more than a year ago
On Thursday August 28, 1941, a group of over 2,000 Jewish men, women and children from Kėdainiai and the nearby settlements of Šėta and Žeimiai were marched to the hamlet of Daukšiai approximately 5km north of the town centre and shot in small batches by 20 Lithuanian volunteers. The corpses were spread out at the bottom of a pre-dug grave before a group of Soviet prisoners of war covered them with soil and lime—the latter to prevent animals from digging them up—in preparation for the next layer of victims. It was reported at the time that several tractors requisitioned for the slaughter ran their engines at full power to cover the noise of the gunfire and the screaming. Every year on the anniversary of the massacre a tiny group of people gather beside the mass grave to light candles and place stones on the small Holocaust memorial, a simple act of remembrance organised by Rimantas Žirgulis, the Director of the Kėdainiai Regional Museum and the driving force behind the town’s Multicultural Centre which is housed inside Kėdainiai’s former Great Beit Midrash.

Extract from Back to Shul by Richard Schofield.


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