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

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
walterkaschner
In memoriam
Posts: 1588
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 01:17
Location: Houston, Texas

Post by walterkaschner » 11 Apr 2005 05:39

michael mills wrote:Here is an interesting extract from this site:

http://www.hagalil.com/archiv/99/12/litauen.htm

Es gelang Bruzas, den einzigen Überlebenden des Massakers an Juden in der Kaunasser "Lietukis"-Garagenanlage am 27. Juni 1941, den 74-jährigen Vaclovas aus Kaunas Vodzinskas zu finden. Vodzinskas bestritt vor der Fernsehkamera, daß junge Litauer 75 Juden mit Stangen und Metallbändern zu Tode geprügelt hätten und anschließend auf den Leichenberg geklettert seien, um auf dem Akkordeon die litauischen Hymne zu spielen. Vodzinskas sagte, er habe mit eigenen Augen gesehen, wie man den von der Eisenbahn herankommandierten betrunkenen Männern befohlen habe, den "Marsch der Juden von Slobodka" zu spielen. Die Männer, so Vodzinskas, hätten "irgendsoeine Polka gespielt und sind weitergegangen".


My translation:

Bruzas [a journalist for Lietuvos Rytas TV] succeeded in finding the sole survivor of the massacre of Jews in the Kaunas "Lietukis" garage on 27 June 1941, the 74-year-old Vaclovas Vodzinskas from Kaunas. In front of the TV camera Vodzinskas denied that young Lithuanians had beaten 75 Jews to death with poles and metal bars and afterwards climbed onto the pile of bodies to play the Lithuanian National Anthem on the accordion. Vodzinskas said that with his own eyes he had seen how drunken men ordered up from the railway had been commanded to play the "March of the Jews of Slobodka". According to Vodzinskas, the men had "played some such polka and then gone away".
So it seems that the tale told by the German witness Röder was indeed a "lurid embellishment" (although he did get the date right).

The young blond man was indeed at the scene, and he did strike with some sort of pole at least one of the men (already dead?) lying in the street, and he did pose for a photograph; those things are proved by the photographs themselves.

But according to the testimony of Vodzinskas, the tale that the young man then stood on the bodies to play the Lithuanian National Anthem is a fabrication, and a gross distortion of the fact that a song was sung by a group of men.
I tend to agree that the story of the young man standing on a pile of corpses and playing the Lithuanian anthem has a strong aroma of fish about it, and its fabrication seems confirmed by Vodzinskas, but I am puzzled by Michael Mills' reference to the German witness Röder, as to whom I can find no reference in any of the sources which have been cited. In my copy of The Good Old Days the story of the young man and the anthem is told by the photographer Gunsilius, who states that he arrived in Kovno on the 25th and saw the massacre that day - not on the 27th, two days later, when Oberst von Bishoffshausen states he saw the young man in action. Yet according to Vodzinskas the incident he himself survived occurred on the 27th, when he claims 75 Jews were beaten to death, which number is close to the 70 Jews which Eliezer Zilber claims, in the site referred to by Peter H, were killed at the garage; both indicating that the victims consisted only of Jews, which is the point specifically denied by Alexandras Bendinskas in the source initially supplied by Mr. Mills at the commencement of this thread.

So a certain confusion still reigns, as to dates as well as to constitution of the victims. But I feel my theory of the possibility of 2 or more incidents may be slightly enhanced by Vodzinskas' statement, and my conviction of the questional reliability of eye witness testimony reconfirmed.

Regards, Kaschner

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23684
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 11 Apr 2005 06:03

Walter -- Röder is the Lance-Corporal (Gefreiter) from the 562nd Baker's Company who gave Account #3. His name is almost buried in the text of http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 489#676489

I missed it the first time I read the citation, and caught it only while proofing the scan.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8940
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 11 Apr 2005 06:20

I would have no quarrel with what Zuroff said.

Indeed, the great majority of the Jews killed in Lithunania between 1941 and 1944 were killed by Lithuanians, albeit under German direction that was in many cases minimal.

The question that needs to be asked is why Lithuanians were so ready, willing and able to kill Jews that they did not need to be forced to do so.

The answer must be sought in the immediate experience of one year of Soviet oppression, and in the more distant experience of fighting for independence against Bolshevik forces in 1919-20. The feeling wide-spread among Lithuanians (and other East Europeana) that Bolshevism was primarily Jewish in nature was reinforced by the observation that it was disproportionately the Jewish minority that welcomed the Soviet takeover in June 1940 and rushed to collaborate with the occupiers.

The desire for revenge against a Jewish minority that was perceived as having been the willing collaborators of the Soviet oppressors provided the impetus for acts of violence against Jews, and thereby made Lithuanian nationalists willing collaborators with the new German occupiers in the annihilation of that Jewish minority.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8940
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 11 Apr 2005 06:28

I wrote Röder when I should have written Gunsilius.

Gunsilius got the date right (assuming the date given by Bendinskas, 25 June, is correct; I think it would be, since Bendinskas was in charge of the LAF men who went to the Lietukis garage and apprehended the fleeing Soviet agents there, and would have recieved reports from them).

Also he does not identify the victims as Jews.

But it was he who told the tale of the young man playing the accordion standing on a pile of victims, which I and Mr Kaschner think may be "lurid embellishment", a belief supported by the evidence of Vodzinskas.

walterkaschner
In memoriam
Posts: 1588
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 01:17
Location: Houston, Texas

Post by walterkaschner » 11 Apr 2005 06:52

David Thompson wrote:Walter -- Röder is the Lance-Corporal (Gefreiter) from the 562nd Baker's Company who gave Account #3. His name is almost buried in the text of http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 489#676489

I missed it the first time I read the citation, and caught it only while proofing the scan.
Thanks David - these tired old eyes just missed it completely!

Regards, Kaschner

User avatar
Deterance
Member
Posts: 1248
Joined: 26 Apr 2003 03:10
Location: Republic of Texas

Post by Deterance » 13 Apr 2005 18:59

michael mills wrote: The detail about the young man climbing onto the pile of bodies and playing the Lithuanian national anthem on an accordion sounds like "lurid embellishment", although there is a slim possibility that it might be true.
michael mills wrote: A rear support unit such as a Baker's Company is hardly likely to be included in the advance guard of an army entering an enemy city.
The reference to the perpetrators as "convicts" show clear signs of "massaging" by Soviet interrogators.
I dont think the accordian story is that far fetched. Since the account has been translated from at least two languages, the verb "climbed" could easily have been inserted into the statement instead of "over". Thus the actual statement might read...a man played the national anthem on an accordian while standing over the bodies. Given how mob violence in any society quickly turns lurid, this is entirely possible.

In regards to the Bakery Company.... We must remember that this was blitzkrieg. If the Bakery Company was mechanized and supporting a mechanized unit, it could easily arrive in the vanguard and head of marching infantry. German commanders might have ordered all supplies to be pushed forward to facilitate future advances thus the bakery unit could have arrived ahead of even mechanized artillery etc.

Massaging by Soviets.... Definetly possible, but the massaging is far more subtle than the usual Soviet massaging. For example, only the term "convicts" is inserted. Usual Soviet massaging seems to include far more stilted statements like "Fascist beasts", "Hitlerites", "reactionaries" etc.

I like Walters's ideas of a series of mob killings taking place in the same vicinity over a period of several days. The perpetrators were probably varied and included different groups of released Nationalists, armed resistance groups and perhaps even oppurtunistic street thugs who suddenly changed into "uber patriots". Crowds and German soldiers from different units then viewed the bodies or the actual killings. Following incidents of killing, the bodies were left in the area. Some in the crowd mocked and ridiculed the victims. At one point, the National Anthem was played over the bodies. The victims were mostly related to the Soviet security forces, but with Jews, this relationship was probably more broadly defined than with ethnic Lithuanian victims

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8940
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 14 Apr 2005 02:33

The suggestion by Walter Kaschner that there was a number of lynchings at the Lietukis garage on different days would explain many of the discrepancies between the different statements by Germans who were in Kaunas on those days.

However, all references to the lynching that I have seen seem to indicate a single incident on one day. Wherever the photographs are published, the implication is that they were taken at about the same time and document the same incident.

I tend to accept the account given by Bendinskas, even though he does not claim to have witnessed the lynching himself, because it provides credible explanations for a number of points that are generally ignored in most accounts, such as:

why did the lynching take place at the Lietukis garage in particular?

Who exactly were the victims?

Who were the perpetrators?

The reason why the lynching took place at the Lietukis garage was the coincidence of a number of separate developments.

(a) Men of the LAF went to the garage on 23 June to secure the vehicles there, and to prevent their being removed by members of the Soviet administration. Since Bendinskas was the LAF staff officer responsible for transportation, those men would have been acting under his direction, and would have reported to him, thus giving him a knowledge of what happened there.

(b) On the same day, Soviet agents who had remained behind after the main Soviet withdrawal on 22 June for the purpose of destroying documents etc, went to the Lietukis garage to obtain vehicles to make their escape. Thus they could be apprehended by the LAF men who had also gone there.

(c) Since the prisons were not yet fully under LAF control, the apprehended Soviet agents were held under guard at the garage on 23, 24 and 25 June.

(d) The capture of Soviet files by LAF men enabled the identification of further Soviet agents who were still at large, and their arrest by the LAF. Those persons were likewise taken to the Lietukis garage between 23 and 25 June, and held there. The total number of Soviet agents being held at that place might well have amounted to the 70 or so mentioned in some accounts.

(e) On 25 June, Lithuanian nationalist political prisoners were finally liberated from the prisons. Hearing that Soviet agents were being held at the Lietukis garage, they went there and identified some of them as officers who had interrogated them or otherwise had been involved in their imprisonment.

(f) At least some of the released prisoners, motivated by anger at their own suffering and a desire for revenge, took up articles lying around the garage and beat at least some of the arrested Soviet agents to death. It is unclear whether all the Soviet agents being held there were lynched, or only those recognised by the released prisoners. Bendinskas himself claims that only between 10 and 20 were killed, and it is noteworthy that most of the Germans who claimed to have witnessed the event gave a similar figure as the number they actually saw being killed or lying dead on the ground, although they generally intimated that a larger number of victims was at the scene and they presumed that those persons were subsequently killed. If it is true that not all the Soviet agents were killed but only a selected number, then it is likely that those selected were the persons specifically recognised by the released prisoners.

The account by Bendinskas is internally consistent, and all parts of it are credible and fit the known circumstances of the Soviet withdrawal (which actually began on 21 June), the uprising by Lithuanian nationalists which began simultaneously with that withdrawal, and the interval of a few days before total German control was established. Therefore I tend to accept it as a generally reliable explanation of what happened, even if it does not cover all the details of the actual killings.

User avatar
Lit.
Member
Posts: 261
Joined: 07 Jun 2004 14:43
Location: Lithuania

Post by Lit. » 15 Apr 2005 19:51

Who were the killers posing for the famous Nazi propoganda photosession "Lithuanians killing Jews in the Lietukis garage, Kaunas"?

Here is the one:

Image

This is probably the same person in 1951:

Image

His name is doctor Algirdas Antanas Pavalkis

Here is the copy of Russian document from the 50-ties telling that Algirdas Antanas Pavalkis is getting very big - 2000 rubles monthly salary as MGB agent "Petras".
Image

There are more documents left in the archives of KGB in Vilnius about this person. During the Nazi occupation he was agent of Gestapo "Anton". During the Soviet - he, as agent of MGB "Petras", was infiltrated in the ranks of Lithuanian Freedom Fighters, and even took part in killing of Juozas Luksa - "Daumantas".
http://www.xxiamzius.lt/archyvas/xxiamz ... ms_04.html

walterkaschner
In memoriam
Posts: 1588
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 01:17
Location: Houston, Texas

Post by walterkaschner » 16 Apr 2005 05:52

I would agree with Michael Mills that Bendinskas' account makes a great deal of sense and hangs together well, as far as it goes. My only quarrel arises with his estimate of 10 or so as the number killed. From the three last photos themselves it is apparent that there were at least double - perhaps tripple that number on the ground. And if my suspicion that there was more than one incident is correct, the death toll could approach the 70 or so mentioned by Jewish sources. I still cling to the notion of the possibility of more than one incident because (a) the photos look quite different, and (b) because of Oberst von Bischoffshausen's testimony that when he arrived at headquarters in Kaunas the morning of the 27th he was told that icidents of that sort were already known, and at dinner that evening it was reported that murders had started again - which clearly indicates that something similar had occured in the preceeding day or two.

As to the Lit.'s notion that a Doctor Pavalkis was the youth in the first picture picture, who was in fact an agent provocateur for the Gestapo, I am unable to judge as I can read neither the Russian document nor the Lithuanian web site referred to. A translation of both would be most helpful. In Pavalkis' 1951 photo he does not appear as blond as the young man with the corpses, but photos can be deceiving.

Regards, Kaschner

User avatar
Lit.
Member
Posts: 261
Joined: 07 Jun 2004 14:43
Location: Lithuania

Post by Lit. » 16 Apr 2005 13:26

There is one interesting fragment from the same article in Lithuanian paper "XXI amzius" about infamous "Doctor Pavalkis":
(Extraction from the interrogation protocol of A.Pavalkis. Dated 7th of November 1950. "Interrogation was executed by the chief of 1st section, of "2-N" department of MGB in Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania captain Dushansky (Dusanskis in Lithuanian).
Here is what A.Pavalkis said to N.Dushansky:
"I'd like to add, that I want to atone my fault to the Soviet rule; I could even enter in to the active gang and start killing bandits with my own hands" //LYA, f. K-1, ap. 45, b. 314, l. 213./ (translated from Russian language)
http://www.xxiamzius.lt/archyvas/xxiamz ... ms_04.html

So it's more than obvious, that infamous Jew Nachman Dushansky (now hiding from the Justice in Israel) knew and still know what traitor and killer Pavalkis did in the Lietukis garage.

But he himself in the same time, but in the different place of Lithuania did even worse than Pavalkis. Nachman Dushansky (or Dushanskis) was among those commies, who took active role in the famous "Fiesta of Terror" in Rainiai. This Rainiai massacre couldn't be explained in any logical sense except of some mystical Satanist ritual. Such mystical terror rituals - unimaginery and prolonged torturing civilians to their deaths in the very beginning of Soviet-German war, was spread all over Lithuania and looks like in Latvia also. This big and still unsolved mystery of Soviet terror in the Baltic states couldn't be explained with any military or any other civilized terms. This is something out of this world.
At the beginning of World War II, on the night of 24th June 1941, Soviet troops retreating from Hitler's army took 74 Lithuanian "political" prisoners from Telsiai into a forest in nearby Rainiai, where they were all brutally tortured and killed. The Rainiai martyrs became a symbol of the whole epoch of Bolshevism in Lithuania (1940-90).
Tuskulenai is just a fragment of the mosaic of Soviet genocide against the Lithuanian people. We expect to find up to 1,000 skeletons in Tuskulenai,” said director general of the security department, Jurgis Jurgelis, during a press conference at the Lithuanian Academy of Science on Jan. 23.

So far, during excavations in 1994-1997, archaeologists have found the remains of 706 people.

The remaining victims are thought to have been buried under large trees growing in the park of the Tuskulenai estate.

“We have documents that all orders for the killings and hiding of bodies in Tuskulenai came from Moscow. I can mention the names of several killers,” said Jurgelis.
<...>
Usually victims were shot from a short distance, they said. Some skulls show the marks of up to six bullets.
Historian Arturas Dubonis told TBT, “Such tortures are rather gentle for the NKVD. For example, during a massacre of members of Lithuanian patriotic organizations on June 22, 1941, in the Rainiai forest of western Lithuania, Soviet soldiers cut men’s genitals and put them into the mouths of victims. Soviet activists cut tongues, ears, scalps, took out eyes, made belts from the skins of the victims and used for tying their hands – all that was done on living people. Pulling off fingernails was a common torture of NKVD.
<...> “Nobody is punished for Soviet genocide,” said Kazimieras Kovarskas, chief prosecutor for the special investigations department.
http://vip.latnet.lv/LPRA/TerrorVilnius.htm
Many graphic photo pictures of all the Rainiai victims do exist. But such horror is prohibited to place in this forum or possibly in any other public server.
The same "Rainiai style" of torturing Lithuanians, but a bit "softer" (after Stalin's death!) was suffered by Adolfas Ramanauskas - "Vanagas":
The report of a commission formed in the KGB prison a few days after the arrest of Adolfas Ramanauskas, chief commander of the LLKS partisans' armed forces, on October 15, 1956, noted: "The right eye is covered with haematoma, on the eyelid there are six stab wounds made, judging by their diameter, by a thin wire or a nail going deep to the eyeball. Multiple haematomas in the area of the stomach, a cut wound on a finger of the right hand. The genitalia reveal the following: a large tear wound on the right side of the scrotum and a wound on the left side, both testicles and spermatic ducts are missing."
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 558#625558

It is not possible and right to justify any murder, but please imagine the angry men who were lucky to escape from the prison just after such tortures...
On April 5, after a three-week trial, the Siauliai district court sentenced Petras Raslanas, a former Soviet secret-police officer, to life imprisonment in absentia. Raslanas, 87, was convicted of aiding and participating in the massacre of 76 civilians in the village of Rainiai on June 24-25, 1941. The victims, some of whom were tortured and decapitated, were prisoners in the Telsiai jail and their deaths were ordered by the NKVD in the face of advancing Nazi troops. Raslanas, who denies the accusation, fled to Russia in 1992 and holds a Russian passport. Russian officials have repeatedly declined Lithuanian requests for his extradition.
EXTRADITION OF WAR CRIMINALS TO LITHUANIA DEMANDED. The public Baltic
Unity Organization (BVO) demanded on 22 July that war criminals Petras
Raslanas
and Noachim Dusanski be extradited from Russia and Israel,
respectively, to Lithuania, BNS reported the next day. They are accused
of participating in the NKVD -organized murder of 74 people in the
Rainiai forest in 1941. Noting that the Simon Wiesenthal Center had
successfully prosecuted a number of people involved in the killing of
Jews in Nazi-occupied countries, BVO Chairman Vytautas Nezgada said that
the center could aid in extraditing the two war criminals and clarifying
crimes committed against other nationalities. At the end of June, 10
Seimas opposition deputies circulated a statement urging President
Algirdas Brazauskas to demand the extradition of Raslanas and Dusanski.
-- Saulius Girnius
http://www.friends-partners.org/friends ... lish,,new)
The center's researchers also provide evidence about the atrocities perpetrated by the many communist and Nazi war criminals who escaped justice. Two such men have recently been identified. One, Petras Raslanas, is now a resident of Russia. In 1941 he and his henchmen tortured several dozen Lithuanian patriots in the Rainiai forest. Many of the eyeless, castrated, skinned-alive corpses were unidentifiable, even by their families.

The other, Nachmanas Dusanskis, lives in Israel. In 1941 he helped the Soviets exile Lithuanian Jews to the gulag. His signature, for example, appears on the deportation order that sent the Volpert family to their Siberian graves. Unconscionably, given the compelling evidence of wrongdoing by these two men, both countries have refused to extradite them to stand trial in Lithuania.
http://www.ukrweekly.com/Archive/1999/189915.shtml

walterkaschner
In memoriam
Posts: 1588
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 01:17
Location: Houston, Texas

Post by walterkaschner » 16 Apr 2005 20:59

Interesting as Lit.'s immediately preceding post may be, and I have no doubt that other atrocities were committed by and against Lithuanians on both sides during the early 1940s, I fail to see how it relates to the claimed identity of Dr. Pavalkis as the young man featured in the photo of the murders at the Lietukis garage, or indeed, how it in any way relates at all to the topic of this thread.

Regards, Kaschner

User avatar
Lit.
Member
Posts: 261
Joined: 07 Jun 2004 14:43
Location: Lithuania

Post by Lit. » 17 Apr 2005 11:11

walterkaschner wrote:Interesting as Lit.'s immediately preceding post may be, and I have no doubt that other atrocities were committed by and against Lithuanians on both sides during the early 1940s, I fail to see how it relates to the claimed identity of Dr. Pavalkis as the young man featured in the photo of the murders at the Lietukis garage, or indeed, how it in any way relates at all to the topic of this thread.

Regards, Kaschner
My post directly relates to this topic because:

1) I've translated only small important fragment of Lithuanian article directly related with Dr. Pavalkis and "Lietukis" case (as "translation would be most helpful", as you put it in your previous post);

2) I've illustrated with other quotes the important background of the events that took place in "Lietukis". Everyone in the world know "Lietukis" massacre, but only few know the much more brutal massacre in Rainiai, which took place nearly in the SAME DAYS ("in the early 1940s");

3) MGB captain Dusanskis - war Criminal still living in Israel is the person closely related with both events - personally responsible for Rainiai, and personally responsible why his colleague, sadist and murderer Pavalkis became a "doctor", but not the prosecuted war criminal as Dusanskis himself now is;

4) So "comrade" Dusanskis is the person who knows the truth about "What really happened at the Lietukis garage, 25 June 1941?" (which is the name of this topic - isn't it?) and what was the role of Pavalkis in it. But unfortunately there is no way to get this truth out of him. Sorry but I, as most of Lithuanians, wouldn't believe any of his public "testimonies". Because we saw the pictures of his "work" and we know what he did in Rainiai. (see my previous post).

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23684
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 17 Apr 2005 15:19

Lit. -- I'm interested in any other original materials or translations you may have on these massacres. If you have more on the Rainiai murders or Dusanskis we can start a separate thread on the subject.

Grellber
Member
Posts: 85
Joined: 24 Dec 2007 22:25
Location: Stockholm

Post by Grellber » 24 Dec 2007 22:28

H


Luksa Juozas; A cruel sadist. At the right: The murderer as "Hero" of the Massacre of 68 innocent people at the garage of "Lietukis" in Kaunas on June 27, 1941. At the left: Eight years later, after participating in the slaughter of thousands of Jews in Kaunas and elsewhere. Was killed in 1951.

Grellber
Member
Posts: 85
Joined: 24 Dec 2007 22:25
Location: Stockholm

The man with the iron bar

Post by Grellber » 24 Dec 2007 22:34

This is interesting. On the following site:
http://lithuanianjews.org.il/HTMLs/arti ... BSS6=13971
i found a totally different connection to the picture.
Would be really interesting to see if someone can straight this out.

Quote frome the link above:

Luksa Juozas – Kaunas (Pogroms+Forts)

Luksa Juozas; A cruel sadist. At the right: The murderer as "Hero" of the Massacre of 68 innocent people at the garage of "Lietukis" in Kaunas on June 27, 1941. At the left: Eight years later, after participating in the slaughter of thousands of Jews in Kaunas and elsewhere. Was killed in 1951.



Luksys Domazas – Kaunas+District+

The picture from 1951 I´ve seen in a Swedish book, or rather a book published also in Swedish re. "The forrest brothers" post 1945.

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”