​80 years since the destruction of the Jewish community of Mazheik (Mazeikiai) in Lithuania - new article #lithuania #holocaust

Ilan Ganot

On the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av, Jewish people around the world fast and read the scroll of Lamentations (Megillat Eicha) in memory of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem twice, approx. 2,600 and 2,000 years ago. 
On the next day, the 10th day of Av, we shall mark 'just' 80 years since the destruction of the Jewish community of Mazheik, the town of our ancestors. On this day (3rd of August, 1941), the men of Jewish community were shot to death and buried in mass graves next to the local Jewish cemetery. Six days thereafter, on the 16th of Av (19th of August, 1941), the same fate happened to the women and children of this community in the same place. 
Eighty years after this disaster, and in order to commemorate this day, we - descendants of members of the Jewish community of Mazheik - wrote an articleon the subject of:
"The Legacy of a Jewish Community – its Preservation and Inheritance - Mazheik as an example".
The article was written by Dr. Ephraim Lapid in collaboration with Ilan Ganot, translated into English by Raymond Ravinsky and uploaded to the Mazheik Memorial Website (MMWS) by Richie Baum, volunteer at the JewishGEN KehilaLinks project.
The article can be viewed at the following links:
In English:
In Hebrew:
Ilan Ganot and Raymond Ravinsky
co-webmasters, Mazheik Memorial Website (MMWS)
"How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!" (Scroll of Lamentations [Megillat Eikhah] 1:1)

Frank Szmulowicz

I would recommend reading 
Our People: Discovering Lithuania's Hidden Holocaust
by Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff and Lithuanian author/journalist Rūta Vanagaitė

This remarkable book traces the quest for the truth about the Holocaust in Lithuania by two ostensible enemies: Rūta a descendant of the perpetrators, Efraim a descendant of the victims. Rūta Vanagaitė, a successful Lithuanian writer, was motivated by her recent discoveries that some of her relatives had played a role in the mass murder of Jews and that Lithuanian officials had tried to hide the complicity of local collaborators. Efraim Zuroff, a noted Israeli Nazi hunter, had both professional and personal motivations. He had worked for years to bring Lithuanian war criminals to justice and to compel local authorities to tell the truth about the Holocaust in their country. The facts that his maternal grandparents were born in Lithuania and that he was named for a great-uncle who was murdered with his family in Vilnius with the active help of Lithuanians made his search personal as well.

Our People exposes the significant role in implementing the Final Solution played by local political leaders and the prewar Lithuanian administration that remained in place during the Nazi occupation. It also tackles the sensitive issue of the motivation of thousands of ordinary Lithuanians who were complicit in the murder of their Jewish neighbors. At the heart of the book, these are the issues that Rūta and Efraim discuss, debate, and analyze as they crisscross the country to visit dozens of Holocaust mass murder sites in Lithuania and neighboring Belarus. This book follows them on their remarkable journey as they search for neglected graves, interview eyewitnesses, and uncover hints of the rich life that had existed in hundreds of Jewish communities throughout Lithuania.

Frank Szmulowicz

Ilan Ganot