Killings in Linkuva #lithuania #holocaust


lydgateaction@...
 

Today, 23 July 2021 is the 80th anniversary of the day about 700 older men, women and children from the village on Linkuva were taken to the forest and shot/killed - including many members of our Blumzon family. I won't list their names here. 

The killings ended at about 1pm so by now they would all have been eliminated. As in most other Lithuanian villages the killers were not Germans but Lithuanians - in this case the brothers Jonais and Popilais Stumbris; and the brothers Tarashka, Jasaivitzios and others, and the three sons of the local chemist Jasukaitis (Sintauris, Januskais, and Simonatas).

Linkuva shtetl website is here : www.linkuva.com (now also eliminated from the list of links on jewishgen.org)

You can listen to and read the transcript of an interview with an elderly Lithuanian woman describing the killings here: http://www.linkuva.com/audio.htm

May they rest in peace

Dr Aubrey Blumsohn

Sheffield, UK


Frank Szmulowicz
 

You may be interested in an English-language account of Lithuanian pogroms in  "Our People, Discovering Lithuania's Hidden Holocaust" by Ruta Vanagaite - a Lithuanian journalist, author, and descendant of the perpetrators -  and Efraim Zuroff - a Nazi hunter and descendant of victims.
https://www.amazon.com/Our-People-Discovering-Lithuanias-Holocaust/dp/1538133032
Frank Szmulowicz


grayps@...
 

To bring this up-to-date:  When visiting Linkuva few years ago, we were having difficulty locating the Jewish cemetery.  When we asked locals for assistance, we were repeated told that "there are no Jews here", "there is no Jewish cemetery" (with much derision on the word Jewish); and "there never were any Jews here".  

--

Susan Gray, Chicago
Searching:

TEMKO and GOLDBERG from Linkuva


Frank Szmulowicz
 

Susan Gray, Chicago

Your account parallels the experience of Ruta Vanagaite and Efraim Zuroff as they travelled together around Lithuania, searching for the sites of mass killings of Jews. They encountered a lot of denial but also a few rare moments of candor. In general, the Lithuania's population tries to deny the atrocities and wants to wipe off that page of their history clean.  Voices of conscience are suppressed and threatened. Ruta Vanagaite, a very popular personality in Lithuania, had to leave the country following the publication of her book. Yet, it sold some 19,000 copies before being pulled off the shelves. I believe that in a similar situation, the history would repeat itself. 

Frank Szmulowicz


lydgateaction@...
 

That's not 100% fair - Rolandas Pupinis, a Catholic resident of Linkuva recently held a very moving and detailed ceremony in Linkuva commemorating and naming many of the Jews of Linkuva who were killed. It was held outside of the Synagogue. 

Lithuania is not quote Poland, and there are many good people. 

That said, many of these initiatives which would encourage people like me to visit and engage with Lithuania (something they desperately want and which is needed)  is totally undone by the recent bizarre parliamentary moves in Lithuania to make Citizenship restitution as hard as possible. They want you to be able to show that the ancestors who had left Lithuania in extremis were trying desperately hard to return "home" having been forced out due to various abuses. Not only is this absurd, but is also impossible to prove and disgraceful that one should have to prove something that would self evidently not have been wise for these refugees to contemplate.

I certainly will not be visiting Lithuania until this abusive change is corrected.  

You can watch the recent Linkuva ceremony here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzJAyJt5dgI

Extracts of the English parts of the ceremony as well as other commemorations of the Jews of Linkuva by the wonderful Mr Pupinis and others are here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAm5ncESwuseVenrRIry-EA/videos

By contrast you can read about the rather backward and deeply insulting and damaging parliamentary initiatives here: https://www.sajr.co.za/legal-stricture-puts-lithuanian-citizenship-out-of-reach-for-many/

Aubrey Blumsohn

Sheffield UK