involvement in the garage incident could not be proven by German investigators).
25/6: German troups marches into Kaunas
27/6: Garage incident
27/6: Morning: Burial of perished partisans at Kapinos Cotholic church, close to garage. Released prisoners were sleeping in the Polish high school, close to garage.
27/6: Midday: Jews were taken from the Security department custody to the garage to clean the backyard. They were then tortured half a day and killed.
28/6: The entire EG A unit is now in Kaunas. Formal German control of Kaunas established.

Witnesses referred to:
Alexandras Bendinskas
Alexandras Radzius
Algis Mayulevicius
Antonas Raustis
Erich Dedlov (Chief of 562 Baker company, time of witnessing event approx 14:00)
Jouzas Vasilauskas
Julius Vainalavicius
Stasys Lakaciauskas
Schreiner (With Röder, 562 Bakers company)
Von Bisofhauszen

Suspects referred to:
The investigation concludes that most of the killers were most likely non-locals and therefore not easily identified by others present.
- Algirdas Jonas Klimaitis: His involvement in the garage incident could not be proven by German investigators
- Jonas Dainauskas: Possibly the garage incident was organised by him as the interim head of the re-established Lithuanian Security department. Dainauskas himself has testified that he was instructed by Stahlecker to kill jews. He also testifies that during the night of 24-25/6 Stahlecker and his driver/translator Shweitzer tried to convince him to do that.
Suspects according to KGB investigation 1960-61:
- Algirdas Antanas Pavalskis (Suspect and had worked for both NKVD and Gestapo)
- Josifas Vaitkenevicius (Suspect)
- Pranas Baleniunas (Interrogated only)
In the end, no formal charges were pressed by KGB.
Other names mentioned:
- Edmundas Bzeskis.
- Ignas Stanionis.
- Jurzas Surmas: Later admitted participation and referred to a parson called Richard Shweitzer (Stahleckers translater/driver).
- Pranas Brunonas Matiukas Suspect, also suspect in later Lithuanian investigation.
- Stasys Gailiunas-Gasiunas.
- Vincas Paskevicius.
- Vladas Cizinauskas.
- Vytautas Cekaitis-Caikauskas.

The DVD concludes that several “suspects” ended up in units with close ties to EG A, through Kazys Simkus and Bronius Norkus.

The photos:
17 photos are known, most of them from the Ludvigsburg files in Germany. Regarding 4 of them the photographers are unknown but believed to have been taken by a soldier in 290:th division who perished in Russia. The photos were found in Minsk October Revolution museum. 2 photos are taken by Röder, at 14:00-15:00. 10-11 photos are taken by Gunsilius at about 16:00. (One of them is doubtful). 3 of the photos are taken before the torture and killing started.
The investigation analyses all 17 photos re. time and place with the help of computers. The conclusion is that all are taken at the same place byt from different angles and at different times during the day. Early photos show many german soldiers and later, after 16:00 mainly show civilians. The “Butcher” photos were taken at about 18:00.

-> "Lit": Subtitle is quite bad and I had to press pause every third sedcond to follow and understand. If I´ve got something wrong here, please correct me...

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Post by David Thompson » 02 Feb 2008 15:45

Thanks, Grellber, for that detailed and helpful synopsis.

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Post by Jonathan Harrison » 02 Feb 2008 22:43

Yes, many thanks. However, it is still missing any explanation of Stahlecker's claim that there was an advance guard of SS working covertly in the area:
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.

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Post by Grellber » 02 Feb 2008 23:19

The DVD also refers to witnesess that claim that there were SS officers present at the garage-incident. One person for example described the marks on the unifiorm collar which is identical to SS rank insignia. I do not have an opinion on the validity of theese statements, though. When watching, if felt that the "investigators" really WANTED to find some proof of SS involvement.

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Post by Jonathan Harrison » 04 Feb 2008 03:42

Heydrich met the EG leaders, including Stahlecker, in Berlin on June 17 1941 and informed them that advance commandos would be sent into the USSR to encourage "self-cleansing efforts". He reiterated these instructions by letter on June 29th and July 2nd (see Browning, "Origins of the Final Solution", p.228).

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Post by michael mills » 04 Feb 2008 05:44

It seems there are two claimed dates for the killings that took place at the Lietukis garage.

One is 25 June 1941, given by Bendinskas, who was a senior officer in the Lithuanian Activist Front, and who may be presumed to have received reports about the events from other members of the LAF who were involved or who witnessed the events.

That date is also accepted by Simas Ycikas, of the Hebrew University, obviously not an apologist for Lithuanian nationalists. According to both Bendinskas and Ycikas, the German occupation began on 26 June.

The other date is 27 June, accepted by the Lithuanian documentary referred to by Grellber.

If the events occurred on 25 June, then the possibility of their having been orchestrated by German forces is very low, since a German command structure was not yet present in Kaunas, and it is most likely that the killings were carried out by Lithuanians acting on their own initiative.

If the events occurred on 27 June, then the possibility is much higher that they were orchestrated by German commanders, with the Lithuanian killers acting as catspaws.

The Lithuanian documentary has dismissed the testimony of Bendinskas, and plumped for the date of 27 June, which has the effect of exculpating the Lithuanian nationalists to some extent, since it can be claimed that those involved in the killing were an unrepresentative group acting under German orders.

I tend to accept the version by Bendinskas, since it runs contrary to his own self-interest in that it tends to inculpate him and his fellow Lithuanian nationalists.

Bendinskas had the opportunity to avoid responsibility for the killings and to exculpate his fellow Lithuanian nationalists by stating that the killings occurred on 27 June, were carried out under German orders, and were not an expression of Lithuanian wishes.

However, he did not do that. He admitted that the killings were carried out on 25 June, that they were perpetrated by Lithuanians acting on their own initiative, and that the killers were motivated by hatred for the persons they were killing. He admitted that the killings were wrong and inhumane, and a stain upon the reputation of the Lithuanian nationalists who had risen up against their Soviet persecutors.

For the above reason, I accept the account by Bendinskas.

it might be argued that the main motivation of Bendinskas was to conceal the fact that the vicitms were innocent Jews, not persons who were guilty of persecuting Lithuanians. Even if that were so, Bendinskas would still have had no motive to claim that the killings occurred on 25 June if they actually occurred on 27 June. It would have been in his interest to claim that the killings occurred on 27 June, under German orders, and that the victims were Soviet collaborators who had been held prisoner for four days and then handed over to the Germans. But he did not do that.

I believe that the interpretation by the Lithuanian documentary must therefore be rejected.

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