Holocaust in Ukmerge             Vilnius Gaon Museum 2012

Das Buch beschreibt die Vernichtung der Ukmerger Juden anhand von Archivaufzeichnungen der „Litauischen Spezialarchive“. Es werden auch Aussagen von Litauern veröffentlicht, die sie bei Verhören durch die sowjetischen Besatzer gemacht haben. Die Sowjets sind dafür bekannt, es mit der Wahrheit nicht immer genau zu nehmen. Allerdings gibt es aufgrund der Besatzung bis 1990 keine anderen Aufzeichnungen. Und auch nach 1990 (litauische Unabhängigkeit) gab es keine Bestrebungen die eigene litauische Beteiligung am Holocaust aufzuklären.

Holocaust in Ukmerge

Die Schilderungen in diesem Buch sind auch Deckungsgleich zu anderen Vorgängen in ganz Litauen. 

The apparatus of the restored Lithuanian administration was cleverly involved in the policy carried out by the Germans whose one of the goals was the discrimination of the Jews before their complete annihilation.
Already on 2 July 1941, the German security police and the third unit of the SD A operative group took over the functions of the security police of Lithuania. When they started to implement their anti-Semitic policy respective Lithuanian institutions became their helpers (voluntarily or compulsory).

...Walter Neum was the commissar of the Panevėžys region. The commissars issued standard rules that regulated the Jews’ life, with the Lithuanian administration only following the orders issued by German institutions. The final stage of the Holocaust - mass killings were mostly carried out by the German security police and extraordinary units. Karl Jäger, head of the German security police and AD, in his report of 1 December 1941 in Lithuania that described in detail the mechanism of the Lithuanian Jews’ killings also wrote: “The goal to get rid of Jews in Lithuania could only be achieved thanks to the raiding squad of selected men headed by Obersturmführer Hamman that fully understood my goals and managed to ensure cooperation with Lithuanian partisans and respective civilian institutions.”

The unit of Joachim Hamann that consisted of from eight to ten German security and SD officials as well as several Lithuanians travelled across the country and carried out mass killings of the Jews in various places. ...

Although the news reached the town late, the partisans of Ukmergė who quickly got organised arrested and took to prison 79 Jewish intellectuals6 in the evening of 23 June.

Attacks against Jews white-armbanders increased. Josefas Šelkanas, an 80-year-old chemist, was of the first victims: before killing him the attackers ordered him to run after a drawn by a horse urging him with a whip. The physician Aronas Kohenas, was second victim. He was shot dead on the street on his way home from the hospital.
When the first German military units appeared in the city, two German troops were shot under suspicious circumstances. The incident was blamed on the Jews. The next day a cruel response by the new occupiers and their helpers followed the killings of the soldiers allegedly carried out by the Jews. Not only their houses but also the Jewish hospital whose staff was killed did suffer at the hands of auxiliary policemen. Lithuanians Zuliūnas (first name unknown), V. Deveikis, J Paškevičius, and Zavioda, a Pole (first name unknown), were very active. The 1ast three were especially brutal: first Paškevičius would wound the victim with a bayonet, then Deveikis chopped off the victim’s limbs with a blunt axe while he was still alive; Zavioda completed the bloody process putting his hands in the victim’s blood.

On June 4, 1941 the police force in Ukmergė together with the local white- armbanders on the pretext that they were carrying out orders issued by the provisional government arrested over 200 Jews, among whom were Ukmergė Rabbi Zusmanovičius, doctor A. Karlinskas, several lawyers, teachers and famous public figures. They were charged with cooperation with the Soviet authorities.

Four days later after these arrests on July 8, 1941 the prison governor in Ukmergė received a message from the head of the town security police to the effect that “you are asked to give the prisoners on this list who are in your charge over to the head- quarters of the Lithuanian Activists Front. Supplement: 114 quotas with personal belongings and people”.

Gefangene Juden in Ukmerge

Liste mit 114 jüdischen Gefangenen, die der LAF ausgehändigt werden sollten


Laut Webseite "https://www.gedenkorte-europa.eu/de_de/ukmerg.html" wurden die ausgehändigten Juden aufgehängt. Interessant ist dabei wieder die Arbeitsteilung. Den Befehl gaben die Deutschen, die Ausführung lag bei den Litauern:

"Unter dem Vorwand der Zusammenarbeit mit den Kommunisten wurden zweihundert Juden festgenommen und im Gefängnis von Ukmergė festgesetzt. 117 von ihnen wurden am 10. Juli in Richtung des Dörfchens Antakalnis II getrieben, wo die meisten von ihnen auf bestialische Weise erhängt wurden. Die Leichen wurden in einer Grube verscharrt. Bis zum Einbruch der Dunkelheit warteten noch über dreißig der Opfer, zumeist Frauen, auf ihren Tod und wurden wenige Kilometer von Antakalnis entfernt zum Wald Pivonija getrieben und dort erschossen. Die Mordaktion war, wie ein damals beteiligter Litauer später aussagte, von deutscher Seite angeordnet worden. Angeführt wurde sie u.a. von einem litauischen Gestapo-Mitarbeiter; das Wachpersonal und die Mordgehilfen setzten sich aus örtlichen Polizisten und Aufständischen zusammen."

During an interrogation that was conducted after the war, the former prison governor in Ukmergė R Kuzmickas claimed that on 10 June 1941, a worker of the security police, V. Deveikis (“who was held in authority with the German military administration and the Gestapo, with whom he kept company; he also knew German well”) was interested in the number of prisoners, among them Jews. Having learned that out of about 150 prisoners about 100 were Jews, he left. Returning about two hours later he said that all Jewish prisoners would have to be taken to the village of II Antakalnis (five km away from Ukmergė), where they would be killed charging them with being communists. He mentioned that the order was issued by the German commander.
The head of the security police of Ukmergė, A. Braziukaitis, confirmed to the prison governor on the telephone that the Jews were to be given over to V. Deveikis. During interrogation P. Kuzmickas claimed that he promised Deveikis to help transfer the Jews to the village on condition that he, Deveikis, will send people to escort the prisoners. The latter having promised to do so soon returned with ten armed men. In his turn, the prison governor told N. Butvilas, a worker at the prison administrative section, to appoint some men for the Jews’ escort and ten prison quard men were appointed.

The Jewish women were rounded up in the bam, while the men were kept in the prisoners’ building. On Deveikis and Paškevičius’ order the farmstead was surrounded by the policemen. The prison workers who came remained in the farmstead.33 Before the arrival of the convoy“ the planks on one side of the hay bam had been tom away and a pit dug.”

The prison governor Kuzmickas told all men to obey Paškevičius and Deveikis’ orders.”

At the beginning the hanged would be kept in the noose for ten minutes, later five minutes, but, according to J. Giedraitis, who took the executed out of the
noose, this was not enough to kill a man as those who were taken down would try to inhale. Then P. Zamauskas, head of the security and criminal police of the Ukmergė administrative region would finish the victim off with a bayonet.

Paškevičius hanged he men, chopped off fingers with golden rings, extract golden teeth.” The bodies would be thrown into a 8-metre-long and 2-metre-wide pit by the bam. The policemen who guarded the territory filled the pit with soil where there were victims who still showed signs of life

In the third group there were only women, one of them carried a three-or four-months-old infant. “The baby had his arms round the mother’s neck. Paškevičiuj shot at them. The woman fell together with the crying child, who was still alive. Then Sopis fired several shots from his re¬volver. The baby was silenced forever.”

Active participants shared the Jews personal belongings.

Every day a group of Jews, on foot or in carts, was brought in. In the second half of July, about 500. Jews arrested in Kavarskas were brought to the prison by Kavarskas white-armbanders.

Conforming to the order, all the heads of the police stations had to draw lists of the Jews (see pages no
89-185) providing their testimonials as well as information about their possible
participation in anti-state activities. 

Although the ghetto was not fenced in its territory was closely guarded by policemen. Lithuanian Gribulis from Ukmergė was appointed head of the ghetto.

Local auxiliary policemen and some from the Žemaitkiemis unit guarded the Jews’ houses.
Jews were arrested and put in prison from the very first day of the war. From 27 July, Jews were sent to prison massively; this continued until the last mass annihilation action in the county on 5 September. The Jews were arrested by members of the regular police force and men of the auxiliary police.

Capt Kamarauskas, military commander of the town of Ukmergė and county, his deputy M. Brazaitis, head of the district security police A. Braziukaitis, M. Paškevičius, head of the security police of one of the districts of the town of Ukmergė, head of police of the rural districts of the Ukmergė county, Mažeika, head of the Ukmergė police J. Kuzmickas, governor of the Ukmergė prison, V. Mikeška, Ukmergė Burgomaster V. Rėklaitis and his deputy S. Martinaitis (later Martinaitis became burgomaster) implementing the policy conducted by the Nazis and obeying their laws unconditionally, radically decided the fate of the local Jews demonstrating their support to the occupying authorities and hoping to strengthened their own power in the county. The prison wardens, as well the members of the Rollkommando Hamann, the white armbanders of Ukmergė and neighbouring little towns, formed specially to exterminate Jews participated in the Jews’ killings.

The same E. Žiupka, remembered the first days in Ukmergė: “We arrived at at the camp [the estate in Antakalnis - auth. note], where there were at the about 1,500 Jews, including women, children and old people. Fifty killers engaged for the killings of these Jews, about ten trucks into which they were driven. All the time while this was taking place they were beaten with sticks, children: were simply thrown onto the trucks and taken to the wood. There about fifteen pits were dug (30 m long, 4 m wide, 3 m deep). The Jews were driven into them, i ordered to lied with their faces down, those who were disabled, old, women, children were simply thrown into one of the pits. The killers shot at them form the edge from automatic and machine guns. Later not only the dead but also those who were still alive were buried. In every pit there were about 300 people. Cases when young girls were raped in the wood before being killed were frequent.“

On 5 August 1941 the newspaper “Naujoji Lietuva” wrote about the situatio of the Jews in the town: “The Jewish issue in Ukmergė was solved very well an fast. The Jews from the town and some surrounding little towns were moved to one place, the Smėliai suburb.
On 8 August during the killings in Pivonija Wood 702 Jews (620 men, 82 women)109 were killed; on 19 August - 623 Jews (298 men, 255 women and 88 children). In the Aktion on August white-armbanders from the Žemaitkiemis unit took part. It was led by B. Dūda The men of the unit also took part in the killings of Jews in Pivonija Wood in September.


Befehl Polizei Ukmerge

Befehl an die Polizeidienststellen in Ukmerge, Listen mit Juden anzulegen

On 5 September 1941, the “Jewish issue” was finally solved by an Aktion in Ukmergė. That day 4 709 Jews were killed, most of the from Ukmergė, also from Kavarskas, about 180 Jews from Musninkai, Širvintos, Gelvonai, Giedraičiai, Dubingiai. Hamann’s mobile squad, men from the auxiliary police force of the neighbouring little towns and policemen from Ukmergė took part in the killings.
A day before the killings, (4 September 1941), the ghetto was guarded by men of the auxiliary police force from Ukmergė, Želva, Lyduokiai and Zemaitkiemis. Before that “Paškevičius went to houses, ordered the people out and to gather in one large courtyard on Vilnius Street. ..."

At the beginning of September Kavarskas white-armbanders arrived in Ukmergė to take part in the killings in Pivonija Wood. B. Šimkus and the head of the Kavarskas police force, K. Mažeika, the organizers of the Kavarskas white-armbanders, ordered to go to Ukmergė. “[...] The member of the unit who went to Ukmergė were headed by Čiukšys.”120 J. Mitašiūnas, told about it during interrogation: “At the end of June 1941 after the Germans occupied the Kavarskas rural district, a unit of white-armbanders was organised. I think that it was formed by Mažeika and Šimkus, and other heads of the band. The mentioned men tried to engage the young people from the village and the little town of Kavarskas in the activities of the band promising them to issue with guns, let them try out military guns, good jobs with the occupying German authorities and other things. Part of the young men believed the promises given by auxiliary policemen.

The gang from Kavarskas had the aim to fight the Soviet power in Lithuania, arrest all communists and members of the Young Communist League, Soviet activists, Soviet militiamen, workers of the
executive committees, and all those who supported the Soviet power. Besides, the goal of this gang was to support the order introduced by the occupying fascist  German authorities, to collaborate with the organs of the occupying authorities, to fight against all the persons who did not agree with the policy being implemented by the fascist authorities and help Germans to exterminate citizens of Jewish origin.”
When the men from Kavarskas arrived in Ukmergė, it became known that the Jewish intellectuals, young people and men had already been killed a long time before. Women, children and old people who were planned to be killed in a day had remained. The men from the white-armbanders were armed and knew why they were going to Ukmergė. The newcomers stayed for the night in a wooden school building that was on the right side of the road across the Šventoji. There were more auxiliary policemen from different rural districts of the Ukmergė county. One of them, C. Ginietis, mentioned that in the school building “they talked about going to the Vaitkuškis estate where were many Jews and those Jews would have to be killed; besides they also said that they would have to be to stand on guard, while he others would shoot the Jews. Of course, I and Čeberėkas were not happy to learn about that we would go to kill the Jews, the news was unpleasant and we were both excited. However, neither I nor Čeberėkas Vincas, nor someone else from the men said they refused to shoot the Jews. 

In the morning after 9 a.m. K. Čiukšys led the policemen from Kavarskas to the Vaitkuškis estate where we were divided and joined those groups who were already there. “There were many Jews on the estate, over a hundred men of the white-armbanders and several German officers had gathered.”

When the column was formed we rounded it on all sides and herded it to the wood. The men stood by the column ptrhere they liked, at random as there were no concrete orders on this issue. I stood : at the end of the column. While the Jews were herded to the wood I saw a Jewish I woman I knew from, but I don’t remember her name, I only know that she had a shop Kavarskas. The Jewish woman was with two children. I didn’t talk to her because she was inside the column, not on the edge and didn’t see me. A Jewish man I didn’t know asked me where they were driven, I answered that they were being driven to work;
he didn’t believe me and asked if they were being taken to the killing site as we were driving them to the wood. Once again I confirmed that we were taking them to work. The Jews talked to other white-armbanders, but I didn’t hear about what they spoke. Although were ordered to say that they were being taken to work the Jews realised and some of them cried walking, especially women; on the whole they were restless, sad and frightened. On the way the Jews didn’t try to escape. Most of the Jews carried bundles. We drove them straight to the wood and soon we saw a clearing where there were two or three pits. Every pit was about ten metres long, about two metres wide and the depth was approximately at man’s height. When they entered the clearing the Jews were told to take off their clothes and, crying, they started to undress. I didn’t see who gave the command to undress, I only heard the order to take off their clothes given at the ahead of the column. Some Jews undressed leaving only the underwear on, other were almost naked. They threw the clothes on the ground. After the Jews had undressed, the white-armbanders began to dive then to the pit which was some 50 metres away. The doomed people did not want to go the pit, they began to shout loudly, cry and scream, begged to have pity on them but no one took heed and drove them on to the pit. Some of them jumped into the pit, others went away from it, still others stood hesitating, however, the white-armbanders surrounded them on all sides pressed closer them to the pit and began to push them with force into it. The Jews began to fall into them one on another, and because of this there was a pile of people at one end of the pit. It was a horrible sight because the people falling into the pit pressed one another, stamped on them, cried and screamed. I saw it myself as I drove them to the pit together with other auxiliary policemen and remember it well.

The white-armbander I didn’t know gave the order in Litb told us to stand on the edge of the pit. I and other men stood on one side of close ranks, as many as there was space along the length of the pit. From Kavarskas, I saw standing on the edge these men [...]. We held the guns in and were ready to begin to shoot. The Jews were driven into the pit by a armbanders who were in the wood, including all of them from Kavarskas, h not all stood at the pit, only part of them as there was no space for all. Those w not by the pit stood away from it. There was no order who of the white-arm’ had to stand at the pit and shoot the Jews, and who could stand at a distance.' command was given those who wished or who stood closer to the pit at that m those got ready to shoot, and those who did not want to go to the pit were not to do it. I personally after I had heard the order to stand at the pit together with stood on the edge. Nearby there were several Germans wearing military unifr but they didn’t stand on the edge in the line with. [...] As soon as white-armba stoped to shoot, German ordered to shoot and white-armbanders started soon [...] they were continued shooting until all Jews were shot. The shooting was not 1 some five or ten minutes.”

As a man from the Kavarskas unit testified, all the members of the unit who had gone to Ukmergė took part in the shooting. “No one of the auxiliary policemen would have dared not to shoot because if one stood at the pit and did not shoot when all did so, he could have been charged with being a Jew supporter by Germans and the policemen themselves alike and would have been shot on the spot.”133 J. Mitašiūnas said: “I did not want to shoot innocent people but I did not dare to step aside and I stayed there.” “Terrible things were happening in the pit: the people screamed, called for help, begged to have pity on them, but the policemen kept shooting at them.”  

[AK: So wie man mit den Aufzeichnungen des KGB vorsichtig sein muss, sollten auch die Aussagen der Tatverdächtigen den Umständen entsprechend behandelt werden. So in diesem Fall: man musste schiessen, um nicht selber verdächtig zu werden. Andere schossen oder misshandelten die Gefangenen, natürlich nie der Vernommene selbst.]

Während im Jäger Report von 6.339 getöteten Juden die Rede ist, kamen Ausgrabungen eines Expertenteams der Belarussischen Front zu dem Schluss, dass bis zu 12.000 Menschen getötet worden sein könnten.



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