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Lithuania ranks among the countries with the largest percentage of Jewish Holocaust victims. Of the approximately quarter of a million Jews who lived within its borders at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, only some eight thousand were fortunate enough to see the end of the Nazi occupation. The Jews who lived in the Lithuanian provinces were totally annihilated during the first few months of the war. The intensity of these massacres was unprecedented – the obliteration of entire communities in the inhuman, unimaginable, face-to-face murder of utterly helpless people, including the old, women, children and infants. This book gives an account of the annihilation of these communities, relying on rich documentary evidence of the survivors, selected from Leyb Koniuchovsky’s collection at Yad Vashem. It provides a complete picture of the humiliation, stigmatization, isolation, slave labor and suffering in the ghettos before the Jews were put to death. It describes the massive participation of the Lithuanians in the persecution and murder, and reveals the extent to which conditions in the Lithuanian provinces affected the dynamics of the Final Solution.
Edited by Avraham Milgram and Robert Rozett